Willamette River Relay

The Nature Conservancy is partnering with the Calapooia Watershed Council and the City of Albany to host the inaugural Willamette River Relay in an effort to raise awareness and funding for Willamette River restoration efforts.

Albany, Oregon | June 09, 2014

The Calapooia Watershed Council has announced plans for the inaugural Willamette River Relay and Paddle Me Plunge. The two events will take place in Albany, Oregon, on Saturday, August 9.

The Willamette River Relay is presented in partnership by the Calapooia Watershed Council, The Nature Conservancy and the City of Albany to raise awareness and funding for river restoration efforts in the Willamette Basin, while also attracting visitors to Historic Downtown Albany and highlighting the many outdoor recreation opportunities available in the Mid-Willamette Valley. Post-relay celebrations and the Paddle Me Plunge are brought to you by the Calapooia Brewing Company.

The Nature Conservancy and Calapooia Watershed Council are working up and down the Willamette River to improve wildlife habitat and water quality, provide place-based youth watershed education programming, and engage residents in the value of our local rivers and all that makes the Willamette Valley a great place to play, work, and live.

Event festivities kick off Friday, August 8 at 4 p.m. with race participant packet pickup, free live music, and a screening of “Willamette Futures” in Monteith Riverpark. “Willamette Futures” is a feature film from Corvallis-based Freshwaters Illustrated about the challenge of restoring the ecological value of Oregon's big river, the people who are rising to that challenge, and the growing community conversation about the future Oregonians want for the Willamette River and its tributaries.

On Saturday, August 9, the Willamette River Relay begins at 10 a.m. with a 2.4 mile paddle from Hyak County Park to Bryant Park, an out-and-back 15.2 mile bicycle ride from Bryant Park following the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, and a 6.2 mile run from Bryant Park along the Dave Clark Trail, finishing at Monteith Riverpark. Following the race, participants will be greeted by a festival with live music, a Calapooia Brewing Company beer garden, and displays from groups engaged in river restoration throughout the Willamette Valley.

Following the Willamette River Relay, participants can join the Calapooia Brewing Company’s Paddle Me Plunge, which is a fun float from Hyak County Park to Bryant Park, ending with an after-party at Calapooia Brewing Company featuring live music from Orquesta Montecalvo and Just People. Plunge participants will be eligible for prizes for the best costume, best floatation device, and most innovative paddle, as judged by a panel of local celebrities.

Proceeds from the Willamette River Relay and Paddle Me Plunge will benefit the Calapooia Watershed Council and efforts to improve the health of local rivers for people and fish alike.

For information on event registration, volunteer opportunities and sponsorship, visit www.riverrelay.com or contact Kyle Smith of the Calapooia Watershed Council at 541-466-3493 or ksmith@calapooia.org.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at www.nature.org. To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visit www.nature.org/global. To keep up with current Conservancy news, follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Kyle Smith
Communications and Development Director
Calapooia Watershed Council

Mitch Maxson
Director of Marketing & Engagement
The Nature Conservancy in Oregon


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