Have you visited the Rediscovery Forest lately? In the past ten years, over 50,000 K-12 students have walked through and explored this demonstration forest that is part of the Oregon Garden located in Silverton. The Rediscovery Forest is in partnership with the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) and since its creation over ten years ago has been largely supported by the forest sector. OFRI provides on-site management and education programs to K-12 students, teachers, family forest landowners and the public. The K-12 programs fill quickly each year and offer an opportunity for students to engage with forests, see science in action, and get their hands dirty.
The Rediscovery Forest started as a dominant Douglas- fir forest that is now maturing into a 40-year old forest, along with a diversity of young species, including ponderosa pine. Last year, a commercial thinning operation took place throughout the Douglas-fir forest to improve the forest health and vitality. This active harvest operation completed primarily by a harvester and forwarder technique was viewed by hundreds of visitors and students. A video was also created to follow the transformation of the forest during harvest and has been viewed by almost a 1,000 people online.
Photo by Bob McNitt
Dec 2011 volunteers do demonstration pruning
The ponderosa pine demonstration area where WVPPCA is an integral partner includes three different planting strategies over an acre. The first area is ponderosa pines planted into a wide spacing with Oregon white oak. This was to mimic a native Willamette Valley Oregon White Oak and ponderosa pine forest that was present several hundred years ago in the valley. The next area is the Willamette Valley ponderosa pine plantation. This showcases the efforts and similarities to plantings by many of the WVPPCA members. The final area is a demonstration of a mixed conifer eastside forest which includes ponderosa pine, larch, Douglas-fir, incense-cedar and grand fir. This allows visitors to the forest to compare the differences and similarities of different forest in Oregon. A group of AmeriCorps volunteers built a trail that accesses the heart of these areas and allows visitors to see and touch the amazing growth of the pines up close.
So, have you been to visit the Rediscovery Forest lately? The next time you have an afternoon come explore what the forest and the Oregon Garden has become. You can even stay the night in a room at the Oregon Garden Resort and “cruise” the forest from your balcony.
Last Updated 02/11/12