Special Events

Fun Forest Programs!

Join us for family-friendly activities and enjoyable interpretive nature programs on your next visit to the Tillamook Forest Center.

Check out our online program schedule, or download our seasonal calendar.

Upcoming special events are listed below.



Tillamook Forest Center is Turning 10!

March - November 2016

You're invited to experience the Tillamook Forest Center in a new way in 2016 as we celebrate our ten year anniversary. Fun events, changing exhibits, special presenters and unique programs will rotate each month (March – November). Throughout the year forest-related topics such as wildflowers, watersheds, history, fungi and more will be highlighted! Summer and fall topics are listed below:

  • June | Fresh water & forests
  • July | Found in the forest
  • August | History - step back in time
  • September | First people
  • October | Fungi
  • November | Rain forest

From our beginning as a seedling, and through these past 10 years, your support has helped create strong roots. Join us in celebrating the past, present, and future of the center as we continue to grow with the forest.



In your wildest streams

June 1 – 29, 2016

All Day

In June, the rivers and streams of the Tillamook State Forest become popular sites as temperatures rise. Our June art exhibit, In Your Wildest Streams, will capture the beauty of these waterways and the wildlife that depend on them with the paintings and carvings of local artists Elaine Norberg and Gerald Sticka. Elaine currently resides in Tillamook where she was born and raised. Her paintings focus on the natural world as a way to breach the divide between viewers and a sense of separation from the landscape.

Gerald Sticka entered the art world after a 30 year career with the Oregonian Publishing Company. The backgrounds of his artwork often reflect the forests and river he remembered from his youth spent roaming the Tillamook State Forest with friends and family.



Art in the Forest

Begins June 12, 2016

All Day

Pacific University student, Emily Miller, will showcase her art exhibit along the River View Trail near the Tillamook Forest Center beginning on June 12th. Her goal as an artist is to frame the relationship between humans and nature in positive terms, encouraging an attitude of wonder and discovery that promotes a deeper connection and commitment to our local environments. The primary goal of the exhibit is to promote playfulness, curiosity and excitement about the forest environment, encouraging exploration and repeat visits. The installation is above the trail which encourages viewers to look up, and to linger. The forest canopy is an area more frequently overlooked by most visitors than the understory and ground cover. Weaving colored string between the trees represents the human impact on, and interconnection with, our natural environment.



Netted stones: create a unique necklace, lamp pull, or ornament

June 26, 2016 (Sunday)

1:30 pm

$15 | Registration Required

Create a net around a favorite stone and turn it into a piece of art to display or wear. You can bring a favorite stone from home or choose one when you arrive. Cord and tools provided. Registration is required, and the deadline is Friday, June 22nd. Please call 503-815-6803,or stop by the Center to reserve your place. Space is limited.



Found in the forest

July 1 – 30, 2016

All Day

A lifelong nature lover, Ann Girarde has always been fascinated by trees, leaves, flowers, seed pods, and the myriad of natural treasures to be found outdoors. She assembles items these “gifts from the trees” that she collects around her studio in the Puget Sound ofWashington State into intricate wreaths, experimenting as she goes. Though every wreath is unique, each falls into one of three general designs: Douglas-fir cone wreaths, horse-chestnut husk wreaths, and nature study wreaths.



Growing Together | A step back in time exhibit

August 1 – 30, 2016

All Day

In August, the Center will join the Tillamook Coast History Alliance’s Step Back in Time event with a month-long exhibit highlighting influential relationship between the forest and the people of the Tillamook region, including rarely-seen photographs, wooden cheese boxes, and a 1930 Ford AA flatbed firetruck. Enjoy looking at early photographs and equipment loaned to the Forest Center by the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum. This exhibit is part of the Tillamook Coast History Alliance's "A Step Back in Time."


Cheryl Hill | Stories from Oregon’s lookout history

Saturday, August 20, 2016 (Saturday)

11:30 am

Local author Cheryl Hill will talk about the history and background of Oregon’s fire lookouts, point out some of the interesting stories she discovered during her book research, and discuss the current state of lookouts in Oregon. She will also highlight recreational opportunities including her favorite hikes to lookout sites and tips on renting a fire lookout.


Inaugural Root Ball: an illuminated evening on the Wilson River Bridge

September 17, 2016 (Saturday)

Time TBA

With you, we can deepen our roots and strengthen support into the future. Enjoy a magical evening as we dine on the suspension bridge with stunning views of the Wilson River. More than just a benefit dinner, the Root Ball is guaranteed to be a unique experience! More details to come.




