The SAGE Center placed 53rd in the Oregon Business magazine’s top 100 fan-favorite destinations in Oregon.
“People are pretty amazed at what we have going on here in our small town,” said Andrea Orcutt, assistant events coordinator. “They are really impressed with the quality of the exhibits and how the museum flows.”
Located at 101 Olson Road in Boardman, the SAGE Center — Sustainable AGriculture & Energy — is a visitor center created by the Port of Morrow. In addition to interactive displays, it has a theater and museum store. Orcutt said about 15,000 people visited the SAGE Center last year.
One of the main goals of the museum, Orcutt said, is to educate the public about what’s happening in Morrow County. The interactive displays, she said, showcase the region’s agriculture, technology and jobs.
Education coordinator Stefanie Swindler said among the highlights is a simulated hot air balloon ride that provides an aerial view of Morrow County. In addition, she said people enjoy a chance to plant corn in a tractor simulator. The exhibit offers visitors a chance to compare their skills with GPS technology farmers use to plant crops.
Also, Orcutt said the Processing Kinetic Sculpture provides information about food products grown in the area. Essentially, she said it shows visitors how potatoes go from the field to their kitchen table.
The museum store features local artisan products, including honey, wine and soaps. In addition, there are books by local authors, pottery and woodworking created by local artists and hands-on activity kits for kids.
The 204-seat theater includes a large movie screen. The SAGE Center hosts monthly movie nights, which features films recently released on DVD. In addition, Swindler said local school and youth groups periodically hold special movie nights as fundraisers.
Researchers studied 38,000 reviews on Google, TripAdvisor and Yelp for the Oregon Business magazine list. The top destinations will be charted on a map — which will be distributed at visitor centers — for people to use as a guide when traveling across the state.
Other regional destinations making the list include Pendleton House Historic Inn (11) and Tamastslikt Cultural Institute (28). To view the full list, visit www.oregonbusiness.com.
The SAGE Center is open Monday through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It has extended hours between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Regular admission is $5 or $3 for seniors and students; there is a family maximum of $20. For more information, visit www.visitsage.com.