The Wild Nearby, on exhibit at The Burke

Have you had a chance to check out our exhibit at The Burke Museum yet? The exhibit runs until February 5, 2017. It's a great rainy day activity or way to explore our beautiful Pacific Northwest wilderness without leaving the city.
Lace Thornberg Lace Thornberg
October 11, 2016
The Wild Nearby, on exhibit at The Burke
by Lace Thornberg, Director of Development and Communications for Mountaineers Books

Few places on earth rival the rugged beauty and biological diversity of Washington state’s North Cascades mountain range.

The Burke Museum makes that clear through a new exhibit which opened this past June. Their “Wild Nearby” exhibit invites museum visitors, who may or may not have ever visited the North Cascades before, to immerse themselves in the sights, sounds and stories of one of the largest wildlands in the United States. 

The exhibit drew its inspiration and central themes from The North Cascades: Finding Beauty and Renewal in the Wild Nearby, a book published under the Braided River imprint of Mountaineers Books in 2014, and then the Burke added its own layer, inviting visitors to see the North Cascades through the eyes of a scientific researcher. 

“The exhibit shows you why the wilderness matters, why it is important, and highlights some research relating to plants and animals that is being done by academics associated with the Burke,” noted Dale Flynn, a member of the Mountaineers Foundation’s Board of Directors, after the opening event. 

Photographs from Steph Abegg, Ethan Welty, Benj Drummond, Thomas Bancroft and Bart Smith (also featured in Braided River’s book) are central to the exhibit experience. You can also step into a full-scale replica of fire lookout and imagine yourself living the life of a forest service ranger, or as Jack Kerouac, Gary Snyder, or Phillip Whalen, the Beat Generation poets who manned lookouts in the North Cascades in the 1960s. Ancient artifacts from the Upper Skagit Tribe are available for close examination, and resources from The Mountaineers and other local recreation clubs are on hand to help you map out your next, or first, outdoor adventure in the North Cascades. 

Mountaineers Books and the Burke have a history of working collaboratively on exhibits that started with Yellowstone to Yukon: Freedom to Roam with photographer Florian Schulz. “Wild Nearby” marks the seventh Burke exhibit to be built from a Braided River or Mountaineers Books title.

Visiting the Wild Nearby 

The “Wild Nearby” will be on display at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture until February 5, 2017. 

The Burke Museum is located on the University of Washington campus, at the corner of 17th Ave NE and NE 45th St. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, and from 10 am to 8 pm on the first Thursday of each month. For admission prices and directions to reach the museum by bike, bus, train or car, see

This article originally appeared in our Fall 2016 issue of Mountaineer magazine. To view the original article in magazine form and read more stories from our publication, click here.

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