What’s Inside Our Museum

Forests of the Northwest museum exhibit with trees and black bear

Located in Portland’s beautiful Washington Park, our 20,000 square foot Discovery Museum is sure to delight visitors from three to 103. 

Guests will be educated and entertained as they learn about environmental sustainability and the importance of forests and trees in our lives.


FIRST FLOOR

Pacific Northwest Exhibits

Come explore the exciting forests of the Pacific Northwest and learn about role they play in providing habitat, water, recreation, wood, and a multitude of other benefits to our planet and society.

Cross Laminated Timber museum exhibits

SPECIAL EXHIBITION

The Future of Tall:
Mass Timber Innovation

With its innovative spirit and sustainable forest resources, Oregon has become the epicenter of the most significant disruption of building technology since steel and concrete altered urban skylines.

The Future of Tall explores the present and future of mass timber and how it is rapidly gaining attention among architects, engineers, developers, and contractors.

Black bear taxidermy

Animals in the Forest

It’s estimated that 80% of the world’s animals call the forest their home. Our indoor Pacific Northwest forest is home to a variety of animals. See how many you can spot!

Timberjack Harvester in Museum gripping a tree trunk.

Timberjack Harvester

Sustainable forestry requires careful harvesting and some advanced technology. Climb aboard a Timberjack Harvester just like a professional forester. Then try your hand at operating one in our custom simulator.


SECOND FLOOR

People & Forests

Forests around the world face multiple challenges. On the Discovery Museum’s second floor, we highlight People & Forests and how they interact around the world. You can “travel” around the globe, meeting people who work to keep the forests in their countries sustainable.

Three people on a jeep with an elephant projected onto a screen in front of them

Take a Journey

Embark on a whirlwind virtual tour of four forest types: boreal, temperate, sub-tropical, and tropical.

Siberia: Journey through the cold via the Trans-Siberian railway and encounter people who depend on the boreal forest for their livelihood.

China: Next it’s time to take a boat ride on Songhua Lake in Changbai Mountain to learn about population pressures on China’s temperate forests.

South Africa: Then a jeep ride through Kruger National Park is the perfect way to view wildlife in a sub-tropical forest!

The Amazon: Finally, step inside a canopy crane for a simulated ride up into the treetops of Brazil’s Amazon tropical rain forest.

Young boy interacting with world map exhibit wall

Our World’s Forests

A huge world map highlights forest types and how different regions use their local forests. Artifacts and hands-on displays provide context on wildlife, forest values, and meeting human needs.

Some of the 150 wooden plates on a wall, showcasing the Langdon Plate Collection.

SPECIAL EXHIBITION

Langdon Plate Collection

The incomparable beauty of wood is on display in this special exhibit. We’re showcasing 150 wooden plates, just a fraction of the hundreds created by James Porter Langdon, a woodcarver and retired forester.

Mr. Langdon was born in Portland in 1906 and worked for the U.S. Forest Service for 30 years. He had a long history in natural resource management, working at the Columbia National Forest in Vancouver, the Mount Hood National Forest in Zigzag, and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Mr. Langdon gifted his prized collection to World Forestry Center only a few months before his passing in 1990.

Several pieces of logging equipment, showcasing years of development.

SPECIAL EXHIBITION

Logging Equipment Through the Years

World Forestry Center is pleased to present Logging Equipment Through the Years. Learn about the tools of the forestry trade dating back to the late 1800s.

This exhibit was made possible through the support of these generous sponsors: Fred and Barbara Heller, The Friends of Paul Bunyan Foundation – an Associated Oregon Loggers entity, Garry Betts, Dick Renoud, ESCO Corporation, and Johnny Mifflin.

Empty Leadership Hall at World Forestry Center

Leadership Hall

Our Forestry Leadership Hall commemorates those who have contributed to the social, economic, and environmental benefits of forests. More than 200 leaders have been in inducted since 1971.

Wooden sign to the Forestry Building

Old Forestry Building

The origins of World Forestry Center date back to the Old Forestry Building from the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition. Photos and clippings about the “World Largest Log Cabin” tell the story of the building’s beginnings and its destruction in 1964.


Campus Highlights

Peggy the Train framed by trees

Peggy the Train

“Peggy” is a beautiful 42-ton Lima Shay-geared locomotive who has hauled an estimated billion feet of logs in her lifetime. Visitors are encouraged to climb aboard and explore!

Petrified stump

Petrified Stump

Visitors to World Forestry Center are invited to examine the five million year-old, 10,000 pound petrified stump on display outside the Discovery Museum.