Mother Nature delivered beautiful spring weather in honor of this year’s Arbor Day, Saturday, April 20, much to the delight of a group of folks enjoying the Coastal Interpretive Center’s tour of Ocean Shores’ miniature rainforest, the Weatherwax Nature Preserve.
The Preserve is located on Overlake St. NE, just past the east end of Ocean Lake Way. The Interpretive Center’s board president, Nancy Eldridge, and her husband, Neil, a member of the Center’s education committee, have three forestry degrees between them and shared bits of their encyclopedic knowledge of Pacific Northwest coastal flora as they led the easy hike.
Center volunteers have logged about 1,000 hours per year to maintain the area since the city of Ocean Shores, in 2016, completed what began 16 years earlier as a citizen volunteer effort to preserve the 121-acre parcel of wetlands and temperate coastal rainforest that includes numerous huge, old growth trees. The Interpretive Center currently is developing its first-ever long-range strategic plan, and will seek public input on the subject this summer.
Located at 1033 Catala Ave. SE, near the south end of the Ocean Shores peninsula, the Center is now open through summer from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week.