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The River Is Alive, Come Check it Out

The McKenzie River is more than just a line on the map. It is a living river, constantly shifting and forming the surrounding land, creating a dynamic habitat for hundreds of native species. Sitting atop this vibrant river is Green Island, home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the Willamette Valley.

The McKenzie River Trust is hosting its 8th annual Living River Celebration from 7 am to 5 pm Saturday, June 25, on Green Island.

McKenzie River Trust (MRT) is a nonprofit land trust that works to protect and conserve thousands of acres of land in Western Oregon.

This Saturday’s Living River Celebration is a rare opportunity to visit Green Island, which is usually closed to the public for restoration and conservation. Green Island is home to hundreds of species of fish, birds and other wildlife, some of which are threatened or endangered, such as the Western pond turtle and Oregon chub.

Attendees can explore the site by themselves or participate in guided tours throughout the day. Tours range from bird watching hikes in the morning to a reptiles and amphibians walk at the end of the day.

“The amazing natural resources that we have in our backyard are part of what make Eugene and Springfield such an incredible place to live,” MRT Associate Director Liz Lawrence says. “We’re really lucky here to have forward-looking people who want to support projects like this.”

Local companies including Ninkasi Brewing Company, Oakshire Brewing, Hot Mama’s Wings and others will provide complementary food and drinks over the course of the event.

There will be activities throughout the day at The Hub, the event’s main base located in the middle of the property, including tree climbing with the city of Eugene River House and kayaking with Oregon Paddle Sports. There will be live music from 11 am to 3 pm featuring a quartet presented by The Jazz Station as well as other local artists.

“Come to the river with different sets of lenses,” MRT Executive Director Joe Moll tells EW. “Come here as a kid, come here as an adult, look at it through different points of view.”

Green Island is located at 31668 Green Island Road, Eugene. The event is free and open for all ages. Registration is voluntary, but registered attendees are entered into a raffle for a $100 gift card to REI. For more information, visit mckenzieriver.org.