2013 Living River Celebration

Living River Celebration

On Saturday June 29, 2013 we invited the community to the Living River Celebration, commemorating ten years of shared accomplishments on Green Island. Over 800 people joined us on that hot summer day to walk, bird, paddle, climb, picnic and explore – all looking to connect to this unique place at the confluence of the McKenzie River and the Willamette.

Click here for photos from the 2013 Living River Celebration.

Living River Celebration: 10 Years on Green Island
Saturday, June 29, 2013

Gates open at 7am and close at 5pm
Tree Climbing – Guided Tours – Birding – Picnicking – Fishing – Native Plant ID – Self Guided Walks – Canoeing – Storytelling – Oakshire Beer – Music by the Whiskey Chasers and more…

Please join us to look over, walk over, and turn over 10 years of land and water conservation on Green Island, located where the Willamette and McKenzie Rivers come together. You’ll find birdsong and music, freshwater and cold beverages, naturalist guides and story tellers, all while exploring 1,000 acres of rolling floodplain that grows wilder by the day. FREE and family friendly. Bring your friends! No pets, please.

Green Island is located just 15 minutes from downtown Eugene or Springfield – click here for directions. Parking is limited. Please CARPOOL if possible.

Green Island Trails

Explore nearly 7 miles of trails on Green Island, located where the McKenzie River meets the Willamette. Points of interest throughout the Island will tell the story of this special place where wildflowers bloom, salmon hide, turtles bask, and volunteers plant trees, restoring the floodplain forest.

Free guided walks all day

Get to know Green Island by joining an informative walk guided by a McKenzie River Trust Board member, staff person, or local nature expert. No pre-registration required; just meet at the information booth near the entrance 15 minutes prior to start time.

7:15 and 8:00 am: Bird Walks

Green Island provides habitat for over 150 species of birds. Join MRT Board members Roger Robb, Kit Larsen, Margie Paris, volunteer Susanne Twight-Alexander, and Willamette Program Manager Nicole Nielsen-Pincus for early morning bird walks to see some of its inhabitants. Bring your binoculars.

8:30 am: Ethnobotany Walk

Take a guided plant walk with naturalist and educator Devon Bonady. Participants will observe the diversity of plant species on Green Island and discuss their historical and contemporary uses.

9:30-10:30 am: RaptorViews demonstration

Join Philip Bayles for a demonstration of his RaptorViews airplane, a radio controlled aerial photography operation. RaptorViews gives us unique perspectives on the landscape that we share: the world the way it appears to the hawks and eagles. Philip has undertaken well over 500 flights, and given many hundreds of images to several dozen agencies involved in conservation, preservation and restoration projects.

10:00 am-12:30 pm: Green Island Restoration Tour

Join Green Island Project Manager Chris Vogel and restoration partners for an in-depth tour of the large-scale habitat restoration efforts over the last ten years.

11:00 am: Coburg Aggregate Reclamation Project Tour

McKenzie River Trust Executive Director Joe Moll will lead a tour around the Coburg Aggregate Reclamation Project (CARP) ponds, purchased in 2010. Participants will learn about the enormous opportunities for the protection and restoration of the historic McKenzie River channel and for further hydrologic connectivity on Green Island through this project to turn gravel pits into salmon habitat.

12:00-1:00 pm: Amphibian and Reptile Walk

Join Dr. Tom Titus for a walk to learn about the amphibians and reptiles that call Green Island home. Tom Titus is a research associate and instructor in the University of Oregon Biology Department and president of the Eugene Natural History Society. Since returning to Oregon nearly 20 years ago he has introduced people of all ages to amphibians and reptiles with local field trips and public lectures. His university course “Amphibians and Reptiles of Oregon” has remained a long time favorite among UO students.

1:00-3:00 pm: Dragonfly & Damselfly Walk

Join odonata expert Cary Kerst for an afternoon walk focused on dragonflies and damselflies. Learn about the life cycle, preferred habitat, and behavior of these fascinating creatures who call Green Island home. Bring your binoculars. Note: this in-depth educational tour is meant for adults and mature kids only.

2:00-3:30 pm: Green Island Wander and Wonders

Explore the nature and ecology of Green Island with naturalists Peg Boulay and Bruce Newhouse. Wildflowers and trees, birds and bees, the interaction of these — and anything else you please!

3:30-4:30 pm: Native Plant and Herb Walk

Join Brian Russell of Mountain Rose Herbs for an afternoon stroll, to learn about Green Island’s plant community. Brian has studied at Columbines School of Botanical Studies, a local wildcrafting and herbalism school.

