Oregon and Washington Caving Club Oregon Grotto

About the Oregon Grotto


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The Oregon Grotto is an organization of mostly northwesterners, of all ages, sharing a common interest in caves and cave exploration. It began with the unification of several smaller groups and individuals engaged in the then relatively new U.S. sport of cave exploration in Oregon and Washington in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Following the lead of the Cascade Grotto, a Seattle -based group begun in 1951 by Dr. William R. Halliday, the Oregon group sought affiliation as a "grotto" with the relatively young National Speleological Society (NSS) and was chartered by the NSS in 1964. ("Grotto," is a clever name coined by the NSS for its local chapters.) The grotto obtained tax exemption as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 1972.
The grotto's constitutional purpose is:
      A. To promote the conservation of caves and their natural contents.
      B. To advance in any and all ways the study and science of speleology.
      C. To promote fellowship among those interested in caves.
Oregon Grotto has something for just about anyone interested in caves. Younger members typically spend a lot of time in physically demanding cave exploration, mapping, and research. Older members facilitate sharing of cave information, publication, conservation-oriented educational programs, and fellowship among cavers. Cooperative purchase of caving equipment is provided by a grotto "store."  An extensive speleological library is available to members. Educational programs (slide shows, cave guides, etc.) may be available to non-member groups on request. The grotto has  published a newsletter since 1964.


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