Saturday, July 23, 2011

World Forestry Center

This week in our summer challenge we have been studying forests. I was excited to end this unit with two outings for the family, the World Forestry Center being the first. The World Forestry Center is in Forest Park, which sits behind downtown Portland, OR, on a hill. This museum is part of a triangle of other expensive destinations that appeal to children (the other two being the children museum and the zoo). I was born and raised in Portland and been to Forestry Center for art shows and bazaars, or to have "A" play in the logging train, never realizing there was an actual museum with fun, interactive exhibits! Once I found this out I had to get there stat! The museum is two stories, with the first floor being focused on the forest of the Pacific Northwest. One thing I was excited to try was a chair that would lift you up to the canopy of a forest. I didn't realize it was an additional $4 each, so I kept the $8 and chose to enjoy the canopy from the bridge on the second floor. Besides having the forest scene set up, they have some other fun things like: pretend to be a smokejumper, try your had at logging, get your picture rafting, and look at products made from wood.

It was neat to hear the sounds different animals make
Stuffed animals in underground burrows
One of our favorite things was trying to be a smokejumper and land on a target.

Teaching station on planting baby trees
Kids could sit in a real logging tractor or do a video game to cut down trees

The different density of woods
On the 1st floor they also had a beautiful outside waterfall
The second floor of the museum looked at forests around the world. It started on a pretend train ride through Russia and their forest, then it was a boat ride through a forest in China, next was a jeep safari ride in a forest in Africa, and lastly a crane elevator ride in the canopy of a forest in Brazil. I was really excited for this, but was a little disappointed. Although, you could sit in things that look like a train, boat, jeep they did nothing to simulate the ride. They had TV screens of the forest but I feel with the money to get in ($15-for me and a 5 year old) they could have simulated sound or made the seats bump or something! It was just a fancy seat to watch a movie, which "A" had no patience for. So after jumping around in each seat he was out of there.

Russian Train
China Boat Tour
African Jeep Safari
Canopy Crane in Brazil
After leaving the museum I couldn't resist taking a peak at the Max station there. Max is Portland's light rail and this is the one area it goes underground. In fact, it is the deepest transit station in N. America at 260 feet below. When they created the tunnel they kept some of the rocks as they dug and made a geological timeline. The timeline is now on exhibit it in the station. I am a huge rock nerd so I look at it whenever I am out that way.

You don't go 677 ft down it-stops at like 450. The map shows the geological timeline.

They added hieroglyphs to the marble

Here comes Max!

To end our day I surprised "A" with a picnic in the Rose Garden Playground, that is also part of Forest Park and a short drive away from the Forestry Center. If you get to visit Portland in the early summer the Rose Garden is a must see, but I have subjected "A" to enough rose gardens this summer so we just visited the park.
Drive through Forest Park

Hooray for cool children playgrounds

So you can see how close Downtown Portland, OR truly is!

1 comment:

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