Forest Flora | Dorota Haber-Lehigh & Friends Art Exhibit

March 2 - 30, 2016

All Day

Dorota Haber-Lehigh is an educator, artist and a forager. Born in Poland, Dorota loves traveling, sketching and discovering nature. She is inspired by her grandparents who were avid mushroom hunters and gardeners, her father's travels and her mother's fabric art. Her favorite media is pen and ink, color pencils, soft pastels and recently watercolors. Her passion is rendering landscapes and botanical drawings that emphasize sculptural qualities of nature. Dorota has self-published two coloring books titled: ABC of Native Plants of the Coastal Pacific Northwest and Native Berries of the Pacific Northwest. She is currently working on another book about native wildflowers. She lives in Seaside, Oregon with husband, miniature schnauzer and other wild creatures of the forest. For more information please visit www.dorotahaberlehigh.com

A collection of Dorota Haber-Lehigh’s forest-related wildflower and plant illustrations, as well as select pieces from artists Laleña Dolby, Peggy Biskar, Nancy Bond, and Jan Wieting, will be on display in the Tillamook Forest Center exhibit hall during the month of March. Dorota will also be offering two workshops listed below.

Native Plant Society of Oregon

Guided Wildflower Hike

March 19, 2016 (Saturday)

10:30 am

FREE | Registration Required

Spring has arrived and special Tillamook Forest Center guests are eager to share some beautiful forest wildflowers with you. Join members from the Seaside chapter of the Native Plant Society of Oregon for an easy guided walk searching for blooming flora. Trilliums, wood violets, candy flowers and more may offer splashes of color along the trail.

Registration is required and the deadline is Wednesday, March 18th. Please call 503-815-6803, stop by the Center or email the names of registrants to reserve your place. Space is limited.


Coloring Wildflowers | ABC Adult Coloring

March 26, 2016 (Saturday)

10:30 am - 12:30 pm

$40 | Registration Required

Learn how to mix colors, blend and layer with color pencils to create amazing 3 dimensional effects. Color images of native plants from ABC of Native Plants book. Participants will receive an original ABC of Native Plants of the Coastal Pacific Northwest book illustrated and designed by Dorota Haber-Lehigh. Learn about a few native flowers, such as yarrow, paintbrush, angelica, violet and their medicinal applications by Native People. All levels welcome, coloring within the lines optional. Coloring books are therapeutic, stress reducing and plain fun! This workshop is for ages 12 – adult, space is limited and includes all materials.

Registration is required, and the deadline is Wednesday, March 23rd. Please call 503--815-6803,or stop by the Center to reserve your place. Space is limited.


Sketching Flowers from Observation

March 26, 2016 (Saturday)

1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

$25 | Registration Required

Explore sketching native flowers of the Pacific Northwest region. Develop basic drawing and observational skills through fun and engaging exercises. Learn how to incorporate line, value, shape, texture and detail while creating drawings of wildflowers. Artist Dorota Haber-Lehigh will go over how to use basic geometry while drawing 3, 4, 5, and 6 petaled flowers as well as how to go about drawing flowers that have bilateral symmetry such as skunk cabbage. After taking this class, you will be well prepared for sketching wildflowers through spring and summer. This workshop is for ages 12 – adult, space is limited and includes all materials.

Registration is required, and the deadline is Wednesday, March 23rd. Please call 503--815-6803,or stop by the Center to reserve your place. Space is limited.


Arbor Week Celebration ~ Plant a tree with us!

April 9, 2016 (Saturday)

Help us celebrate and kick off Arbor Week with a variety of fun, family activities that highlight the magic of trees and our forests. There will be crafts, games and tree planting.

Tree Walks @ 10: 30 am & 12:30 pm

Trees inspire and protect us. They touch our lives every day! Join an interpretive naturalist to explore the Tillamook State Forest’s sea of green. We will meet Oregon’s state tree, trees with helicopter seeds, the Tree of Life and more!

Tree planting at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm

Staff will guide participants to a tree planting site and provide native tree seedlings to be planted in the Tillamook State Forest. Participants will receive a tree planting certificate. This event is rain or shine so please consider:

  • Spending one hour tree planting
  • Wearing sturdy shoes - we will be planting on uneven ground
  • Dressing in layers. Temperatures are usually 10 degrees cooler in the forest than in the valley

    Family activities and special exhibits will also be available throughout the weekend. You will be able to:

  • Create tree art and crafts
  • Try your hand at a tree scavenger hunt to win a prize
  • Plant a tree seed to take home!

    Step into the shoes of citizens who helped plant the Tillamook Burn and created the Tillamook State Forest! You are guaranteed to have a tree-mendous time!

    Registration is required for groups of 10 or more and the deadline is Wednesday, April 6th. Please call 503-815-6803, stop by the Center or send an email with the number in your group and which time you would like to attend. Activities are available for all ages and abilities. If you have a special need, please check in at the front desk.


