The 40th Annual Silver Falls State Park Birding and Wildflower Festival is set for Mother’s Day Weekend, May 12-13, 2018. Join local experts for guided wildflower and birding walks, live raptor presentations, nature sketching classes, and Mother’s Day crafts. Visit the South Falls Lodge to see an extensive native plant display and shop for native plants at our native plant sale at the South Falls Nature Store.
Champoeg State Heritage Area will host living history actors, a replica historic townsite and other family friendly activities for the annual Founders’ Day celebration Saturday, May 5. This year marks the 175th anniversary of the 1843 vote held in Champoeg that established the first provisional government west of the Mississippi River. The free event runs 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
“That vote began Oregon’s journey to statehood,” said Dan Klug, interpretive ranger at Champoeg State Heritage Area. “Founder’s Day celebrates that achievement and is great way for the family to learn more about the history of our state.”
Join us for a reenacted fur trappers’ camp, replica historic townsite with building facades, tradesmen demonstrating 19th-century techniques and a post office with souvenir post cards. A 1 p.m. ceremony to honor the original May 1843 voters will feature distinguished speakers, a mock vote and a rifle salute. The afternoon concludes with a live stagecoach run delivering the souvenir post cards to the St. Paul post office.
Founders’ Day celebrates a vote held in Champoeg by local settlers on May 2, 1843. A large group gathered that day to decide the future of the Oregon territory. After a spirited debate, a slim majority voted “aye” to form Oregon’s first provisional government, laying the groundwork for Oregon’s statehood in 1859. Founders’ Day has been held annually at Champoeg since 1901.
Event parking is free. Light refreshments will be available after the 1 p.m. ceremony. For more information, call 503-678-1251.
Gray whales are migrating north past the Oregon coast and we invite you to share the excitement during Spring Whale Watch Week March 24-31. Trained volunteers from the Whale Watching Spoken Here program will be stationed 10 a.m. — 1 p.m. each day at 24 sites along the coast, ready to help people spot the migrating marine mammals.
The Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay will be open 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. daily. Visitors to the center can enjoy interactive whale exhibits and take in the panoramic ocean views. Binoculars are provided. OPRD rangers will also be on hand to answer questions about the whales. A live stream of whale activity off of Depoe Bay returns this spring too; watch it on the Oregon State Parks YouTube channel. (https://www.youtube.com/user/OregonParks/)
Visit oregonstateparks.org for information about coast parks and campgrounds.