History » History


Spokesman Review Feb.20, 2004It all started with a dream that Tom Moore had to build an outdoor learning center for the community. He stuck with it, for years, until the dream became a reality. The project was successful with the partnerships, donations, district support, and countless hours of student and community volunteers. In 2001, the West Valley Outdoor Learning Center completed construction and opened its doors to West Valley students and eventually the community.
After the buildings were complete, the next phase was "building" the ecosystems in the yard. With the help of Engineers from the Fish and Wildlife Department, three ponds and a stream were constructed. The OLC staff and West Valley middle school students volunteered many hours in order to plant 1,600 native plants and trees giving the backyard its natural beauty. 
Coming just two short years later, a hawk and owl sanctuary to house the educational raptors. The 900 square foot pole barn has five cedar enclosures, designed specifically to house injured raptors, and a small room for storage and food prep. Jami Ostby Marsh, the OLC Director, is a licensed raptor rehabilitator and oversees the care of the resident raptors. All of the hawks and owls that live at the OLC have a permanent injury that prevents them from being able to survive in the wild. They have become ambassadors of Ecology and conservation.
          Building pond    Spokesman Review May 31, 2003    Painting sanctuary