Love Your Columbia Event – Final Report

On August 23, 2014, seventeen different projects and events took place simultaneously within the Columbia River watershed for the first annual Love Your Columbia event, created by Columbia Riverkeeper. An eighteenth site, located in Invermere, British Columbia, held an event on August 10, 2014, but still wished to be included in the larger later event that is described here. The purpose of the Love Your Columbia event was to bring as many different groups as possible together for a day of restoration and celebration of the Columbia River that runs from the headwaters in British Columbia, Canada down to the mouth by Warrenton, Oregon. Solidarity was a goal in conducting all of the events on the same day. We wanted to show that there are multiple wildlife, communities, organizations and groups who depend on the river, therefore making communal stewardship should be high priority and we are all working towards commons goals. The event was also purposed to bring awareness to all of those involved, as well as the concept of a watershed. This final intention of highlighting the watershed was made even more possible due to groups involved in Astoria, Oregon and Canada through highlighting the geographic beginning and end of the river.

Projects involved in the overall event varied from invasive weed pulls to summer picnics. It was important to have many different projects included due to the various ways we all enjoy and care for the river. Overall, the event was a grand success with huge potential for an even larger event in the future. With a basic foundation following this first year’s event, more groups can be included, as well as increased media coverage. With groups involved from all along the Columbia River, and perhaps well into the watershed, local, national and international media coverage can be attained. This would bring greater attention to the issues on the river, as well as to the groups and communities involved.

This event is not intended to be politically charged, but instead aims to bring together all of us who care for the health of the Columbia River in all uses. What follows is a breakdown of those involved and what was completed in the first attempt at this event. “Locations,” “Partners,” and “Projects and Numbers” are organized from the headwaters of the river, starting with Invermere, BC, and head downstream to Astoria, Oregon. The “Direct Partners” are contacts that Columbia Riverkeeper talked to directly. The “Indirect Partners” are other groups that were then contacted by the “Direct Partners” for further assistance in their individual project.

Locations:
 Invermere, British Columbia- James Chabot Provincial Park
 Revelstoke, British Columbia- Inukshuk Centennial Park
 Castlegar, British Columbia- Columbia River @ Lion’s Head Pub
 Spokane, Washington- Spokane River/ McKinstry River Access
 Rowena, Oregon- Mayer State Park
 White Salmon, Washington- White Salmon River Delta
 Hood River, Oregon- Private Residence
 North Bonneville, Washington- Pierce Island
 Washougal, Washington- Captain William Clark Park
 Gresham, Oregon- Oxbow Regional Park
 Vancouver, Washington- Water Resources Education Center
 Portland, Oregon (2)- James Gleason Boat Ramp, Johnson Creek
 Sauvie Island, Oregon- Walton Beach
 Ridgefield, Washington- Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge
 St. Helens, Oregon- Sand Island
 Columbia City, Oregon- Pixie Park
 Astoria, Oregon- Astoria Riverwalk Park

Direct Partners:
 Invermere, British Columbia- Lake Windermere Ambassadors
 Revelstoke, British Columbia- Kingbird Biological Consultants Ltd. Et al. (Revelstoke Greenbelt Restoration Project)
 Castlegar, British Columbia- ChillBilly Sportfishing Charters, Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Committee
 Spokane, Washington- Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club, Spokane Riverkeeper
 Rowena, Oregon- Oregon State Parks and Recreation, Columbia Riverkeeper
 White Salmon, Washington- Underwood Conservation District, Yakama
Nation Fisheries Program
 Hood River, Oregon- Private Residence, Columbia Riverkeeper
 North Bonneville, Washington- Columbia Land Trust
 Washougal, Washington- Clark County Public Works
 Gresham, Oregon- Metro-Gresham, Columbia Riverkeeper
 Vancouver, Washington- City of Vancouver
 Portland, Oregon (2)- James Gleason: SOLVE Oregon; Johnson Creek: Johnson Creek Watershed Council
 Sauvie Island, Oregon- Environment Oregon
 Ridgefield, Washington- Friends of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge
 St. Helens, Oregon- Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership
 Columbia City, Oregon- Paulette Lichatowich (community citizen)
 Astoria, Oregon- Astoria Parks and Recreation, Northwest Watershed Association

Indirect Partners: (not an exhaustive list)
 BC Parks Foundation
 Columbia Basin Trust
 City of Portland’s Community Watershed Stewardship Program
 Clakamas County Water Environment Services
 Green Lents
 Portland Metro
 North Clakamas Parks and Recreation
 North Columbia Environmental Society
 Illecillewaet Greenebelt Society
 U.S. Fish and Wildlife
 Mid Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group
 Klickitat County Noxious Weed Department
 Skamania County Noxious Weed Department
 Gorge Kiteboarders Association

