Member Spotlight: Twenty Ideas

The Shire for the River campaign continues through October 26! Your gift goes twice as far with over $12,000 available in matching funds from local tech businesses. Every day, we will share the story of one campaign supporter.

Mike Biglan Twenty Ideas
Mike Biglan, CEO of Twenty Ideas, shares why she supports McKenzie River Trust.

Twenty IdeasMike Biglan shares why he supports McKenzie River Trust

Mike is CEO of Twenty Ideas, one of nine Silicon Shire technology companies offering matching dollars for this year’s Shire for the River campaign.

Why do you support McKenzie River Trust?

It’s really concerning to our family to see what’s happening to the planet. McKenzie River Trust has a unique perspective on creating a barrier around the rivers—which are really the arteries and veins of the planet—to protect those rivers. The McKenzie River affects us in so many ways. It’s something that really is integrated into everything we do.

What about McKenzie River Trust’s mission appeals to you?

It’s not just about the clean water and the fish and preventing run off. It’s not just one single benefit, but a reminder of all the things that the river is able to provide. Growing up here, so many amazing things that I take for granted tie in with the McKenzie. I got married in Vida. I went river rafting as a kid. And now my children do that too.

What are the long-term benefits of supporting McKenzie River Trust’s work?

I have an eight-year-old and a ten-year-old. With the fires becoming the new normal and all the different weather events that are very likely related to the climate, we need to put money into supporting anything that makes a healthier planet. It’s something that I want for my kids and for all the other kids of their generation. At the very least, they really deserve to have what we have—if not much more.

What do you wish people knew about the Shire for the River campaign?

The Shire for the River campaign shows other businesses, employees and clients that you’re a business that cares about the planet, the world and the people. With this money, it’s very specific and targeted. This money will protect square feet and acres that will be a buffer, one that you can walk on with your kids. And it’s going to be there for a long, long time.

Join us!

Give now to the Shire for the River campaign by visiting the campaign website on Crowdrise, or by mailing a check to McKenzie River Trust, 120 Shelton McMurphey Blvd, Suite 270, Eugene, OR 97401. You can also donate over the phone by calling the McKenzie River Trust offices at (541) 345-2799.

Learn more on social media with the hashtag #ShireForTheRiver at:

Member Spotlight: MPulse Software

The Shire for the River campaign is raising money for the lands and rivers of western Oregon from October 16-26. Your gift goes twice as far with over $12,000 available in matching funds from local tech businesses. Every day, we will share the story of one campaign supporter.

Randall Brous and Jason Johnson of MPulse Software share why they support McKenzie River Trust.

Jason Johnson and Randall Brous share how they believe McKenzie River Trust’s work impacts our community

MPulse SoftwareJason is president of MPulse Software and a McKenzie River Trust board member. Randall is CTO of MPulse Software. MPulse is one of nine Silicon Shire technology companies offering matching dollars for this year’s Shire for the River campaign.

Why do you support McKenzie River Trust?

JASON: It’s water, right? It’s our source of water that keeps us alive every day. I think that’s easy to rally around. It’s something that we all recognize is important. And it’s something that, quite frankly, is sacred to all of us—tech businesses and other businesses alike here in Eugene and Springfield.

RANDALL: We all have a responsibility to give back to the area that we live in. It’s important to help recover, restore and protect it—for the way we want it to be now and the way we want it to be for our children. That’s part of being a responsible business.

What do you wish people knew about the McKenzie River Trust?

JASON: Sometimes people ask me, “What does McKenzie River Trust do?” We still have a long way to go as an organization in educating people about the Trust. The basic mission is to preserve riparian habitat along Oregon’s rivers. We want to restore habitat for wildlife. We want to provide clean drinking water for the future, for your grandchildren’s grandchildren’s grandchildren. And we want to provide recreational access—like the Finn Rock boat landing on the McKenzie—so people get out there and understand what they’re protecting.

How does McKenzie River Trust’s work impact local businesses?