    Seeking Silence | Russell J Young Photography & Poetry Exhibit

    April 1 - 30

    All Day

    April is a time to celebrate trees and poetry! This month hosts Arbor Week celebrations in conjunction with National Poetry Month. In collaboration with accomplished poets such as Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita, Paulann Peterson, photographer Russell J Young will showcase his inspiring tree images alongside beautiful framed poetry broadsides. Also, on April 10th Russell will offer a free presentation on Seeking Silence followed by a limited hands-on photography workshop. Details are listed below. Russell is a photographer, fine art printer, visual & oral storyteller, director, scenic designer, and lighting designer. Motivated by his love of nature and visual arts, he has traveled and photographed in over thirty countries, developing his passion for visual works, and drawing influence from the elements of various art forms in the process. Russell’s photographs have been exhibited across the United States and Europe and continue to be published worldwide. Please visit www.russelljyoung.com and www.inthemistbook.com for more information.

    Bonsai Tree Demonstration

    April 16 & 17 (Saturday & Sunday)

    11:30 am – 1:30 pm

    Bonsai is the gentle art of growing tiny trees in pots. This takes care and planning similar to that of the foresters who manage the Tillamook State Forest. The Migoto Yamadori Bonsai Club of Tillamook will be demonstrating pruning, potting and other techniques on April 16 &17 at Tillamook Forest Center. Trees will be on display for viewing April 16 - 22. The club meets on the third Wednesday of each month at the Carl Rawe room at the PUD building from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. New members are always welcome.

    Coastal Woodcarver Demonstration

    April 23 & 24 (Saturday & Sunday)

    10 am – 2 pm

    Stop by and see Coastal Carvers’, President Rod Van Loh, demonstrate woodcarving this weekend! Rod grew up on the prairies of South Dakota. He currently resides in the Coast Range mountains of Oregon. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Technical Theatre from the University of Iowa. Most of his carvings are sculpted in found wood. Rod is a seer who roams the beaches of Oregon in search of visions; his carvings are the result of those vision quests!

    Forest Homes Exhibit | Quilts, Bird Resorts and Feeders

    May 4 - 31

    All Day

    Every May we celebrate Mother’s Day to recognize their love, caring and support. This month the Tillamook Forest Center celebrates nurturing mothers who create forest homes. Whether it is a squirrel delicately moving her young to a safe haven, or pioneers making warm quilts to compliment a cozy cabin in the woods, all creatures rely on their moms. Make sure you stop by to enjoy quilts from the Latimer Textile Center, admire Dennis Frame’s elaborate bird houses (they are really more like resorts) and feeders, watch American dippers feed their baby’s from the bridge and help us release small steelhead. It’s worth the stop!

    As seen on Grant’s Getaways, “Hillsboro resident Dennis Frame loves the sights and sounds of the wild – so he builds feeders and houses for native songbirds. Dennis’ structures aren’t really homes but his elaborate wooden abodes are more akin to – well, bird resorts. Dennis is a builder of human homes by trade, but in his cozy and well organized carpentry shop, he said his greatest pleasure comes from crafting the elaborate bird resorts. Dennis has been “chipping away” at his hobby for fifteen years and said it’s the tiny details that impress most people. The resorts sport stone and mortar chimneys, decks with handrails, and small pieces of character that set them apart from ordinary store-bought models – including a wooden front door.“ Don’t miss this rare opportunity to view these special bird houses and feeders.

    Latimer Textile Center | Quilt Bed Turning

    May 1 (Sunday)

    11:30 am & 1:30 pm

    A classic craft most pioneer mothers practiced was quilting. Latimer Textile Center will be presenting a “Bed Turning” at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm on Sunday, May 1, 2016 which entails “turning down” a stack of quilts and describing the attributes of each quilt. These quilts will continue to be on display throughout May at the Tillamook Forest Center.

    International Migratory Bird Day Celebration

    May 14 & 15 (Saturday & Sunday)

    All Day

    From melodic Swainson's thrushes to acrobatic violet-green swallows, the Tillamook State Forest is the summer home to a variety of migratory birds. Join us as we accompany the international birding community in a weekend celebration of our far-flying, feathered friends. Attend a naturalist-guided bird walk, explore on your own with a bird day scavenger hunt, and kids will love story time with a craft. Activities will run throughout the day. A special screening of the hour-long documentary Birdsong and Coffee, which explores the natural organic connection between coffee farmers, coffee drinkers and birds, with be shown each day in the Legacy of Fire Theater at 2pm. Complimentary bird friendly-certified coffee will also be provided. For more information about the documentary, please visit www.olddogdocumentaries.org

    Winter Steelhead Release

    Mid - May (Saturday & Sunday) Estimated Dates

    11:30 am & 1:30 pm

    Submerge yourself in the world of salmon! In the Tillamook State Forest, salmon live in the cool, clear rivers that run through the Coast Range. Join us to explore life cycles, habitat requirements, and the underwater oasis of these dynamic fish. After a short presentation, we will walk to Jones Creek and release wild, tiny fry that were raised in our visitor center fish tank. Watch our Facebook page for updates on their development. **Please Note** This is an estimated date. The release depends on when the fish are ready.