On Wednesday, The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will begin renovations on one of Oregon’s most popular interpretive centers, reducing its energy consumption by 73%! The National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center will undergo a major makeover that includes new insulation, roofing, windows, and heating and cooling systems. These changes will help conserve a substantial amount of energy.
“We want to be good stewards of our natural resources,” said Wayne Monger, BLM District Manager. “This design utilizes high thermal insulation value materials and high-efficiency heating and cooling technology to counter summer and winter energy demands of the site.”
Partial funding for the project comes from the Great American Outdoors Act. The Act allocates up to $1.9 billion each year for the maintenance and improvement of critical infrastructure in national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, recreation areas, and Tribal schools. The interpretive center closed in October 2021 to allow for the removal and storage of artifacts, exhibits, and furnishings.
During construction, the center will still host a range of educational opportunities! In May, a temporary Oregon Trail exhibit will open at the Baker Heritage Museum in Baker City. Park rangers will staff the exhibit and provide interpretive programs.
BLM will also host living history demonstrations in Geiser Pollman Park. Our Oregon Trail Ruts Access will remain open throughout construction.
The renovation ensures the interpretive center can carry on with the work it began when it first opened its doors 30 years ago. Since that day, nearly 2.4 million visitors have learned about the longest overland migration in North American history.
“We recognize the important role the center plays in telling the history of eastern Oregon and the settlement of the Pacific Northwest,” said Monger.
Want more information on the Oregon Trail or the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center? Visit: oregontrail.blm.gov or Call: 541-523-1843