You can read these directions from your smart phone.  If you prefer a paper copy, you can download a .pdf of this Quest, or choose the printer-friendly option at the bottom of this page.

Established: May 2007
Box Monitor: HMSC Sustainability Committee

NOTE:  This Quest will soon be retired, as new construction on campus is expected to disrupt the route. While it will not be printed in the next (2017-18) Quest Book, the directions will be provided here on this page for as long as the Quest remains viable. Once the Sustainability Quest is officially retired, we will unpublish this page.

Click here for a MAP of the HMSC campus

Recycling bins at HMSCThis Quest is located at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, and highlights simple sustainable practices. It is an easy 30-minute walk on paved surfaces. Follow the directions and collect the clues to fill the numbered squares. At the end of your journey, the word will lead you to the hidden Quest Box. When you find the box, please sign the log book and let us know what you thought of this Quest. Stamp your page as proof of your accomplishment, and then put the box back in its hiding place for the next person to find. Enjoy!





“The ability to meet present needs without compromising those of future generations”.


Let’s go on a Quest
Around HMSC
We’ll have fun exploring 

Through full-cost accounting,
Future impacts we predict.
Can we meet both our needs
And the earth’s, without conflict?

At the Visitors Center
A courtyard lies outside.
Find panels facing skyward.
Kilowatts they provide.

These panels demonstrate
That solar energy
Is viable on the coast
Though it’s not always sunny.


On average, how much energy is generated by these solar panels?

The answer is in the Quest Box at the end of your journey!

Solar panels outside HMSC

Look low here for your clue;
It’s framed by a square.
If you didn’t stop to look
You wouldn’t know it’s there.

Put the letter that you find
In space number one.
When the spaces are all filled
Your Quest will be done!

Walk southwest on the path
(Follow the panels’ gaze)
Past ODF&W’s
All-accessible maze.

Go south to the end of the lot.
Turn left and pass the garage.
See the very big dumpster
Peek inside it to see garbage.

Our trash has to go somewhere.
Landfills have limited space.
When we reduce, reuse and recycle
This bin fills at a slower pace.

In the nearest planter pot
Clue two waits prone for you.
Note the letter on the rock.
Replace it when you’re through.

Now examine carefully
The long narrow drain in the lot.
A sausage-shaped bag is inside
This boom is where oils are caught.

Without this extra protection 
--Much to our dismay--
Oils from vehicles parked here
Could contaminate the bay.

Follow the drain downstream
Past the library and grass space.
Notice the shells in the grass.
How did they get to this place?

Few are from gulls dropping clams
Hoping shells will crack far below.
In fact, most came in the fill
Dredged from the bay long ago.

We no longer fill in our wetlands.
They are critical habitat and more.
Now when the channel is dredged
The fill is dumped way offshore.

At the corner a conifer stands.
It’s a nice and low climbing tree.
I.D. it using the needles
The 3rd vowel in its name is clue 3.


Sitka Spruce needles
Sitka Spruce
 – Each needle springs from a tiny, woody peg.


Shore Pine needles
Shore Pine – Has two long twisty needles per bundle. 

To develop sustainable landscapes
It helps to use native plants.
They’re adapted to the conditions
And do well, given the chance.

Head east to the building
Where a concrete arch stands.
Can you see any native plants
On these federal lands?

Salal, huckleberry,
Wax myrtle, tassel tree,
Keep wildlife well-fed
And landscapers happy.

Wild animals also prefer
A natural, dark sky.
Notice the parking lot lights
Point down, not up high.

Light goes only where needed,
Not blasted every which way.
This practice saves energy
And helps wildlife in the bay.

Turn around and face to the North.
But before you leave this place,
Put the first letter of the hydrant’s
Color in the clue four space.

Cross the road to the long lot
Where Faculty and Staff park.
Carefully find a drain
And look down into the dark.

Stormwater that drains here
Leads to the bay, not the sewer.
The black “diaper” lining inside
traps oils to make problems fewer.

Note the shape of the grate.
Say the word that comes to mind.
The last letter of this word
Is clue five for you to find.

Find the safety of the sidewalk
As you go to Guin Library's entrance.
ALong the library see the wood chips
surrounding all of the plants.

The wood chips are placed here
To help native plants stay alive.
Water is held in, and weeds kept away.
Now habitat for animals thrive.

As you approach the library doors.
Look up to see something fantastic.The remains of a dead whale on a beach
Are real bones; these are not plastic.

This minke whale lacked teeth.
What mouthparts helped it eat?
The last letter of the answer
Will make clue six complete.

Few hunt whales any longer.
Thanks to a United States “Act”.
Most whale populations are rebounding.
The change has made a big impact.


What 1972 Act changed the rules about whaling in U.S. waters?

The answer is in the Quest Box at the end of your journey.

If your ride lacks emissions
Lock it in the space nearby.
Check low here for clue seven.
Now what do your clues imply?

Read the word your clues made.
Looking low is the key.
Thanks for playing our game



7 ___ 1 ___   3 ___   2 ___   6 ___   5 ___   4 ___


Stamp your page to prove that you made it!


Sign the log book with the date, your name, and the number of people in your group , and tell us what you thought of this Quest! Please keep the location of the clues and box a secret, and put the box back in its hiding place when you are through. Thanks for playing.

If you enjoyed this Quest, check out the newest edition of The Oregon Coast Quests Book. The book contains directions for 24 self-guided Quests in Lincoln, Coos, Curry and Benton Counties. Collect stamps from them all!  Visit for more information.