JASON: The clean water that comes from the river makes this area a great place to live. You have all these fantastic recreation opportunities. You have the scenery itself. The privilege of living in a place with rivers like the McKenzie adds to the quality of the community. I think local tech leaders really understand that. It attracts employees, and it makes this a great place to live.

RANDALL: When we hire someone, and they come here because of the quality of life, they’re going to bring along their family. They’re going to need to go to the grocery store, to buy clothing, to buy a car, to buy a house. All these things are interconnected. When McKenzie River Trust and the tech community help protect the water here in the Willamette Valley, it works for all businesses. Everything is interconnected in an economy.

Join us!

Give now to the Shire for the River campaign by visiting the campaign website on Crowdrise, or by mailing a check to McKenzie River Trust, 120 Shelton McMurphey Blvd, Suite 270, Eugene, OR 97401. You can also donate over the phone by calling the McKenzie River Trust offices at (541) 345-2799.

Learn more on social media with the hashtag #ShireForTheRiver at:

 

Member Spotlight: Lunar Logic

The Shire for the River campaign is on from October 16-26, 2018! Your gift goes twice as far with over $12,000 available in matching funds from local tech businesses. Every day, we will share the story of one campaign supporter.

Celeste Edman Lunar Logic
Celeste Edman, CEO of Lunar Logic, shares why she supports McKenzie River Trust.

Lunar LogicCeleste Edman shares how McKenzie River Trust’s work contributes to the local economy

Celeste is CEO of Lunar Logic, one of nine Silicon Shire technology companies offering matching dollars for this year’s Shire for the River campaign.

Why do you support McKenzie River Trust?

McKenzie River Trust benefits our whole community. It’s our drinking water. It’s our hiking trails. It’s our riverbanks. It’s our forests. It’s the ecosystems around us. It’s activities we often take for granted.

We have our company here because our community has so much to offer. We really like the outdoors. We’re here because we can go to the river, and it’s so close. We can climb the Buttes. We can go on a hike. We can get to the oceans and the mountains. I’m really committed—and my company is committed—to keeping it beautiful for the next generation and beyond.

How does McKenzie River Trust’s work impact you as a business owner?

Technology as an industry segment has really grown in Eugene-Springfield. One of the crucial parts is recruiting staff. How are we going to bring in people for our new positions, for new companies, for new opportunities?

A big piece of that is lifestyle. You don’t have to do a big commute to live here. The food and beverage sector is awesome here. You can bike to work or catch the EmX. Nature is really close. All of those things play into our recruiting. It’s not just that we have great jobs. Our environment is one where people want to live. McKenzie River Trust is a big part of that.

What do you wish people knew about McKenzie River Trust?

We are fortunate to live in a community where we have accessible, clean water that tastes really good straight out of the tap. And it’s extremely unusual to have such a wealth of natural resources so close to a city of this size.

One of the ways we ensure that we continue to have that incredible resource is to support it. Not only will you ensure we have this wonderful natural area, but we’re going to have an economy that can be sustained. It’s Oregonians supporting Oregonians.

Join us!

Give now to the Shire for the River campaign by visiting the campaign website on Crowdrise, or by mailing a check to McKenzie River Trust, 120 Shelton McMurphey Blvd, Suite 270, Eugene, OR 97401. You can also donate over the phone by calling the McKenzie River Trust offices at (541) 345-2799.

Learn more on social media with the hashtag #ShireForTheRiver at:

Member Spotlight: SheerID

The Shire for the River campaign is on from October 16-26, 2018! Your gift goes twice as far with over $12,000 available in matching funds from local tech businesses. Every day, we will share the story of one campaign supporter.

Jake Watherly SheerID
Jake Weatherly, CEO of SheerID, shares why he supports McKenzie River Trust.

SheerIDJake Weatherly explains why McKenzie River Trust’s work is vital to our community

Jake is CEO of SheerID, one of nine Silicon Shire technology companies offering matching dollars for this year’s Shire for the River campaign.

Why do you support McKenzie River Trust?

