OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — New interpretive exhibits will be unveiled at the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center at 1 p.m. Friday.
The hands-on exhibits offer multiple layers of discovery that interpret stories of the seen and unseen worlds of the Hoh Rain Forest, from the river and forest communities to the elusive canopy and soil ecosystems, said Penny Wagner, Olympic National Park spokeswoman.
Artist Larry Eifert of Port Townsend and photographers John Gussman of Sequim and Pat O’Hara of Port Angeles contributed to the exhibits.
“Area artists and photographers wonderfully enhanced this project,” said Janet Scharf, Olympic National Park visual information specialist.
“Incorporating the work of local talent is an ongoing goal for the park’s exhibit projects.”
One of the challenges of this project was sharing the many intriguing stories in a relatively small exhibit space, Wagner said in a news release.
“The solution was to create an exploratory experience for diverse audiences of all ages and abilities. Visitors will find an engaging array of hands-on models such as a river otter, banana slug and Townsend’s mole; an immersive nook with expansive hand-painted murals; and an interactive rotational feature depicting the rain forest succession from fallen trees to nurse logs to colonnades.”
The Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center’s last renovation was a major undertaking that was finished in June 2015.
The visitor center received its first new exhibits in six decades, since it was opened in 1963.
That renovation cost $1.14 million. It closed the center from September 2014 until the end of June in 2015.
The newest additions were a separate project, developed over years with consultation with tribes and other stakeholders, Wagner said.
The cost of design, fabrication and installation of the new exhibits was $411,700.
The Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center is open now from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. It will be open daily beginning May 25.
Usual park entrance fees apply.