Outdoorsy celebration at UO museum to kick off summer


The Museum of Natural and Cultural History will ring in summertime with Ready, Set, Get Outside, a solstice celebration where participants can enjoy live music and local beers while exploring booths geared toward outdoor summer adventures.

The event will be held from 4 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 20, at the museum on the UO campus. Admission is free with a nonperishable food donation to FOOD for Lane County.

Event partners Wild Birds Unlimited and Whole Earth Nature School will offer a variety of resources for enjoying the great outdoors this summer. Friends of Trees will provide information about volunteering in local tree planting and green-space improvement efforts.

Oregon book authors Ruby McConnell, author of "A Woman’s Guide to the Wild;" Abby Phillips Metzger, who wrote "Meander Scars: Reflections on Healing the Willamette River;" and Kathleen Dean Moore, whose book "Wild Comfort," explores the healing power of nature in times of transition and loss, will attend the celebration.

“The event celebrates the many opportunities we have locally for connecting to and enjoying the natural world, whether that’s in the woods, in the park or in our own backyards,” said Robyn Anderson, education coordinator at the museum and the event organizer. 

At 5:30 p.m., participants can join a one-hour nature walk led by representatives from the Walama Restoration Project, Nearby Nature and Whilamut Citizen Planning Committee. The walk will go from the museum through the Whilamut Natural Area and highlight the Kalapuya Talking Stones, a public art installation honoring the environmental ethics of Western Oregon’s first people and their descendants.

In the museum courtyard, the 10-member band Jenaguru will perform high-energy marimba music, and audience members will have the chance to try their hands at playing traditional Zimbabwean instruments.

Claim 52 Brewing, Coconut Bliss and the Red Five Hotdog Co. will round out the offerings with locally made beers and food. KIND Bars also will be on site with giveaways of the company's trail-friendly snacks.

During the celebration, visitors of all ages can make crafts, explore the museum’s exhibits and learn about the upcoming Great American Eclipse. New family museum memberships will be available for half-price throughout the event.

—By Kristin Strommer, Museum of Natural and Cultural History