Broom Bust with OMSI in Newport

Posted by The Oregon Coast / September 12, 2014

Newport, Ore. (September 11, 2014) – Beginning in the spring of 2016, the Coastal Discovery Center at Camp Gray, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry’s (OMSI) residential science camp and living laboratory to be built in Newport, will be overrun with enthusiastic campers. At the moment, however, the site is overrun with invasive Scotch broom instead. Are you interested in touring the site and simultaneously lending OMSI a hand in beating back the broom? Then join OMSI staff for a site tour and work party at the site of the future marine science camp on Saturday, October 11, 2014 between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm. OMSI is partnering with coastal representatives of SOLVE to remove the broom to get the site ready for construction.

Scotch broom’s sunny yellow flowers are lovely to look at, but this invasive plant does far more harm than good in Pacific Northwest ecosystems. It was introduced along most of the Oregon coast in the 1930s to control erosion and stabilize shifting sands. But once it became established, it outcompeted native plants, even modifying the soil chemistry where it grows such that native plants can’t grow there. Scotch broom monocultures provide poor habitat for native bird and wildlife species, and cause allergies in some people.

OMSI staff can’t wait to get their hands dirty at the site, particularly in partnership with their new neighbors and friends at the coast. “OMSI is excited to join the rich marine and ocean science community in Newport. We are in the process of creating collaborations and partnerships that will be in place for years to come,” said Jamie Hurd, OMSI VP of Programs.

OMSI’s vision for the Coastal Discovery Center at Camp Gray is to create a 20-acre science camp and living laboratory serving 100,000 children and families over the next 20 years. Programming will include year-round residential camps for children and families taught by professional educators in the rich learning environment of Oregon’s Central Coast. The camp will inspire students to become good stewards of the environment and prepare future leaders to succeed.

Participants attending the work party should wear sturdy work shoes, sunscreen and skin-covering clothing. Some tools and gloves will be provided, but please bring loppers, small saws and gloves if you have them. Water and snacks will be provided, and informal tours of the site will be offered. To find the site, follow Hwy 101 south over the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Follow signs to the site from SW Anchor Way and Highway 101, behind Toby Murray Motors. To participate, please register through the SOLVE web site at www.solv.org<http://www.solv.org> and search under Upcoming Events.

About OMSI
Founded in 1944, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is one of the nation’s leading science museums, a world-class tourist attraction, and an award-winning educational resource for the kid in each of us. OMSI is located at 1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland, OR 97214. For general information, call 503.797.4000 or visit omsi.edu<http://www.omsi.edu>.

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