The Whitman Mission National Historic Site, 28 Whitman Mission Rd., opens its summer season of activities this weekend. Each summer weekend a different activity focusing on skills used by the Cayuse, explorers, missionaries, or emigrants is presented at Whitman Mission from 1-4 p.m. There are also a few evening events.
The Mission Visitor Center is open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. The grounds are open every day from dawn until dark.
Saturday, Blue Mountain Wildlife will bring live birds of prey to the mission. There will be owls, falcons and maybe an eagle or two. This is a great opportunity to get a close-up view of these wonderful creatures.
BMW is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to aid orphaned, sick or injured wildlife, primarily birds of prey. BMW is also involved in community education. Birds that cannot be returned to the wild often find a second "career" doing educational programs, such as the birds visitors can meet at Whitman Mission.
On Sunday visitors can learn what it took to prepare a meal in the 1800s. Park rangers, with help from volunteers, will grind wheat into flour, churn butter and cook over an open fire. Be at the Tipi Grove 1-4 p.m. to partake in the fun.
Whitman Mission is a place to learn about the past. In addition, the park is a home and sanctuary for many plants and animals. Moose, otters, deer, hawks pelicans and herons have all been seen at the park. Some are just passing through; some choose to raise their young and stay awhile. Early morning and evening are the best times to get a glimpse of these animals.
Park fees are $3 for adults; children under 16 get in free. An annual pass good for the whole family is $10. Senior passes and other federal passes are honored. Whitman Mission is located seven miles west of Walla Walla off U.S. Highway 12. Visitor information may be obtained any time by calling 529-2761 or by visiting www.nps.gov/whmi.