The new welcome center at Metro's Oxbow Regional Park comes with several major improvements. The center, which opened Jan. 17, offers an incredible visitor experience, introducing children to nature by curiosity and touch. Here's a list of five different features of the welcome center to look out for when heading out to Oxbow's welcome center.
1. Wildlife tracks
Stepping foot into the building, it’s hard to miss the footprints stamped into the concrete floor. Better yet, the prints lead to an image of the creature it belongs to, etched into the wall. These creatures include a mountain lion, beaver, squirrel and human.
2. Perspective map
Prior to entering the building, the meandering Sandy River leads you to a large map. It’s called the perspective map, which displays a satellite view of the park, showing the connection between Mount Hood and the Sandy River. Printed on fabric, the 6-foot-square map is illuminated with an adjustable brightness and gives visitors a better scale and view of the park as a whole. It also highlights the visitor center, boat launch and campgrounds within the park.
3. Engraved metal gate
Straight ahead from the entrance, look closely at the gray metal gate. The gate was customized to illustrate 27 plants, animals and insects on the 48” x 84” barrier. From an owl to raccoons and spiders, visitors can try to find and name them all.
4. Interactive park finder application
Find your perfect park with the park finder application. This application provides the opportunity to choose up to three of your favorite activities and suggests up to 30 parks to match your interests. Once the map pops up, clicking on the park provides more information on the site, such as the address and activities the park has to offer. The application is also available on the web at findyourpark.oregonmetro.gov/.
5. Wildlife cards
Along a section of the wall, a set of 18 wildlife cards are displayed. These cards change depending on the season, featuring plants and animals that can be found in the park. The face shows a photo of the plant or animal while the back lists the name of the species along with a snippet of such species in both the Spanish and English language.