First and foremost, it’s about clean water. We live a special life here in the Willamette Valley. Clean air and clean water—these things are easy to take for granted. I spend a lot of time in other areas. It’s easy for us to assume that’s the way it is everywhere else. I think we have a major obligation—a huge responsibility on our shoulders—to preserve and enhance our quality of life, because it really is special.

What about the McKenzie River Trust’s mission appeals to you?

What was intriguing to me was their interest in the history and preserving that history. That’s led the community to understand more deeply what the McKenzie River watershed is today, and what it once was. It’s a bridge to the future to make sure we can both preserve it and work to turn things back to what they once were.

How does the McKenzie River Trust’s work impact you as a business owner?

We’ve all decided to come to Eugene and stay in Eugene for very similar reasons. Those reasons are really focused on this rare opportunity that we have in this area to balance the work that we do with the fun and healthy ability to live a quality life.

What’s your personal experience with McKenzie River Trust?

Personally, I’ve enjoyed time on Green Island with my children. They learned how to cast flies without snapping lines, and they dipped into the watershed and then examined everything that was in the water. It was just teeming with life in comparison to what you see on the surface.

The McKenzie Memories event was really moving and helped me understand a little more deeply what McKenzie River Trust is doing. We saw how things used to be when Finn Rock was a giant lumber camp, when it was once a community. It has a tremendous history.

What do you wish people knew about the McKenzie River Trust?

MRT has a unique model—they forge partnerships with private landowners and understand the area really well. They’re looking for opportunities a year from now, five years from now, 20 years from now and beyond to the next generation. I think it’s a very big picture and holistic view.

I really feel it’s our obligation to be involved—whether it’s through donating, volunteering or even evangelizing. Get involved. Because this is something that really is unique to the world.

Join us!

Give now to the Shire for the River campaign by visiting the campaign website on Crowdrise, or by mailing a check to McKenzie River Trust, 120 Shelton McMurphey Blvd, Suite 270, Eugene, OR 97401. You can also donate over the phone by calling the McKenzie River Trust offices at (541) 345-2799.

Learn more on social media with the hashtag #ShireForTheRiver at:

 

Member Spotlight: Concentric Sky

The Shire for the River campaign is on from October 16-26, 2018 with a goal to raise $20,000 for the lands and rivers of western Oregon! Every day, we will share the story of one campaign supporter.

Cale Bruckner Concentric Sky
Cale Bruckner, President of Concentric Sky, shares why he supports the McKenzie River Trust.

Cale Bruckner shares why he supports McKenzie River Trust

Cale is president of Concentric Sky, founder of the Silicon Shire, and a former McKenzie River Trust board member.

Why do you support McKenzie River Trust?

I give my own money to McKenzie River Trust because protecting our water resource is vital to this community. We’ve seen multiple examples where other communities have been negatively impacted by having their water source compromised. McKenzie River Trust, EWEB and other organizations are working hard to protect our water source.

We all benefit from the McKenzie River. The water from our taps comes from the McKenzie River. All the beer that we enjoy here in town is from the McKenzie River. That’s important to me. I’m also a fly fisherman, so protecting outdoor places is a priority for me.

What about McKenzie River Trust’s mission appeals to you?

I like their model for protecting lands and resources in our area that are important to all of us. They buy land directly from property owners, or they work with property owners to put conservation easements in place. Sometimes that even comes with grant money to do restoration work.

I was surprised at times to find that some members of this community don’t understand that their tap water comes from the McKenzie River. We need more people in this community to understand what McKenzie River Trust is doing, where their funding is coming from, and how the funds are being used.

If we can get more people to give just a little bit of money, there’s a lot more McKenzie River Trust can do in our community and throughout our region to protect our water sources and outdoor recreation spaces.

How does the McKenzie River Trust’s work impact you as a business owner?

As an employer here in the Eugene tech community, one of the things we use to recruit people from outside the area is the wonderful outdoor experiences that we have here. You can go mountain biking. You can go fly fishing. You can go skiing.

