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Posts Tagged ‘Tualatin Riverkeepers’

Trail of the Week: Tualatin River Water Trail

Posted on: August 19th, 2013 by Jackie Luskey No Comments
Paddling the Tualatin River, you'll see Oregon's Washington County in a whole new way.

Paddling the Tualatin River, you’ll see Oregon’s Washington County in a whole new way.

Every trail has its peak season. Whether it’s catching the autumn change of oak trees or it’s simply the perfect temperature for hitting the trail, we all feel the seasons through the changing nature of the trails we use. Water trails are, of course, no exception. In the last days of summer, feeling the soft splash of the Tualatin River come off of a kayak or canoe oar is nothing short of delightful.

Instead of the usual tromp through the forest, paddle down the Tualatin River Water Trail. To make it easy, the Tualatin Riverkeepers’ affordable kayak and canoe rentals are stationed at Cook Park—but only through Labor Day!

Along the 40 mile stretch of the Tualatin River Water Trail, paddlers can find swimming deer, turtles, eagles, and even otters. Nature lovers can truly unwind and experience wildlife from a new angle.

As the river is a friendly one (and a life jacket is included with your boat rental), The Tualatin River Water Trail is the ideal first experience for new kayakers and canoeists. Simply paddle at your own place and enjoy the easy-breezy style of water trail travel. Kayaks, canoes, and lifejackets are available to rent from the Tualatin Riverkeepers through September 2, 2013. The Tualatin Riverkeepers are located at Cook Park (17005 SW 92nd Avenue, Tualatin, Oregon). Rental hours are Friday through Sundays (and Labor Day), 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Rental rates are $30 per canoe or tandem kayak, $20 per solo kayak. After four hours, there is an additional $10 charge per additional hour of use.

Fast Facts
Length: 40 miles, with various access points    
Type: kayaking, canoeing
Level: beginner
Map: Tualatin Riverkeepers Paddler Map

Tune into the next installment of Trail of the Week! We will be shifting gears, going from paddles to pedals. With the Inaugural Ride for the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway less than a month away, we are thrilled to take some time to talk about how beautiful and fun this ride is. Can’t wait? Register for the Inaugural Ride now.

Did you catch our first Trail of the Week installment? Don’t miss out on the Fanno Creek Trail—it allows you to walk alongside the Tualatin River instead of paddling in it!

Migrate to the Tualatin River Bird Festival

Posted on: April 17th, 2013 by Angie Marsh No Comments

Meet an owl up close, discover blooming plants, enjoy live songs about toads and much more at the 2013 Tualatin River Bird Festival event Saturday, May 18.

A Refuge resident, photo by Kevin Welsh

The Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in Sherwood is hosting this annual medley of free activities celebrating wildlife and wild places. The action-packed day begins with walks from 5:30 to 11 a.m., guided by three staff from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Another option is a “Songbird Hike” from 7 to 9 a.m. by a naturalist from the Backyard Bird Shop. If you’d like to paddle through the Refuge, the Tualatin Riverkeepers are leading a canoe (or kayak) trip from 9 a.m. to noon (advance registration required). Or choose the “Birding 101″ guided walk from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

At 10 a.m. is the “Guided Nature Walk for Kids,” starring bugs, slugs, logs and more. From noon to 1 p.m., the Audubon presents its live bird show, featuring owls, falcons, vultures and more. Following their show on the main stage, the birds and their handlers will be “meeting and greeting” attendees.

The guided walks continue with “Native Plants” at 1 p.m., a family friendly “Discovery Stroll” at 2 p.m., and a “Twilight Talk & Walk” at 6:30 p.m.

Other unique offerings include a live guitar performance by Dave Orleans, who will sing about trees, toads and more, from 2 to 4 p.m. Then at 4 p.m. is the two-hour workshop, “Basic Point-and-Shoot Digital Photography.” This is the only festival event with a fee, which is $10, and requires advance registration.

The day’s ongoing offerings include:
- Kids crafts
- A miniature golf course depicting the lifecycle of salmon
- A scavenger hunt
- A wood carver in action
- Build a bird or bat house, or bee board
- Rod casting

In addition, the Refuge Wildlife Center and Nature’s Overlook store will both be open. Visit the Tualatin River Bird Festival site for all the day’s details.

A Closer Look At Our Cities: Tigard

Posted on: August 31st, 2012 by Sylke Neal-Finnegan No Comments

The Broadway Rose Theatre Company stages a slate of professional live musical theater productions season after season.

With a population of more than 48,000, the bedroom community of Tigard is located just south of Portland in southeastern Washington County.  It is home to the region’s premier tax-free shopping destinations, has a thriving community is devoted to the arts, and offers outdoor recreation opportunities.

