Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center
Phone: (503) 892-2782 | Fax: (503) 227-2596
http://www.opalcreek.org | firstname.lastname@example.org
Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center annually introduces over 1,300 people to Opal Creek’s dynamic ancient forest ecology and the functioning of an intact headwaters watershed. Founded in 1989 (as Friends of Opal Creek) to seek permanent protection from logging, Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center now offers school programs, natural history workshops, and volunteer stewardship activities, as well as cabin rentals for community groups, businesses, and families.
The spectacular ancient forest features groves of 500-1,000 year-old trees, dozens of crystal clear streams and waterfalls, and provides habitat for a startling array of native species from owls to salamanders to salmon. The Opal Creek Wilderness and Scenic Recreation Area is the largest intact ancient forest ecosystem in western Oregon.
Our educational activities are based in the historic 1930s mining town of Jawbone Flats. Nestled where the two headwaters of the Little North Santiam River meet, our campus at Opal Creek provides a distinct ecological and cultural setting from which to consider the past, present, and future of sustainable relationships between people and the diversity of life in the ancient forest.
Field programs for schools, colleges, and community groups combine hands-on science with study of Opal Creek’s distinct human history, stemming from the region’s earliest Native American inhabitants through several eras of mining, to the successful conservation effort that gained permanent federal protection for Opal Creek in 1996.
Students of all ages come to Opal Creek to experience undisturbed forests that once covered most of Oregon but today are increasingly rare. Learning the area’s natural and cultural history consistently increases peoples’ appreciation of the natural world and sense of responsibility for its conservation.
Our volunteer stewardship programs maintain 40 miles of trail in the 35,000 acre protected Opal Creek Wilderness and Scenic Recreation Area. Volunteers and student groups also work to stem the spread of invasive species, replant native vegetation in degraded areas, protect the area’s exceptional water quality, and assist in the restoration and maintenance of historic facilities at Jawbone Flats.
Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center's sustainability program utilizes upgrades to the education center’s historic buildings and infrastructure to demonstrate renewable energy, sustainable building, and comprehensive waste reduction practices. Limiting impacts from our presence in Opal Creek’s pristine ecosystem inspires people to consider how they can apply sustainable practices in daily life.