All businesses in this area benefit from the recreation opportunities that we’re fortunate to have here. If we want to protect those resources as a community, then we must give back to the organizations that are working to protect those resources.

What do you wish people knew about the McKenzie River Trust?

When I was on the board, we said McKenzie River Trust was one of Eugene’s best kept secrets. The people who work for McKenzie River Trust are total rock stars. They are out there every day making sure that the McKenzie River—our water source—is protected, and they care passionately about their work. 

How You Can Participate

You can donate to the Shire for the River campaign by visiting the campaign website on Crowdrise, or by mailing a check to McKenzie River Trust, 120 Shelton McMurphey Blvd, Suite 270, Eugene, OR 97401. You can also donate over the phone by calling the McKenzie River Trust offices at (541) 345-2799.

Learn more on social media with the hashtag #ShireForTheRiver at:

Shire for the River Campaign Matches Donations Until October 26

Employees from Silicon Shire companies help out every year by volunteering their time to help restore land with McKenzie River Trust.

Beginning Wednesday, October 17, 2018, McKenzie River Trust (MRT) and several local Silicon Shire technology companies will launch their annual Shire for the River campaign. The campaign will last through Friday, October 26.

Nine companies have, together, committed $12,268 in funds to match, dollar-for-dollar, any individual or business contributions made during this year’s campaign period. Businesses participating as this year’s matching fund sponsors include:

Money raised will support MRT’s efforts to protect and care for rivers and riparian habitat in western Oregon.

Shire for the River will start with a Kickoff Happy Hour co-hosted by the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) and XS Media on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, from 5-8 p.m. at Oakshire Public House, 207 Madison Street, Eugene, Oregon 97402.

Maintaining Our Quality of Life

Located in the southern Willamette Valley, the Silicon Shire encompasses technology businesses of all kinds that work together to expand the local infrastructure necessary to build and grow hi-tech business in the area, and to promote Eugene-Springfield as a hi-tech hot spot.

“Projects like the Shire for the River campaign help us to maintain and improve the terrific quality of life we enjoy in this special region. That’s one of our biggest assets, and it truly helps attract great talent and great companies to the area,” said Jason Johnson, MPulse Software president and MRT board member. “Shire companies are dedicated to ensuring that what makes this place so extraordinary will always be here.”

Over the past three years, the Shire for the River campaign has raised more than $50,000 for MRT. This year’s goal is to raise at least another $20,000 to continue McKenzie River Trust’s efforts to protect sensitive lands in the McKenzie watershed.

How You Can Participate

You can donate to the campaign by visiting the campaign website on Crowdrise, or by mailing a check to McKenzie River Trust, 120 Shelton McMurphey Blvd, Suite 270, Eugene, OR 97401. You can also donate over the phone by calling the McKenzie River Trust offices at (541) 345-2799.

Learn more on social media with the hashtag #ShireForTheRiver at:

 

So Just What is a Land Trust Anyway?

Green Island is a place protected by us, your local land trust! Photo by Tim Giraudier – Beautiful Oregon.
As we gear up for Get Outdoors Day alongside 12 other land trusts across Oregon, we are starting to hear a question repeated over and over. What’s a land trust?

When you join us on Green Island or at one of our other many events on the land, you will be standing on land protected by McKenzie River Trust. We are one of more than 1,700 non-profit land trusts around the country. Collectively, land trusts have protected over 47 million acres of wildlife habitat, working farms, forests, wetlands, trails, scenic vistas, parks, and community gardens!

What’s a Land Trust?

A land trust is a non-profit organization with a mission to protect, preserve, and steward special lands by working with willing landowners and various community partners.

The two most widely used tools to accomplish this mission are conservation easements and fee-title purchase. In the case of Green Island, the Green family wished to see this land remain undeveloped, so they sold the property to MRT in 2003. Whatever tool is used to conserve land, most importantly, a landowner gets the assurance of knowing that the place she loves will be cared for by the land trust and its partners forever.

