FOREST GROVE — Oregonians of a certain age share the memory of school field trips to what is now the Tillamook State Forest to plant trees in the shivering cold. But what was then land devastated by a series of wildfires in the 1930s and ‘40s is now a thriving forest, thanks to more than 72 million Douglas fir seedlings planted by volunteers.
Celebrating the forest is the new Tillamook Forest Center opening this month in Forest Grove. Built around a 40-foot-tall replica of a fire lookout tower and a 250-foot-long pedestrian suspension bridge, the $10 million center, in the works since 1996, is designed to accommodate year-round visitors who make the trek 22 miles east of Tillamook or 50 miles west of Portland.
— Christina Williams