: Sisalee Leavitt

Start Your Summer with National Get Outdoors Day

May 25, 2018

Let me guess: you’re starting to think about summer, the sun has finally returned and you can’t wait to get outside? You clearly live in Oregon. We Oregonians love our rivers, deserts, forests, wild prairies, hot springs and mountains. Your Oregon Land Trusts know this, so let us help you get out there and jump-start your summer!

Celebrate National Get Outdoors Day on June 9, 2018. Plan a road trip to somewhere new, host a family picnic at the park or find an event in your neighborhood — there are 20 events in every corner of the state. Just remember to get outside and share your story with #getoutdoorsOR.

Take a look at these events near you:

Willamette Valley

Connect with the Willamette River and wander preserves that are not usually open to the public. The McKenzie River Trust will be opening their Green Island Preserve for the entire day. Green Island is where the McKenzie and the Willamette River come together. The trust will be hosting guided nature explorations, fishing, tractor rides and booths about conservation efforts.

Are you feeling more contemplative as the seasons shift? Join Greenbelt Land Trust for a nature writing workshop on their private preserve along the Willamette River in Albany. Leading the workshop is Henry Hughes, an award-winning Oregon author and poet.

Interested in how conservation takes shape? The Nature Conservancy will be leading a walk on their Willamette Confluence Preserve near Eugene. Explore the forests, wetlands, oak woodlands and native prairie and learn how the Conservancy is working to reconnect the river to its historic floodplain.

Oregon Coast

Oh, the Oregon Coast! There really is nothing quite like it. Do you love the rain, the rocky wild coastline, the crabs and oysters? Well this is the weekend to find your way there! At the Central Coast, the Wetlands Conservancy and Oregon State Parks will be hosting a bio-blitz! Yep, that is like a race to find things in nature. Afterwards, you will get to take a tour of Oregon’s oldest oyster farm (and taste some of these delicious bivalves). Warning you now, it’s a tough choice between the Central or North Coast. Up the shoreline from the bio-blitz, you can tour the North Coast Land Conservancy’s newest preserve, Boneyard Ridge, 340 acres on the Tillamook Head.

On National Get Outdoors Day, the McKenzie River Trust will host guided nature explorations at their Green Island Preserve. (Photo credit: Charlie Quinn)

Portland Region

It comes as no surprise for Portlanders that getting outside doesn’t have to mean getting in the car. If you want to celebrate Get Outdoors Day with a new activity or with new people, join The Nature Conservancy and The Wetlands Conservancy for their urban events. The Nature Conservancy will be planting native plants and pulling invasive ones at Powell Butte Nature Park and The Wetlands Conservancy will be hosting bird and nature walks at Minthorn Springs, a little-known wetland in Milwaukie.

Southern Oregon

Southern Oregon home to the Rogue River, Klamath Lake Basin and the rugged South Coast. The diversity of landscape is grand. The Wild Rivers Land Trust will be exploring the Bear Creek Natural Area and all its colorful coastal wildflowers. The hike will focus on identifying the flora and fauna native to the area, so bring you camera to remember all that you learn. Moving east, the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy, the stewards of the Rogue, will be wandering The Cathedral Hills with famed ecologist and guide Dr. Tom Atzet. If you are really into the nitty gritty of nature, get yourself out to Klamath Falls with the Klamath Lake Land Trust‘s Caledonia Oak Woodlands hike. Mr Sheehy has found a rare lichen species, and he wants to show you. Yes, this is really a walk, talk and find hike about lichen!

Celebrate Get Outdoors Day with a group or self-guided wildflower hike — and keep your eyes peeled for balsam root.

Central Oregon

Does spring make you want to clean? You can help Deschutes Land Trust get rid of those pesky invasive plants with a weed warrior’s work party. If you are thinking your kids will probably not be interested in digging up weeds, don’t worry, Deschutes Land Trusts wants to host you and your littles for a butterfly adventure on their Metolius Preserve. If you have never visited this Central Oregon gem, you are in for a treat. Butterfly expert Amanda Egertson and her kids will be leading and teaching about the beautiful world of native butterfly’s and how to safely catch them. Do you climb rocks? Do you love Central Oregon for its rocky landscape? Take a hike at the Whychus Canyon Preserve with Daniele McKay and learn about the geology of this beautiful part of Oregon.

Eastern Oregon

Alright, are you ready for an adventure? The Nature Conservancy is ready for you! Walk Juniper Hills Preserve, nestled between the Ochoco Mountains and the Maury Mountains, taking in the wildflowers and colored soils. If you like shades of green, Wallowa Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy will guide you through Zumwalt Prairie, North America’s largest remaining grassland of it’s type. If that wasn’t enough Blue Mountain Land Trust wants to take you to the ever-elusive Strawberry Lake in the Strawberry Mountains. This hike is for the photographer, as your guide will be Ashley Stevick a featured local photographer.

Don’t want to go anywhere? That works, too!

You’d rather stay home? Sounds great. Relax in a hammock. Watch birds. We’ve got you covered with lots of ideas for how you can still get outdoors.

About The

Kelley Beamer
Kelley Beamer is the Executive Director for the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts, an organization that supports over 20 local nonprofits in Oregon, providing a collective voice for land trusts and conservation. She loves fishing, running and spending time with her husband and two young kids.

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