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What is Kilchis Point?
The Kilchis Point property is approximately 200 acres along Tillamook Bay in Bay City, Oregon. The Tillamook County Pioneer Museum (TCPM) owns, protects, maintains, and holds this land in the public trust. Kilchis Point is home to a wide variety of plants (flora) and animals (fauna) that together form precious ecosystems.
The biodiversity evident in the wetland and woodland areas provide the opportunity for visitors to observe and enjoy the natural wonder possible with stewardship.
Declared a County Heritage Area by the Tillamook County Commissioners in 2010, Kilchis Point is an important prehistoric and historic site. Kilchis Point is the site of one of the largest Native American village sites on the Northern Oregon Coast. Tillamook County’s first pioneer settler, Joe Champion arrived at Kilchis Point in 1851 and lived in a Spruce stump next to the Native American village while he built a cabin. The Morning Star of Tillamook, was built at Kilchis Point making it the first ship built in Tillamook County and the first ship registered in the Oregon Territory. Kilchis Point was also the site of Tillamook County’s first post office and the headquarters of the Whitney Lumber Company.
This rich history will be revealed through a series of three interpretive trails that highlight (1) Flora and Fauna, (2) Native American Heritage, and (3) Pioneer Settlement.
The Ford Family Foundation designed, funded and helped install the Kilchis Point trailhead area complete with an interpretive kiosk, benches and a native garden. A paved parking area and bioswale have also been completed with funding from the Spirit Mountain Community Fund. The parking area and first 100 yards of the trail have been established with pavers which serves as a meeting place for school groups, visitors, and a gateway to the trail. Currently, a temporary trail is open to the public beginning at the main parking area and ending at a clearing near the serpentine banks of Doty Creek. There is a large Great Blue Heron and egret nesting tree located along the tree line at the end of the trail. The trail is well marked with pink flagging and all are
Click on Map for Larger View
It is the goal of TCPM to promote student appreciation and understanding of Tillamook’s natural and cultural resources while encouraging the protection and stewardship of resources, environments, and habitats. TCPM’s education committee has begun developing an educational program of children centered at Kilchis Point. A grant from the Oregon Community Foundation has made it possible to provide students from Tillamook County schools the chance to experience the wonder at Kilchis Point. To date approximately 70 children have been able to discover all Kilchis Point has to offer through hikes, scavenger hunts, compass activities, food web games and dissecting owl pellets.
Habitat preservation and restoration is one of the top priorities at Kilchis Point. Invasive species such as Scotch Broom and Himalayan Blackberry are being eradicated and replaced with native plant species such as Twinberry, Salmonberry, and Cedar trees. Habitat restoration has begun with the donation of over 200 trees from the American Association of University Women. Volunteer work crews including adult and students performing community service have helped with the habitat restoration process.
An inventory of plant, animal and bird species is ongoing to help document and track ecosystem stability. To date, over 85 bird and animal species as well as over 140 plant species have been recorded.
The completion of a wetland delineation (2011) and cultural resource assessment (2010) has served as a starting point to begin the process of applying for permits through Tillamook County, City of Bay City and the Department of State Lands to begin installing permanent trails and bridges.
Projects in Progress
The Construction of a bus parking area has begun to allow for easy and safe access for visiting school groups. Beginning in November 2011, a paved trail similar to the one at the main trailhead, will be installed from the bus parking area. Interpretive signage tailored for children will also be installed in this area.
A second temporary trail leading east-west is being cut for future public access. In addition, work has begun to map and mark the locations of permanent bridges to jump wetland areas as well as possible permanent trail locations.
Interpretive signage for the permanent trails has already begun with over 20 signs completed.
The TCPM continues to evolve the Kilchis Point Education Program and welcome any school groups that want to learn about the area.
Future Plans for Kilchis Point
TCPM plans to have all three permanent trails installed by 2015. A bird watching station will be among the first structures built at Kilchis Point with a tentative completion date November 2012. It will be located on the southern end of the property where birds are most frequently spotted. TCPM would also like to construct interpretive buildings such as a Native American Longhouse and Pioneer Center. These structures will enhance visitor’s understanding of the area and provide space to exhibit artifacts associated with Kilchis Point’s history.
Ideas for a convening space and covered activity area for school groups are being considered. This would provide an ideal area for outdoor education classes and activities while providing shelter from the rain when the weather is not so favorable.
Granting Partners, Supporters, and Valued Volunteers include:
Sprit Mountain Community Fund
Ford Family Foundation
Oregon Cultural Trust
Oregon Community Foundation
City of Tillamook
Tillamook County Pioneer Association
North Coast Lawn
City of Bay City
Bay City Arts Center
Tillamook Estuary Partnership
American Association of University Women
Kilchis Point Activity Book
Especially made for kids, this great activity booklet will help you to explore Kilchis Point and discover for yourself what a special place Kilchis Point can be.
We've even included the answers! Have fun with this special activity book
all about exploring Kilchis Point!
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