Arts & Culture

Tigard is the proud home of the Broadway Rose Theatre Company, Washington County’s only award-winning professional musical theatre company. Each season, Broadway Rose produces a slate of musicals that range from well-known classics to world premieres.

Want a more hands-on experience? Main Street in downtown Tigard is home to two do-it-yourself shops. Blow your own glass masterpiece at Live Laugh Love Glass,  or blend your own wine at Tigard Wine Crafters.

Outdoor Recreation

Recreation is tops here, as Tigard’s Cook Park provides access to the Tualatin River, a calm waterway that is popular with kayakers and canoeists. During weekends through September, rent a canoe or kayak from the Tualatin Riverkeepers for a peaceful and leisurely paddle along the river.

Tax-Free Shopping

Tigard is home to some of the best known shopping brands, and boasts the state’s most beloved shopping centers.

Washington Square is Oregon and Southwest Washington’s premier shopping center with five anchor stores–including Macy’s, JC Penney, Sears, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Oregon’s largest Nordstrom–and more than 170 distinctive shops and restaurants.

Located in the border of Tigard and neighboring city of Tualatin is Bridgeport Village, a European-style outdoor shopping experience with a unique blend of upscale national and local retailers, restaurants, bookstore, spa, and a first-run, multiplex movie theater.  Just a couple blocks down the street is Stash Tea, a retail shop offering more than 200 premium loose-leaf teas, a variety of tea pots, customized gift baskets and other unique gifts.

From the arts to the art of shopping, Tigard provides visitors with many things to see and do. Add Tigard, as well as other cities, towns and attractions to your Oregon’s Washington County itinerary.


Kayaking and Canoeing: No Reservations Required

Posted on: August 1st, 2012 by Angie Marsh 2 Comments

The Tualatin River provides cool and calming recreational opportunities–especially in the summertime. Best of all, no advance planning is necessary for a boat trip, as rentals are available on a drop-in, first-come, first-serve basis at two different locations within Washington County.

The Tualatin Riverkeepers have a colorful assortment of cool kayaks (funded, in part, by a WCVA tourism grant)

The Tualatin Riverkeepers are renting canoes and kayaks at Tigard’s Cook Park boat launch on Saturdays and Sundays through September, with no reservations required. Cost is $30 for up to four hours, with each additional hour $10, and includes life vests. Choose which block of time you’d like to paddle the scenic waterways; rental hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days.

For expanded options, check out Alder Creek’s Tualatin rental location, also on the Tualatin River, but in Browns Ferry Park. Canoes and single and tandem recreational kayaks are available for rental Wednesdays through Friday from noon to 7 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.–through Labor Day weekend (continuing on weekends only Sept. 8-9 and 15-16, 2012). Cost is $20 for two hours, $25 for four hours and $40 for all day.

If you’re looking for more guidance along the waterway, Tualatin Riverkeepers also has two upcoming paddle events. Family Paddle Day is Saturday, Aug. 11 at Cook Park, and offers two-hour guided canoe trips complete with a shuttle. On Sunday, Aug. 26 they’re offering a Westside Family Paddle Trip at Rood Bridge Park in Hillsboro. Both of these events require reservations. Happy paddling!



Tualatin Riverfront Music Festival

Posted on: August 29th, 2011 by Angie Marsh No Comments
The third annual Tualatin Riverfront Music Festival is Saturday, Sept. 10–and is sure to rock. Legendary soul diva Linda Hornbuckle is the headliner, and is a performer with a strong set of lungs and a fierce and friendly stage presence, as I’ve observed in person. Here’s a sample:

The Festival also features performances by jazz piano trio The Originals and singer-songwriter Tyler Stenson. To accompany the music, there will be food, beer from Max’s Fanno Creek Brew Pub, as well as a selection of wines available for purchase.
And it wouldn’t be a riverfront festival without the option to enjoy the river; kayaks will be available for rent for $5. Families can also enjoy an assortment of nature activities. All this fun takes place from 3 to 8 p.m. at Tualatin Community Park, and admission is $5 with ages 15 and younger free. Proceeds from the event benefit the Tualatin Riverkeepers in their effort to protect and restore the Tualatin River. More information or reply to the event invite on Facebook titled “Tualatin Riverfront Music Festival with Linda Hornbuckle.”

Newfound Paradise: Paddlin’ Down the Tualatin River

Posted on: August 10th, 2010 by Sylke Neal-Finnegan 2 Comments
The Tualatin Riverkeepers have a colorful assortment of cool kayaks (funded, in part, by a WCVA tourism grant)

We were riding in style in the colorful kayaks provided by the Tualatin Riverkeepers (which were funded, in part, by a WCVA tourism grant).

Over the weekend, the Washington County Visitors Association (WCVA) threw a summer social at Tualatin Community Park, located in the heart of downtown Tualatin (and one of the locations of this week’s Crawfish Festival). It was an ideal summer day in Oregon, and a perfect Saturday to take a leisurely trip down the serene Tualatin River.