Oregon’s Land Trusts

Nootka rose is one of many native plants found on lands protected by the McKenzie River Trust. Photo by Tim Giraudier – Beautiful Oregon.
From the coastal estuaries in Nehalem to the magnificent Wallowas, Oregon land trusts work to protect the unique character and beauty of our home. Together, Oregon land trusts have protected 402,523 acres of land. That is nearly four times the amount of land in the Oregon State Parks system!

In every city and town across Oregon, there is a local land trust working to protect and care for that place. Land trusts are accountable to their communities, with local people serving on their boards and volunteering to care for the land. Land trusts are non-regulatory, providing incentives for private landowners to conserve their land for the good of all Oregonians.

How the Land Trust Serves Green Island

Since we acquired Green Island, we’ve been working with many partners to restore what we call a Living River. To us that means river banks and floodplains thick with native trees, grasses, and wildflowers; a river that can meander and move and change over time. It also means clean water, abundant fish and wildlife, and great opportunities for people to connect, as you are today. Thanks for being a part of such an effort, something that will long outlive us all.

Land trusts rely on community support, and McKenzie River Trust is no different. Please consider joining us as a member or volunteer today!

Raise a Glass and Celebrate World Water Day

The pristine McKenzie River is the sole source of drinking water for over 200,000 people in Eugene and Springfield. Photo by Tim Giraudier / Beautiful Oregon.

World Water Day is Thursday, March 22. And as our executive director Joe Moll says, “There is one thing that we can all agree on: clean water is good for fish, wildlife, people, and brewing beer.”

That’s why on March 22, we’re gathering with Ninkasi Brewing Company for Pints for a Cause from 5-8pm at The Bier Stein.

Over 200,000 people rely on the McKenzie as their sole source of drinking water in Eugene and Springfield. And water is the #1 ingredient in Ninkasi’s award winning beer. Join us to raise a glass to the rivers we love and share!

We’re teaming up with Ninkasi Brewing and The Bier Stein to raise awareness about something we all care about deeply: protecting and caring for the lands and rivers in western Oregon so there is clean, fresh water available for generations.

Join Us on World Water Day

For every Ninkasi bottle, can, or draught beer sold at the Bier Stein on March 22, Ninkasi will donate $1 to McKenzie River Trust — all day long. The Bier Stein will match their donation up to $500! On draught: Believer, Yours Truly, Dry Irish Stout, and Prismatic. And from 5 to 8pm for a minimum $5 donation, Ninkasi will make you a custom hat!

“Without great water, we couldn’t have great beer,” said Ali AAsum, communications director with Ninkasi Brewing Company. “We’re lucky to have access to pristine waters such as the McKenzie River and to work with people like the McKenzie River Trust who are committed to keeping our river and our people healthy.”

The World Water Day fundraiser with McKenzie Trust is part of Ninkasi’s Beer is Love program to support nonprofits doing work in five core categories — women, equality, recreation, the environment, and arts and music — by offering beer donations for fundraising or volunteer events.

RSVP and see who else is coming on March 22

Planting Trees for a Healthy Future

two volunteers planting trees

Trees and more trees, along with grasses and shrubs — all native Oregon plants — are key to ensuring a healthy future for the rivers in the South Willamette Valley. And in turn, that means a healthy future for all of us. The floodplain forest on Green Island, near the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers, is a major restoration project managed by the McKenzie River Trust. It’s supported by hard working volunteers and generous donors like you. This winter, we added over two hundred thousand new stems to the forest there.

Volunteers on the ground

A young volunteer plants a tree on Green Island.
A young volunteer plants a tree on Green Island. Photo by Elizabeth Goward.

To kick off February, volunteers put on their boots and rolled up their sleeves to plant 5,000 bare-root trees and shrubs over several days on the south end of Green Island. These plantings continue the efforts throughout the past winter to re-vegetate areas impacted by construction that re-connected an alcove of the main stem of the Willamette to an historic McKenzie channel. Next, MRT staff planted the remainder of the trees and shrubs, including potting about 1,000 plants for future volunteer events.

