The World Forestry Center Story
The World Forestry Center was established in 1966 as a non-profit educational organization.
Located in Portland, Oregon, USA, the roots of the World Forestry Center date back to the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition in which a massive log structure was built to house the Forestry Building. This giant “log cabin” was constructed with whole diameter logs on the scale of the parthenon in Greece and served as a showcase of the timber industry until it was lost to a fire in 1964.
Soon after the fire, Portland’s Mayor gathered civic leaders to rebuild the Forestry Building as the Western Forestry Center, and the city identified a new location near the burgeoning Oregon Zoo, located in Washington Park. Donors contributed to construct the new Forestry Museum and a theater (now called Cheatham Hall) which opened in 1971. Miller Hall and the Magness Tree Farm were added a few years latter.
In 1989, in recognition that Forestry was a global business, the Center changed its name from Western Forestry Center to World Forestry Center. A new building, Merlo Hall, was added to house a new International Fellowship program.
The World Forestry Center operates three programs: the Forest Discovery Center museum; demonstration tree farms; and the World Forest Institute (WFI). The board and advisory board hail from 11 countries and represent some of the region’s leading forestry corporations, academic and research institutions, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).