With some quick instruction and guidance from the fine volunteers of the Tualatin Riverkeepers, and after being suited up with life jackets, my daughter and I –and the rest of the guests at the summer social– set out in the kayaks for an hour-long paddle trip down the Tualatin River.

The quiet calm of the river was amazing. Trees flanked both sides of the river, and the only clues that we were in a suburban area were the occasional overpasses we floated under, which also served as makeshift habitats for nesting birds who make the river their home.

Along our slow journey, we passed a young man and his brother fishing, presumably for the largemouth bass that thrive in the Tualatin. Other folks enjoying the river passed us slow-poke kayakers on their kayaks and canoes, each sharing a smile and saying a pleasant “hello” as they paddled past us.

It wasn’t just river dwellers of the human variety that were enjoying the Tualatin River that day. Plenty of birds were enjoying the sunny, cool afternoon. Wood ducks, green heron and other birds indigenous to the area were swimming and flying alongside the kayaks, with some stopping for a quick bite to eat.  Although we didn’t see any river otters or beavers during our excursion, we did see evidence that at least one beaver makes the river its home.  Sue, one of the fabulous guides from the Riverkeepers, found a recently gnawed piece of bark floating downstream, an artifact left behind by a busy beaver.

Why I waited three years to try kayaking down the Tualatin River, I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that I can’t wait to get back out on the river and spend another lazy Saturday with the birds and beavers.

Read more about the Tualatin Riverkeepers and their mission to protect Oregon’s Tualatin River system.

Outdoor Summer Fun in the Tualatin Valley

Posted on: May 5th, 2010 by Guest Blogger No Comments

Get ready for some outdoor fun!  Here are some great ideas from our partners that represent one of the greatest assets in Washington County: nature (and everything in it).

Tualatin-Riverkeepers-logoThis summer, the Tualatin Riverkeepers is offering a bounty of scheduled events for kids and adults of all ages, including parent-child hikes and paddle trips along the Tualatin River.  For kids from ages 4-13, there are six summer sessions of  nature day-camps,  a series of daylong camps with different themes to encourage awareness of and love for the natural world.  See details.

For more information, read the Riverkeepers’ informative quarterly newsletter, “The Green Herald”.


salamanderSign_kidsite_RefugeThe Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge also has plenty of summertime activities for the entire family, such as guided ‘Night Creature Walks’, where explorers can experience the mysteries of the Refuge after the sun goes down.  

While visiting the Refuge, don’t forget to borrow a Nature Discovery Pack, a backpack full of activities, binoculars, field guides and nature journals. The packs are loaned to guests, free of charge, during visitor center hours.

Get the family excited for a trip to the Refuge, thanks to the U.S. Department of Interior and the U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife’s recently launched website (recommended for children, ages 5+). This interactive site features learning sessions, quizzes, and a chance to earn a free tree to plant in your own backyard. (Supplies are limited.)

Festivals & Celebrations Galore

Posted on: September 23rd, 2009 by Angie Marsh No Comments

Get out and enjoy unique events this weekend!

SATURDAY, Sept. 26:

Medieval Market Daymedieval2

The Beaverton Farmers’ Market hosts a one-day celebration of a time when all markets were open-air markets. So put on your medieval garb and join in the fun, including artisans demonstrating medieval crafts, children’s activities, music, cooking demos and sword tournaments.

This event is held in conjunction with the Washington County Chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism – The shire of Dragon’s Mist, and is from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Oktoberfest at McMenamins Grand Lodge

grand-lodge_scaledJoin in a free gathering at McMenamins Grand Lodge in Forest Grove, complete with bands, beer, bratwurst and more in celebration of Oktoberfest!

Live music performances begin at 2 p.m.:

o CHERVONA (party troupe) 2 p.m.

o TRANSCENDENTAL BRASS BAND (marching jam band) 4 p.m.

o GYPSY CARAVAN (belly dancers) 5 p.m.

o DEER TICK (rock) 7 p.m.

o JACK McMAHON (folk/blues) 7 p.m.

SUNDAY, Sept. 27:riverfront_music09_360

Tualatin Riverfront Music Festival

Enjoy the unique bluegrass and gospel sounds of the Misty Mamas band at this new annual event in Tualatin’s Browns Ferry Park.
Paddle your boat to the festival or borrow a boat on site from Tualatin Riverkeepers, the beneficiaries of the event.
A special Tualatin River Oktoberfest beer, brewed by Fanno Creek Brew Pub, will be available, along with Oregon pinots, sausages, veggie dogs and dessert.
Cost is $20 for adults; kids are free. The event is from 3 to 7 p.m.


