September 30, 2015

How This Website Came To Be

How This Website Came To Be

Several years ago I found out that the mushroom slides that were used during a course I had taken at the local community college were just sitting in a box on a shelf in one of the labs, no longer being used. They had been there for 10 years. My biology instructor who had taught there for 30 years, and then retired, had gifted them to the school.

My mission began as a way to protect these mushroom slides from obscurity. With some effort I was able to acquire the rights to use these slides and had them converted to a digital format. But what to do with them now? I thought that I would write a book about the mushrooms of Lane County, OR, that would include these photographs.

When this idea was mentioned to other mushroom clubs I was told that they also had mushroom photographs that were donated to their club by the heirs of deceased club members. They didn’t quite know what to do with them either. So they gave me the rights to use them in what might become an even bigger book about the mushrooms of Oregon.

As this project grew other people heard about it and donated even more mushroom photographs. It seemed that my mission to save these wonderful pictures was in fact “mushrooming.” Now there were many photographs from all over the Pacific Northwest, but too many to put in a book, unless a bunch of them would have to be left out. Who would want to lug something that size around anyway? So what to do with all of these photographs? Not hundreds by now, but thousands.

Why not develop a computer program and call it “The Wild Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest?” That way it could contain all of those great photographs as well as educational programs to help people identify wild mushrooms, including recipes on how to cook them, and other hard to find information such as how to pronounce the Latin names and what they mean, a list of current scientific names and common names, etc.

The profits from this project are earmarked for mycological foundations including the Daniel Stuntz Foundation. Another one is the Jay Marston Foundation at Lane Community College for science scholarships. Also NAMA (North American Mycological Association) and other mushroom clubs would be recipients in order to give scholarships to students pursuing studies in mycology.

Finally, it is on its way to becoming a computer program, and eventually an app for smart phones and tablets. But all of this costs a lot of money, and I need your help.

See the list of educational programs and mushroom information that with your help are becoming a reality. Bear in mind that your contributions are assisting organizations nationwide to advance the study of mycology, and supporting the creation of additional resources to further your own studies in this area.

Thank you for your kind support!