Wallowology opens for fourth season
Wallowology, notable for the wooly mammoth who lives on the roof, opened its fourth season Memorial Day weekend with a new pollinator exhibit and a packed schedule of events for preschool-age kids to senior adults.
Judy Goodman works at the center. She said Wallowology will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays into September.
Discovery walks — two-hour interpretive hikes for all ages — leave from Wallowology at 10 a.m. and go through noon on Fridays.
Discovery walks from Wallowa Lake Lodge are from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sundays.
Just for 9 to 12 year olds, Science Saturdays will be from 10 a.m. to noon. at Wallowology most Saturdays.
“Science Saturday is a mix of art and science covering everything from pollination to fish to nature journaling,” Goodman said.
Goodman will be teaching most of the Science Saturday sessions, but she said there will be guest instructors as well, teaching about pollination, geology and the upcoming solar eclipse.
In conjunction with the Wallowa County Library, Wallowology hosts a Twigs and Tails hours Tuesdays at noon in the “big nest” — a giant pillow of a bird’s nest upstairs in the loft.
Once a month, Wallowolgy hosts an evening presentation. Goodman said the next one is a lecture about a study on moraine geology July 7 at Wallowa Lake Lodge.
Kicking off the summer season, McEwan gave a talk on raptors and led a field trip to look at raptor nests in the Wallowa Valley.
Pollination is the new exciting exhibit this year with an entire room dedicated to the display. Goodman said volunteers are rallying around the development of a pollinator garden in front of the center on Main Street.
Joan Gilbert is the center’s creative director. She said Wallowology will have a booth at this year’s Watershed Festival and the Wallowa County Fair June 30 and Aug. 5.
In another planned event, David Mildrexler will lead an outing into Joseph Canyon to look at forest landscapes and what activities the U.S. Forest Service has scheduled there.
With the upcoming eclipse, Gilbert said eclipse glasses arrive in July and are free for the asking.
A lot of work went into “feathering” the upstairs nest, a comfortable space for kids and adults. Gilbert said a grant from Soroptimist Club of Wallowa County helped transform the loft into a reading area with storage for rotating exhibits.
A grant from the Wildhorse Casino Foundation is funding the purchase of a stereo microscope, new furniture, pelts, animal prints and rubberized scat — all for the Discovery Room where kids get hands on time with exhibits.
Gilbert said the stereo microscope is an upgrade from the one that’s been in the Discovery Center until now.
“The focus is so limited with a regular microscope,” Gilbert said. “With a stereo microscope you can see things in 3-dimension.”
For instance, an insect can be placed in a petri dish and explored, close up, under the new microscope, Gilbert said.
And with a grant from the Storms Family Foundation, Wallowology and Building Healthy Families of Enterprise have teamed up this year to offer an outdoor program to get kids outside. Those enrolled will do what Gilbert called “citizen science.”
“They will keep track of wildflowers and what critters are in different locations,” Gilbert said.
Another grant from the Grays Family Foundation will fund a program in the fall for home-schooled kids, Gilbert said.
To learn more about Wallowology, visit www.wallowology.org or stop by the center at 508 North Main Street in Joseph.