Festival Japan


Uwajimaya at 10500 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway in Beaverton, again hosts its annual free two-day festival, which includes Japanese food, music and art for all ages! It ranges from taiko drumming to martial arts. The fest is 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Volunteering and Canoeing with the Tualatin Riverkeepers

Posted on: July 24th, 2009 by Allison George 3 Comments
Putting in at Munger Farm, Tualatin Riverkeepers

Putting in at Munger Farm, Tualatin Riverkeepers

Paddling on the Tualatin River is a fun outdoor recreational opportunity during the summer months, and recently some of the WCVA staff and our guests went on a guided canoe trip on the Tualatin River led by the Tualatin Riverkeepers.  If you haven’t heard of the Riverkeepers, they are a terrific community-based nonprofit organization working to protect and restore the Tualatin River watershed through education, restoration, advocacy, and facilitating public access to nature.

The paddle trip was also intermingled with a good cause: habitat restoration.  Some of my coworkers started the day by helping the Riverkeepers hand-clear some invasive, non-native plant species.  Hand pulling weeds may be hard work, but it protects the nearby watershed and wildlife from herbicides and other chemicals, to give native, soil-stabilizing plants  a chance to recover.

Pulling invasive species for a good cause.

Pulling invasive species for a good cause.

We all had a great time on the river, and although I personally didn’t catch many glimpses of wildlife during our two hour trip, the little pirates in my canoe claimed sightings of Crocodiles, Chilean Sea Bass, and Harry Potter. 

The 'pirates'.

The 'pirates'.

Takin' in some shade before heading back.

Takin' in some shade before heading back.

After the paddle trip, we hit the South Store Cafe for a delicious lunch, and then headed across the street to shop and pet the goats behind the Smith Berry Barn. *Tip*: remember to bring some quarters for the goat-treat dispensing machine if you head back there. These cute little goats love their treats!


The Tualatin Riverkeepers website  www.tualatinriverkeepers.org is chalk full of information, including a down-loadable paddler’s map of the Lower Tualatin River with river access points, hazard zones, and estimated paddling times.

Canoe Rentals
The Tualatin Riverkeepers has limited canoes available for participants on their organized paddle trips. Check their website for further information, including  their guided trips and events schedule. Other local canoe rental sources include:

Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe 503-285-0464 *Easy Alert*: They offer family friendly paddle-away boat rentals right on the Tualatin River from their location in Browns Ferry Park during the summer months.


Washington County Visitors Association (WCVA) Awards Grant Funds for Tourism Development Projects

Posted on: June 3rd, 2009 by Sylke Neal-Finnegan 2 Comments

The Washington County Visitors Association (WCVA), awarded just under $200,000 in tourism grants to local organizations. The WCVA is a destination marketing organization charged with marketing the county as a tourism destination. Up to $200,000 are allocated to local organizations annually for tourism development.

Selected by the WCVA’s grant committee, which is comprised of members of its board of directors, the seven recipients will receive the funds beginning in July for projects designed to enhance Washington County’s tourism products.

Recipients of the WCVA’s 2009-10 tourism grants are: 

  • Banks Community Foundation ($15,000): Funding support to produce a Banks, Ore., visitor guide highlighting the attributes of L.L.
    First store built in Banks, 1901.

    First store built in Banks, 1901.

    “Stub” Stewart State Park, which is an important attraction for out-of-town visitors

  • Broadway Rose Theatre ($30,000): Funding support to hire part-time staff dedicated to promoting upcoming theater productions to out-of-town groups, and funding support for out-of-area advertising
  • Horning’s Hideout ($18,826): Funding support to build two competition-quality disc golf courses, with the goal of hosting tournaments, which will potentially attract out-of-town visitors
  • Hulaman Triathlon ($50,000): Funding support for the Hulaman Triathlon sporting event, with the goal of positioning the event at a higher competitive level to attract and increase the number of out-of-town athlete attendees
  • North Willamette Vintners Association ($30,000): Funding support to develop programs and wine events in Washington County to attract out-of-town visitors
  • L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park ($8,350): Funding support to build a competition-quality disc golf course, with the goal of hosting tournaments, which will potentially attract out-of-town visitors
  • Tualatin Riverkeepers  ($40,000): Funding support to purchase equipment and hire part-time staff to implement a guided river-rafting program in Washington County, which will enhance the county’s tourism assets for the group tour and independent travel markets
Hornings Hideout

Hornings Hideout

The sole purpose of the funds allocated is for the development or promotion of emerging events, activities and other tourism-related attractions in Washington County. To be considered for funding, projects must have the potential to attract and draw tourists from at least 50 miles outside of Washington County and the Portland Metro area, thereby increasing visitor spending in the local economy.

All grant recipients are required to demonstrate how the awarded funds increased visitor spending in Washington County from visitors who traveled from out of the Portland Metro area, as well as report a return on investment on these grants.

Congratulations to all of this year’s recipients!