2016 Living River Celebration

Saturday, June 25, 2016 from 7 am to 5 pm

Thank you to the over 1,000 people who joined us for the 2016 Living River Celebration!

News links:

2016 Event Details

FREE and Family Friendly – Donations welcome
Tree Climbing – Guided Tours – Birding – Picnicking – Family Art Activity – Self Guided Walks – Canoeing – Oakshire and Ninkasi Beer – Music by the Jazz Station and more…

Come and explore Green Island, an incredible natural area just minutes from where you live, work, and play. You’ll join with neighbors, families, and friends to find birdsong and music, fresh water and cold beverages, naturalist guides and spots to gather in the shade of trees. It’s all here, where the Willamette and McKenzie Rivers come together.

Green Island is the McKenzie River Trust‘s flagship site, the place we’ve poured our hearts into for the past 13 years thanks to our members’ generous support. This place has incredible stories to tell. Walk with your friends and spend the day making memories outdoors on Green Island.

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

Map & Directions

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.

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

No dogs, please!

We like dogs as much as you, but there are no dogs allowed on Green Island. Please leave your furry friends at home so they don’t have to wait in the car.

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. Click here to download a pdf with directions.

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 food carts
Chair or blanket – limited hay bale seating for music stage also available
Jogging strollers will work on most trails.
No pets please.

Guided Walks

Get to know Green Island by joining a free, informative walk guided by a local nature expert or McKenzie River Trust staff member. Some walks will have a limit of 15 people to ensure a great experience for everyone. Simply sign up for your preferred walk when you arrive at the event by visiting the information booth near the entrance. Gather for walks at the info booth 15 minutes prior to start time.

7:15 & 7:45am: Bird Walks

Green Island provides habitat for over 150 species of birds. Join bird experts Dennis Arendt, Jim Regali, and Kit Larsen for early morning bird walks to see some of the property’s inhabitants. Bring your binoculars!

9 to 10am: Green Island Conservation Tour

Explore this 1,100-acre property with McKenzie River Trust Executive Director Joe Moll. From planting more than 100,000 trees to removing levees to constructing new habitat for fish and wildlife, Green Island has been a hub of restoration work since 2005. This tour will help you understand the conservation value of Green Island and the rivers that surround it.

10 to 11:30am and 2 to 3:30pm: Coburg Aggregate Reclamation Project

In 2014, the Coburg Aggregate Reclamation Project (CARP) on the south side of Green Island saw a massive transformation from gravel pits to fish and wildlife habitat. Why did we do it? And how? Join McKenzie River Trust staff for an in-depth tour of CARP.

11:30am to 1pm: Native Plants and Pollinators

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!

1 to 3pm: Dragonflies and Damselflies

Birds aren’t the only winged beauties on Green Island. Learn about these beautiful bugs when you borrow a net and catch dragonflies & damselflies with odonate expert Cary Kerst in the pond near the low water crossing.

1 to 2:30pm: Beers Made by Walking Tour

Beers Made By Walking is a program that invites brewers to make beer inspired by nature hikes. This hike, guided by ecologist Jenny Getty and homebrewer/beer steward Aaron Brussat, will focus on the edible and medicinal plants found on Green Island. Brewers from Agrarian Ales, Falling Sky, Ninkasi and Oakshire Brewing will join for the exploration. Inspired by the walk, the brewers will each create a beer that will serve as drinkable, landscape portraits of the lands and rivers protected by the McKenzie River Trust in the Willamette Valley. This is the third of three Beers Made By Walking hikes hosted by MRT this summer. Click here for more details.

3 to 4pm: Mammal Walk

Did you enjoy the touch & feel mammal table at The Hub? Dive deep into Green Island’s hairy critters on this walk with naturalist Dave Walp.

4 to 5pm: Reptiles and Amphibians Walk

All about turtles, snakes, newts, and frogs! Tom Titus will guide this exploration of scaly, slinky, cold-blooded creatures that live all over Green Island.

Hay Rides

30 minute rides at 10:15am, 11:30am, 1pm, and 2pm

This year we’re again offering an option to see Green Island without a long walk. Take a hay ride to visit the north island. Space is limited. Sign up at the tractor parked where the Nature Trail and North Loop Trail meet. More details available at the Info Booth.

The hay rides will pause near the North gravel bar where families can walk to a river overlook.

8am to 12pm: Family Art Activity

At the North gravel bar river overlook, kids of all ages are invited to participate in an art activity led by Oregon Master Naturalist Diane Lang. Create your own take-home map of the Living River at Green Island that includes your favorite plants, animals, and experiences of the day.

The Hub

Food, Booths, Tree Climbing, Kayaking & Other Activities!

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, and explore Green Island’s history. The Hub will be open from 10am to 5pm. Bring your refillable water bottle, a picnic, and a chair to kick back and relax!

On the Stage

At 11am, the acoustic band The Blue McKenzie returns to the Living River stage.

MRT Executive Director Joe Moll will offer a welcome at 1pm, then we’ll enjoy a quartet presented by The Jazz Station with performances by Tony Glausi on trumpet, and Dusty Carlson on bass, Ken Mastrogiovanni on drums and Torrey Newhart on keys.

Our stage is powered by Pedal Power Music.

Activities for All Ages

10am to 4pm: Kayaking and Canoeing in the Ferry Pond
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.

10am to 4pm: Tree Climbing
Get a bird’s-eye view with tree-climbing excursions by the City of Eugene River House up a cedar tree located at The Hub.

10am to 4pm: Casting Demonstrations
Learn to cast a fly rod! Joan McReery and other members of The Damsel Flies, a local women’s flyfishing group, will teach you how.

10am to 4pm: Learn about Native Fish
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will have an interactive display of native fish.

8am to 4pm: Self-guided 5k run/walk
Celebrate your health and stretch your legs on Green Island’s ~5k South Loop trail, starting/ending at The Hub. Along this dirt and gravel roadway, you’ll encounter changing views of land and water, not far from the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette rivers. You’ll also discover natural history notes about speed, endurance, and other athletic traits we share as members of the animal kingdom. The walking/running trail is on a gravel road.

Food and Drinks

11am to 4pm: Food will be for sale from local food carts Hot Mama’s Wings and Viva! Vegetarian Grill.

Noon to 4pm: Oakshire and Ninkasi and will be serving up their delicious locally-brewed beer, and our sponsors Mountain Rose Herbs and EWEB will offer up more cold beverages: iced tea and McKenzie River tap water!


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.

About Green Island: McKenzie River Trust’s Membership booth, Green Island History
Conservation partners: McKenzie Watershed Council, Middle Fork Watershed Council, Coast Fork Watershed Council, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Willamette Valley Clean Water Alliance, City of Eugene Wastewater Services, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
Sponsors: Mountain Rose Herbs, Eugene Water and Electric Board, Terra Tech, Burley
Hands-On Nature: David Walp’s mammal specimen collection
And more!