Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis)

The Sitka spruce is a remarkable tree found on Oregon’s coastline. Named for the Sitka Sound in Alaska, this tree typically grows in a narrow strip of the coast from southern Alaska to northern California. It is able to grow in this environment because its needles and bark are resistant to salt spray.

Sitka spruce wood has many unique qualities that allow it to be used in a variety of different ways. Because the wood is very strong for its weight it is frequently used in aircraft frames, racing shells and ladders. The wood is also an excellent conductor of sound and is used in pianos, organs, guitars and violins.

Next time you listen to music or take a flight think about the Spruce tree and take the opportunity to walk among these wonderful trees next time you visit Coastal Oregon.

The Giant Spruce of Cape Perpetua was recently designated an Oregon Heritage Tree. According to Oregon Coast Magazine, this tree is easily accessed by hiking 1 mile along the Spruce Trail from the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, which is just off Highway 101, 3 miles south of Yachats.

Port Orford on Oregon's South Coast
Port Orford on Oregon’s South Coast

Why do you want to travel? People travel for interesting and often new and sights, activities and experiences. it might be a new city, a rural setting or a wild lands experience. When we travel we encounter people that live and often speak differently. When we don’t know the language the local people are speaking we look to those people who can understand multiple languages to help us understand and relate to the people and place we are visiting. These people act as our language interpreters.

When when the language is the same as ours there are still many benefits of an personal interpreter who helps us navigate, learn, understand and enjoy new places and experiences. Informally this may be a relative or friend you are visiting who shows you around and shares their local knowledge of place and culture.

Many times though we want a professional to work with us to enhance how we enjoy a new experience or place. Whitewater rafting and other adventure activities, hunting, fishing, visits to parks and historical sites etc. are often when we hire and benefit from professional guides. Interpretive guiding is the process of helping the visitors relate to and understand the topic, place or experience. This is an important element of a professional guides skill set.

The National Association for Interpretation (NAI) is an organization that provides training and certification in interpretation and in March 2017 I gave a presentation at the International Conference for Interpretation in San Jose del Cabos, Mexico discussing professional guide practices. The conference provided a chance to meet and talk with other professionals to learn and be inspired. They define interpretation as follows; Interpretation: “A mission-based communication process that forges emotional and intellectual connections between the interests of the audience and meanings inherent in the resource.”

I personally look for and hire professional guides to enhance my travel experience and suggest you may enjoy doing the same on your travels to the Oregon Coast. For our coastal guides the OSU Extension program provides training opportunities upon request.

For more information on NAI see http://www.interpnet.com/

For more information on Coastal Oregon Guides see https://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/Pages/Guides-Charters.aspx

 

 

Bandon, Oregon

The final installment of the Southern Oregon Coast Rural Tourism Studio will take place April 18th and 19th in North Bend. Over the past four months Travel Oregon has put on a series of workshops focused on local economic development through tourism. OSU Sea Grant Extension has been participating in this program and will be available to offer communities and businesses assistance as they go through the program and in the future.

Tourism Marketing & Communications Workshop

Join us for an active, inspiring day of marketing training and planning for your individual business or destination, and for the region as a whole. We’ll discuss Visitor Lifecycle Management (VLM) and explore opportunities and resources associated with each step of the cycle. In addition, we’ll define the potential you have to interact and engage with the visitor as a business owner or as part of the region while aligning marketing efforts to support resource efficiency and regional awareness. This session will also tap into partnership opportunities with Travel Oregon and others in the region.

Teaming for Impact & Action Planning Workshop

The distance between your region’s vision and its reality is called action. This day is all about laying the final groundwork and jumping into action feet first alongside other motivated community members. During this workshop, you and others in your region will work together to establish local action teams and begin developing priority projects in line with the region’s 15-year vision for tourism. Participants will implement strategies to form well structured teams (of individuals, groups or organizations) in order to increase a project’s success and sustainability. Participants who attended prior workshops are strongly encouraged to attend this results-oriented session. Get ready to roll up your sleeves, get engaged, and move to action.

Community Tourism Celebration

Plan on attending the Community Tourism Celebration with your friends, family and colleagues. Graduates will be awarded certificates of completion and the new community tourism vision, action teams and priority projects will be shared with the community. Please make sure to extend the invitation to other movers and shakers from the region! This will be an important event to transition from training to community action.

Sign up for the final workshops and community celebration!