West Marin's Contribution to the New Exploratorium

You may have heard that the Exploratorium, originally opened in 1969, is making the move from the Palace to the Piers—Pier 15 to be exact. The new location will feature a number of new exhibits showcased within six galleries, but one that will likely be noteworthy to most Marinites is the 330-year-old coastal Douglas fir tree that has been carted in from Olema.

Thankfully, the massive tree was not purposely uprooted. The fir was blown down by strong winds a decade ago, landing on its side on a hillside, its trunk elevated above the ground. This unique positioning prevented insects from crawling inside, which allowed much of the wood to remain intact. 

The exhibit, designed by installation artist Michael Brown, is made up of a rootball, two halves of the trunk and a cross-sectional slice, with the halves serving as walls of an intimate space with a center bench. “This exhibit allows the urban visitor to enter into and "be" inside a tree where they are invited to sit and contemplate its beauty,” says Brown.

The tree will be featured in the museum's East Gallery, which centers on life sciences, including cell biology, microbial oceanography and plants and insects. Go check it out when the Exploratorium opens for business on April 17th!