A 574-acre nature reserve called Badger Mountain Centennial Preserve is situated in Richland, Washington, in the middle of the Tri-Cities. The preserve offers a safe haven for wildlife as well as a location for outdoor recreation and education for visitors of all ages. It is a special combination of natural beauty and cultural history. The Friends of Badger Mountain, a nonprofit group committed to preserving and enhancing the preserve for future generations, manages the preserve on behalf of the city of Richland, which owns it.
The preserve is named after Badger Mountain, which rises to a height of 1,575 feet and serves as the area’s highest peak. The Missoula floods, which swept through the region more than 10,000 years ago, are thought to be the cause of the mountain’s distinctive geology, which has made it famous. The distinctive layers of basalt rock that are visible throughout the preserve were formed by the sediment layers that the floods left behind. These layers also give rise to numerous plant and animal communities, such as sagebrush, wildflowers, and animals like mule deer, coyotes, and raptors.
The preserve has a rich cultural history in addition to its natural beauty. The Wanapum people, who lived in the preserve for thousands of years and engaged in fishing, hunting, and gathering, once called it home. The Wanapum Heritage Center, which is close to the preserve’s entrance, allows visitors to today explore the cultural history of the preserve. The center provides information about the Wanapum people’s way of life and connection to the land through exhibits, educational programs, and guided tours.
The preserve provides a selection of easy to moderately difficult hiking trails for outdoor enthusiasts. The trails wind through the hills and valleys of the preserve, providing breathtaking views of the surroundings. The Skyline Trail, a 3.5-mile loop that provides sweeping views of the Tri-Cities region, is the most well-liked trail. The Canyon Trail, Sagebrush Trail, and Badger Flats Trail are a few other trails that offer hikers various experiences.
The preserve is a well-liked spot to go bird watching. A wide variety of birds, including raptors like golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, and American kestrels, can be found in the area. Songbirds, waterfowl, and other bird species can all be seen throughout the preserve. The preserve offers knowledgeable volunteers who can help visitors identify birds and learn about their habits guided birdwatching tours.
The preserve offers a variety of educational programs and events for families with young children. Family-friendly activities offered by the Friends of Badger Mountain include geology tours, stargazing outings, and nature walks. These activities give children practical learning opportunities that encourage an appreciation for the outdoors and help them connect with the natural world.
The Badger Mountain Centennial Sculpture Trail is one of the preserve’s most distinctive features. Each sculpture along the trail represents a different aspect of the preserve’s natural and cultural history, and they are spread out throughout the preserve. The sculptures were installed in celebration of the city of Richland’s centennial celebration in 2010. They were made by regional artists. The sculpture trail offers visitors a self-guided tour that is a wonderful way to discover the preserve’s history and natural features.
In conclusion, the Tri-Cities region and the residents of Richland benefit greatly from the Badger Mountain Centennial Preserve. It provides visitors of all ages and interests with a variety of recreational opportunities thanks to its breathtaking views, well-kept trails, and diverse habitats. The Badger Mountain Centennial Preserve has something to offer everyone, whether they are an avid hiker, mountain biker, wildlife enthusiast, or researcher. So why not arrange a trip and discover this natural treasure’s beauty for yourself?