In addition to the work in the south, contractors planted over 260,000 trees and shrubs over the winter on the north end of the property. Since 2006, MRT has restored hundreds of acres of floodplain forest or riparian habitat. In all, we’ve planted more than half a million native trees and shrubs on Green Island. Many more are yet to come.

Because of strong member support over many years, these trees will grow to become a gallery forest and provide refuge for birds, bugs, frogs, beavers, and all the creatures that visit and live on this land.

Focused investment, big results

The project is part of the Willamette Focused Investment Partnership. This basin-wide effort helps restore the Willamette River from its headwaters to its mouth at the Columbia. The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Bonneville Power Administration, and Meyer Memorial Trust’s Willamette River Initiative provide the major institutional support and grant funding. The collective effort includes coordinated work by land trusts, watershed councils, riverkeepers, universities, and friends groups.

volunteer tree planting crew
A volunteer crew from February 2018 helped Restoration Projects Manager Christer LaBrecque plant thousands of native trees on Green Island. Photo by Elizabeth Goward.

Back on Green Island, MRT’s Restoration Projects Manager Christer LaBrecque leads the restoration efforts. In February, he planted a variety of native species close to the river, including cottonwood, ash, honeysuckle, and willow. “We encircled the plants with large pods of bark or leaves to help mulch the growing vegetation,” LaBrecque says. Planting in the pods can increase the density of the plants. “Over time, they will spread between the pods. Then, we will plant additional native grasses to fill in the area.”

Volunteers came from all walks of life to help with the planting. They dedicated a significant portion of their days to the work. All expressed their dedication to conservation and their desire to see the environment protected for future generations, which is a common theme for all of you who help us carry out this work.

MRT Executive Director Joe Moll put the restoration efforts on Green Island in perspective. “For most of us in the area, you don’t think too much about the river,” he said. “You don’t have a chance to realize that every time you pour a glass of water or take a shower or drink a beer or a glass of wine, that’s the river, that’s the river itself.”

Learn more & get involved:

Finn Rock Boat Landing Closed for Toilet Facility Remodel March 26 & 27

Hundreds of boaters and anglers use the Finn Rock Boat Landing every day in the summer months. Coming soon, they’ll enjoy the comfort of upgraded toilet facilities. Photo by Ephraim Payne.

Amenities available to boaters and anglers who use the Finn Rock Boat Landing are about to be upgraded to provide more comfort and ease at one of Lane County’s most busy recreational areas. The boat landing will be closed to install toilet facilities March 26 and 27.

McKenzie River Trust will replace the port-a-potty that has been on site for many years with a more accessible and comfortable lavatory.

“This is the first of several improvements we’re making to the boat landing this spring and summer,” said Liz Lawrence, Development Director for McKenzie River Trust. “Other improvements include a new informational kiosk, and improved parking and traffic flow. A possible trailhead is being explored.”

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife donated the vault toilet for the new lavatory, and a grant from Eugene Water & Electric Board enabled the installation to be completed this spring. Other boat landing improvements will be funded from the McKenzie River Trust’s McKenzie Homewaters Capital Campaign that included grants from Oregon State Parks, Land Trust Alliance’s Oregon ACE Program, and the Yarg Foundation.

About the McKenzie River Trust:

The McKenzie River Trust is a nonprofit land trust based in Eugene, Oregon. Our mission is to help people protect and care for the lands and rivers they cherish in western Oregon. Since 1989, we’ve acquired property and voluntary conservation easements to protect over 5,700 acres of clean, free-flowing rivers, plentiful salmon runs, and vibrant farms and forests that provide livelihoods and habitat. We envision a future in which conservation lands are at the core of community efforts to sustain clean water, abundant fish and wildlife, and diverse natural resource economies in western Oregon. Working with private willing landowners in eight different watersheds from the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, we take on the responsibility of ensuring that the land and its conservation values will be protected forever. For more information, visit www.mckenzieriver.org.

For more information contact: Liz Lawrence, McKenzie River Trust, office: 541-345-2799 x106 cell: 541-844-9334, llawrence@mckenzieriver.org