Whether in the comics or on TV, it’s always been a hoot to spend time with Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy and the rest of Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” gang.
The popular and familiar characters have brought their brand of outdoor education to Portland’s World Forestry Center through a new exhibit called “Peanuts...Naturally!”
Located in Portland’s West Hills adjacent to the Oregon Zoo, the World Forestry Center offers more than 100 exhibits that will open your eyes and perhaps capture your imagination.
You can go aboard a whitewater raft, climb into a tree lift that soars more than 50 high for a bird’s eye view into a tree canopy or you can buckle up in a four wheel drive vehicle to tour an African rain forest.
Rob Pierce said the newest exhibit - “Peanuts...Naturally” is a blend of inter-active displays, multi –media presentations and scores of original comic strips that chronicle Charles Schulz’s commitment to protect our air, water and soil as far back as the 1960’s.
“For people who are in love with the Peanuts characters – you can see some of the original works and learn about Charles Schulz’s passion for the great outdoors. His messages stressed how the environment works or ways we can help the environment stay healthy,” noted Pierce.
Schulz had a keen understanding and appreciation for environmental protection that’s reflected in his comic strips; whether recycling, preventing pollution or protecting wildlife – Schulz’s characters taught us the values of keeping the outdoors healthy in whimsical and humorous fashion.
“My kids just love coming here,” said visitor Alexandra Lee. “There are so many great exhibits – and they love learning about forestry and conservation. For a parent this is fun too – I can go back to my childhood with Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the gang and learn more about the environment.”
The WFC can be just the start of an outdoor education experience when you head down a hiking trail of adventure at the Magness Memorial Tree Farm.
Magness Tree Farm is an 80-acre parcel tucked into the hills just a handful of miles between Wilsonville and Sherwood, Oregon.
The site boasts more than two miles of trail; most of it is a fairly gentle grade and as you hike, you will often have Corral Creek by your side.
Pierce said that Howard and Pansy Magness donated the land to the WFC in 1977 and it is to be used for purposes of environmental education.
“Our flagship property is Magness Memorial,” noted Pierce. “We have school groups out there year round and we even have cabins that hold up to 45 people.
Pierce added that “Peanuts …Naturally” will be at the WFC until mid-May: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for school groups to work on math, science or social studies – you can do it all in this new exhibit!”