OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Oklahoma Forestry Services announces the retirement of Doug Zook, manager of the Forest Heritage Center on July 1, 2021. 

“We appreciate Doug’s service to the Forest Heritage Center and congratulate him on his well-earned retirement,” said Oklahoma Forestry Services Director and State Forester Mark Goeller.  “We invite the community to join us and the Forest Heritage Center board in celebrating Doug’s service on June 30.”

Doug has served more than 25 years at the center, located in Beavers Bend State Park, serving in the manager position for the past 13 years.  Among his achievements are educational programming, wood art exhibits and woodturning education and the partnership with the Beavers Bend State Park employees.  Oklahoma Forestry Services joins the Forest Heritage Center board of directors in honoring Doug at reception on June 30th from 1:00pm – 3:00pm at the Forest Heritage Center.  

An accomplished woodturner, Doug was instrumental in setting up a Willard Stone exhibit in in 1996 that led to annual wood art exhibits that now attract woodturners from across the nation.  He also worked with the Central Oklahoma Woodturners to develop a month-long woodturning curriculum to teach local high school students the art form. This annual program has grown over the past 19 years to include teaching community members as well as high school students. Woodturning has also led to Doug’s involvement with the Oklahoma City National Memorial, utilizing pruned Survivor Tree limbs to create a piece of wood art that was presented to former President Bill Clinton and other pieces that were exhibited on a national tour to honor the survivors of the Alfred P. Murray building bombing.

Another highlight of Doug’s career included meeting artist Harry Rossoll, most famous for creating Smokey Bear for the US Forest Service.  Harry Rossoll painted 14 dioramas for the Forest Heritage Center and created Tree Bear, the mascot whose message is “Good Things Come from Trees.”  Doug, along with then-manager Michelle Finch and Terry Walker, who was the Beavers Bend State Park manager, took Tree Bear to make his international debut at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.  It was there that they were invited to meet with Harry Rossoll at his studio and have dinner at his home.  

For more information about the June 30th reception, contact the Forest Heritage Center (580) 494-6497.