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Ongoing Activities at The Hub

The Hub is your place to relax with a cold beverage, learn something from a local conservation organization, climb a tree, try out a canoe, meet our sponsors, explore Green Island’s history, and dance to great music. The Hub will be open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Bring your refillable water bottle, a picnic, and a chair to kick back and relax!

Fun for Kids and Adults

10:00 am-5:00 pm: Canoeing and Kayaking
Explore a bit of a historic McKenzie River channel on the water! If you’ve ever wanted to paddle a canoe or kayak, this is a chance to try it out for free offered by Oregon Paddle Sports.

10:00 am-5:00 pm: Tree Climbing
Get a bird’s-eye view with tree-climbing excursions up a cedar tree located at The Hub, with the experts at the Pacific Tree Climbing Institute.

Food and Drinks

12:00-4:00 pm: Oakshire Brewing
Oakshire will join in the celebration by serving their Watershed IPA. Through their 1% for Watersheds program, Oakshire is donating 1% of all sales of Watershed IPA in the Southern Willamette Valley in 2013 to the McKenzie River Trust.

11:00 am-4:00 pm: Sammitch Food Cart will serve up their unique local fare.
So Delicious Dairy Free will also be giving away frozen treats!

Or bring a picnic and fill up your water bottle with fresh water from McKenzie Mist.


11:00 am-12:00 pm: The Blue McKenzie featuring former longtime MRT Board member Bob Parker, this acoustic trio returns to Green Island for a repeat of their popular performance at the 2006 River Celebration.
1:00-3:00 pm: The Whiskey Chasers play bluegrass-old-time-country, grassytonk-dance-stomp. With a pocket fulla fast-pickin’ tunes with harmonies that could swoon even the preacher’s daughter, you’ll want to have your dancing shoes when the Whiskey Chasers take the stage!


Learn about the history of Green Island, the work of the McKenzie River Trust, partner organizations and lots more at The Hub’s educational booths.

Partners: McKenzie Watershed Council, Long Tom Watershed Council, Siuslaw Watershed Council, Middle Fork Watershed Council
Sponsors: Mountain Rose Herbs, Eugene Water and Electric Board, Terra Tech
History: McKenzie River History with the University of Oregon Environmental Leadership Program and McKenzie River Mobile Museum
Hands-On Nature: David Walp with his amazing beaver specimen collection items that you can touch & feel.
Native Plants: Karma’s Forest Native Nursery will have examples of the native plants used to restore Green Island’s habitat.

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How to Get There & What to Bring

Driving Directions to Green Island

Parking is limited. Please CARPOOL if possible!
Green Island is located just 15 minutes from downtown Eugene or Springfield via I-5 or Coburg Road.

From Eugene/Springfield via I-5: Take Exit 199, Coburg exit. Turn Left (West) at the top of the exit toward the City of Coburg. You will be on E. Pearl St. Go through a series of stoplights until you hit a T- intersection (stoplight) in the heart of town. Turn right (North) onto Coburg Rd.

From Coburg Rd – Drive north through the town of Coburg on Coburg Road, continuing approximately 2 miles. After Johnson Brother Greenhouses (on left) and just before Coburg Road takes a 90 degree right turn go straight onto Bottom Loop Rd (a paved ~100’ road), and continue straight through the intersection onto Green Island Rd, a gravel road. Please drive slowly, less than 10 mph. The gate to Green Island is just past the 2 houses on the left.

From here, follow the signs to the Living River Celebration!

The property has no address, but the last house on the gravel drive is 31668 Green Island Road Eugene, Oregon 97408 should you want to look up directions from your home on your GPS.

What to Bring

Walking shoes – all trails are flat
Refillable water bottle
Binoculars, hand lens (for a closer look), & camera
Picnic lunch, or cash to buy from the Sammitch food cart
Chair or blanket – some hay bale seating for music stage also available
Jogging strollers will work on most trails.
No pets please.

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Thank You to Our Sponsors

Lead Sponsor


Supporting Sponsors


Friends of the Trust


Special Thank Yous

Sanipac, Mount Pisgah Arboretum, Roger Robb, Kit Larsen, Margie Paris, Devon Bonady, Philip Bayles, Cary Kerst, Tom Titus, Bruce Newhouse, Peg Boulay, Brian Russell, McKenzie Watershed Council, Long Tom Watershed Council, Coast Fork Watershed Council, Middle Fork Watershed Council, David Walp, Pacific Tree Climbing Institute, Katie Lynch and the UO Environmental Leadership Program, Oregon Paddle Sports, Lada Korol, Sundance Natural Foods

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The McKenzie River Trust’s fifth annual Living River event connected our community to the unique landscapes that surround us in Oregon – where we all live, work, and play. The Living River events benefit our mission to protect and care for special lands and the rivers that flow through them in western Oregon. Learn about past Living River events.