OMSI Builds on 60 Years of Outdoor Education with New Camp in Newport, OR
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) celebrated the grand opening of its new marine science camp, the Coastal Discovery Center at Camp Gray, on March 12, 2016. Situated along South Beach in Newport, Oregon, the camp is slated to serve 5,000 school groups, children and families annually.
A new installment in OMSI’s 60-year history of outdoor education, the facility will provide a year-round immersive camp experience, as well as dedicated summer programming, for the hands-on study of the Oregon Coast ecosystem. The camp features a central lodge, 156 student beds plus staff housing, classrooms, dedicated outdoor learning spaces, a communal fire pit, and restorative landscaping that includes dunes, trees, and native plants.
Designed for Oregon’s next generation of explorers, researchers, and designers, this 20-acre facility will help get kids outside and instill a sense of environmental stewardship while building 21st Century skills crucial to future success.
“The average student only spends about seven minutes outside every day—we want to change that,” said OMSI Director of Outdoor Education Steve Tritz. “We know that students are more likely to succeed if they’ve had real-world, outdoor learning experiences, and our new camp will help provide these kinds of opportunities for children and their families.”
OMSI has been committed to being a good neighbor in the community through the use of local contractors during the camp’s construction, as well as by raising scholarship funds dedicated to making the camp accessible to families throughout Lincoln County. Furthermore, OMSI has worked closely with Newport city leaders, Lincoln County officials, education and research institutes, local business groups, the Lincoln County School District and other area organizations to develop ongoing partnerships and programming opportunities.
“The Central Oregon Coast presents an unparalleled environment for marine science exploration,” said OMSI President and CEO Nancy Stueber. “We are thrilled to join the community’s network of leading research organizations, scientists, artists, and local industry leaders to provide diverse and hands-on informal science learning opportunities to children and families from across the Pacific Northwest.”
John Gray, the visionary for whom the camp will be named, and land owners Investors XII, made a combined contribution of $2.3 million allowing OMSI to purchase the 20-acre property in Newport on which the center will be built. This project was made possible through the generous support of many donors, including leadership gifts from the Fred Fields Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, the Wollenberg Foundation, the Collins Foundation, the Coit family, the Murdock Trust, the Fairweather Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, the City of Newport, Lincoln County and many others detailed here.
Members of the media and public are invited to attend the grand opening celebration on March 12 from 1-4pm, with a special ribbon cutting ceremony set to take place at 2pm. Onsite parking is limited, so guests should gather at Rogue Brewery (2320 Marine Science Drive, Newport, OR 97365), where shuttles will be provided to and from the camp. Walking instructions will also be provided for those who prefer to walk the short distance.
Registration for summer camp programs at the new facility is now open and available at omsi.edu/camps-and-classes.
Founded in 1944, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is one of the nation’s leading science museums, a world-class tourist attraction, and an award-winning educational resource for the kid in each of us. OMSI operates the largest museum-based outdoor science education program in the country and provides traveling and community outreach programs that bring science learning opportunities to schools and community organizations in nearly every county in Oregon. OMSI is located at 1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland, OR 97214. For general information, call 503.797.4000 or visit omsi.edu.