Legislature helps fund High Desert Museum

Bend museum gets $250,000 for new otter habitat

BEND, Ore. - In the waning days of the 2013 legislative session, a team effort by state Sens. Tim Knopp (R-Bend) and Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) produced $250,000 for one of Central Oregon's marque museums, the High Desert Museum south of Bend, the two lawmakers said Wednesday.

"With help from Senator Johnson, we were able to secure resources the High Desert Museum can use to grow and continue to provide a high-quality educational opportunity in Central Oregon," said Knopp. "She worked with the Central Oregon delegation to make sure this funding was included in a last-minute budget moving through her committee."

As part of the budget-writing Ways and Means committee, Johnson was able to ensure that the $250,000 expenditure was included in Senate Bill 5533 A, the end of session bonding bill. Knopp called Johnson "a true friend to Central Oregon."

"I was honored to be able to help the High Desert Museum with this important and critical investment to help further their effort to continue to have a world-class natural history museum in Central Oregon," said Johnson.

Johnson and Knopp expressed thanks to the Central Oregon delegation, along with others, for their support of the expenditure.

The museum says the funds are a matching grant earmarked for a new and improved otter habitat.

The High Desert Museum is a natural history museum featuring exhibits, wildlife and living history.

Their mission is to help audiences discover their connection to the past, their role in the present and their responsibility to the future. The museum contains presentations on regional art, culture, history and natural science.

The High Desert Museum (http://www.highdesertmuseum.org/) is five miles south of Bend on South Highway 97 and is one of the highest-rated attractions in the Bend area.

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