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World Forestry Center Receives $500,000 Grant for Museum Reinvention

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Jennifer Kent
World Forestry Center
Phone: 503.228.1367

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The World Forestry Center is pleased to announce that it has received a $500,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will go toward a $7 million capital campaign to completely reinvent the Washington Park Museum.
The World Forestry Center's renovation project will be rolled out in three phases and is designed to make the museum a more family friendly educational facility. 
The three phases are:
  • Installation of a 100-year-old antique wooden carousel to be housed on the World Forestry Center campus. The carousel is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was installed in the Willamette Center in Portland from 1982-1992.
  • A complete rebuilding of the museum's exhibits focusing on creating an interactive, hands-on experience about the different forests of the world and their relationship to civilization. The organization's vision is to create a center for learning about forests and the environment that is embraced by the community as one of its cherished public institutions.
  • The development and installation of a canopy walk that will take visitors more than 60 feet up into the tree canopy for an unparalleled perspective on the forest behind the museum. Hands-on exhibits at each of six platforms will teach visitors about the diversity of life in the forest's highest reaches.
While the antique carousel will open this fall, the complete renovation is scheduled to be completed by early 2005.

"We are thrilled with this decision," said Glen Gilbert, president of the museum.  "The support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is like a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. We look forward to the grand opening of the new Forest Museum." 

The World Forestry Center's mission is to educate and inform people about the world's forests and trees, and their relationship to all life, in order to promote a balanced and sustainable future. The center is located 10 minutes from downtown Portland directly across from the Oregon Zoo. Take Hwy 26 to the Zoo-Forestry Ctr. exit. You can also take the MAX Light Rail train or Tri-Met bus #63 directly to our doorstep. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Memorial Day to Labor Day) seven days a week. Admission is $5.00 adults, $4.00 seniors  (62+ years) and $3.50 for children (6-18). Children five years and younger and World Forestry Center members are free.  Group rates are available.

For information call (503) 228-1367.
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