Bike Tour Celebrates West Eugene Wetlands

Sunny skies are predicted for this weekend: Hop on your bike and get outside June 6 at the upcoming Love Your West Eugene Wetlands Bike Tour, presented by Beyond Toxics and Mountain Rose Herbs.

The tour begins at Mountain Rose Herbs and takes a 4.8-mile route along the Fern Ridge Bike Path as well as other bike routes. The tour will lead into the We Are Bethel: Drawn Together community celebration located at Petersen Barn.

The bike tour was created as a way to celebrate the wetlands, according to Joel Iboa, environmental justice and community outreach manager for Beyond Toxics.

“At one point the whole area was wetlands,” Iboa says. And despite the already heavy industrial presence and the specter of additional pollution, he says that 624 additional acres are slated for future industrial use.

Beyond Toxics has a “different vision” for those 624 acres, Iboa says.

Despite the industrial encroachment, beavers, river otters and the endangered Fender’s blue butterfly all call the West Eugene wetlands home, according to the city of Eugene’s website.

The We Are Bethel community celebration, where the tour ends, will include a quarter (25¢) carnival, artwork and performances by The Dance Factory as well as the Willamette High School Dance Team.

“We are thrilled about this opportunity to perform for the Bethel Area,” Roshny Bhakta, head coach of the Willamette High School Dance Team and coach at The Dance Factory, tells EW via email. “We are excited to be back and to perform for a crowd that doesn’t always get to see us out in the community.”

Both events are free. The bike tour starts at 10 am Saturday, June 6, at Mountain Rose Herbs, 4020 Steward Road. Loaner bicycles and helmets may be available. Call 465-8860 to inquire.

The We Are Bethel celebration runs from noon to 6 pm Saturday, June 6, at Petersen Barn, 870 Berntzen Road. Call 682-5521 for details.