A beloved Central Oregon icon, the High Desert Museum celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. We’re proud to have been a long-time supporter of the Museum and its work in the community to bring exploration, education and experience that create connection with the high desert.
In fact, Mike Hollern, Brooks Resources’ longtime leader and now Chairman of the Board, was approached by Museum founder Don Kerr way back in the 1970s with the idea for the project. Kerr needed connections, capital and land, and most people he approached turned him away. Brooks-Scanlon and Brooks Resources provided support for construction and donated the 135 acres which the natural history museum now calls home.
The Museum has several permanent exhibits and wildlife residents that guests can enjoy anytime, plus a great lineup of events each season that seek to cultivate understanding of the history and culture of the region. Sitting just south of Bend, it features more than 100,000 square feet of exhibit space that includes galleries, interpretative paths and an expansive forest. Some permanent exhibits include an authentic 1904 homestead and sawmill, otter and porcupine habitats, immersive Plateau Indian journey, a “desertarium” that includes turtles, frogs, salamanders and many species of fish, and much more.
New, temporary exhibits include:
- Through April 3: Carrying Messages: Native Runners, Ancestral Homelands and Awakening which highlights the historical significance of running in Native cultures in the Western United States and the ways that some Native people today are drawing on running as a means of empowerment, sovereignty and cultural revitalization.
- Through May 8: X-Ray Vision: Fish Inside Out – When many of us think of X-rays, we think of peering beneath the skin to detect an illness or injury. Imagine using the technology to see into vertebrates with the goal of learning evolutionary stories.
- Through September 25: Imagine a World which examines attempted ideal societies—from the glass domes of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 to the infamous Rajneeshpuram of “Wild, Wild Country.” Visitors can explore the history of these unique communities and what we may learn from them.
As if these weren’t enough reasons to visit the Museum soon, they are also holding several special events in the coming weeks, including their Winter Nights series of events held every Thursday evening through the end of February (tickets required). The Museum also hosts several special events throughout the year, and offers event space for everything from weddings and receptions to fundraising galas and other private events.
The High Desert Museum truly brings the Central Oregon region to life, and is a top place to visit in the area. Its exhibits, programs and animal guests provide a unique opportunity for discovery, inspiration and education – for all ages.