Sponsors: (not an exhaustive list)
 Astoria Old Riverfront Trolley
 Lions Head Pub
 Daughters of the American Revolution- Multnomah County Chapter
 Rosauers
 Oregon Metro
 Ocean Conservancy
 Oregon State Marine Board
 Clakamas County
 Paulette Lichatowich
 Overland Park Coalition
 AVISTA
 Mount Spokane Physical Therapy
 Get Hooked on Pryor’s Fish
 McKinstry
 Pyramid Printing
 Spokane River Forum
 River City Red
 North Side Physical Therapy
 Mountain Gear
 Out There Monthly
 River City Brewery
 Pryor’s Restaurant
 Red Lion
 Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club

Projects and Numbers: (approximately)
 Invermere, British Columbia- James Chabot Provincial Park
o Picnic and Celebration, August 10th, 10:00 am- 2:00 pm
o ____ people
o Lake Windermere Ambassadors, Kirsten Harma: info@lakeambassadors.ca

 Revelstoke, British Columbia- Inukshuk Centennial Park
o Remove competing vegetation from restoration site, 10:00 am- 1:00 pm
o 3 volunteers
o Kingbird Biological Consultants Ltd. Et al., Mandy Kellner: mandy.kellner@gmail.com

 Castlegar, British Columbia- Columbia River @ Lion’s Head Pub
o First Annual Walleye and Pike Derby, Sunrise to 6:00 pm
o ____ people
o ChillBilly Sportfishing Charters, Graham Cloutier: chillbillycharters@hotmail.com
o Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Committee, Jennifer Vogel: jvogel@ckipc.ca

 Spokane, Washington- Spokane River/ McKinstry River Access
o Spokane River Classic, 9:00 am- 12:00 pm
o 134 people, 37 volunteers
o Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club, Stan Mrzygod: sckc_member@sckc.ws
o Spokane Riverkeeper, Jerry White: jerry@cforjustice.org

 Rowena, Oregon- Mayer State Park
o Litter pick-up and hazard tree removal, 10:00 am- 1:00 pm
o 10 volunteers, 5 bags of trash (150 lbs), 3 hazardous trees (5 trailer loads)
o Columbia Riverkeeper, Emily Long: volunteer@columbiariverkeeper.org
o Oregon State Parks and Recreation: Michael Clough: Michael.Clough@oregon.gov

 White Salmon, Washington- White Salmon River Delta
o Invasive weed removal and litter pick-up, 9:00 am-12:00 pm
o 22 volunteers, 1 truckload of trash and noxious weeds
o Underwood Conservation District, Tova Tillinghast: tova@ucdwa.org
o Yakama Nation Fisheries Program, Jeanette Burkhart: jeanette@ykfp.org

 Hood River, Oregon- Private Residence
o Tree sapling relocation and weed removal, 10:00 am-1:00 pm
o 6 volunteers, 25 trees
o Columbia Riverkeeper, Danielle Weir (intern)

 North Bonneville, Washington- Pierce Island
o Litter pick-up, 10:00 am- 1:00 pm
o 19 volunteers, 1,000 lbs trash, + 2 tractor tires, 6 car tires, other
o Columbia Land Trust, Sam Schongalla: SSchongalla@columbialandtrust.org

 Washougal, Washington- Captain William Clark Park*
o Litter pick-up at park and beach, 9:00 am- 12:00 pm
o Project uncompleted on day of event
o Clark County Public Works, Karen Llewellyn: Karen.Llewellyn@clark.wa.gov

 Gresham, Oregon- Oxbow Regional Park
o Litter pick-up along the Sandy River, 10:00 am- 1:00 pm
o 11 volunteers, 14 bags (420 lbs)
o Columbia Riverkeeper, Alexandria Stocks (intern) o Oxbow Regional Park, Kendra Carrillo: kendra.carrillo@oregonmetro.gov

 Vancouver, Washington- Water Resources Education Center
o Invasive plant removal and litter pick-up, 9:00 am- 11:00 pm
o 3 volunteers, 4 bags (120 lbs), + 3 buckets of glass
o City of Vancouver, Hailey Heath: hailey.heath@cityofvancouver.us

 Portland, Oregon (2)- James Gleason Boat Ramp, Johnson Creek
o James Gleason Boat Ramp: Shoreline litter pick-up, 9:00 am- 1:00 pm
o 15 volunteers, 17 bags (510 lbs)
o SOLVE Oregon, Calvin Bauer: calvin@solveoregon.org
o Johnson Creek: Litter pick-up in and along the creek, 9:00 am- 12:00 pm
o 140 volunteers, 225 bags (6,750 lbs)
o Johnson Creek Watershed Council, Amy Lodholz: amy@jcwc.org

 Sauvie Island, Oregon- Walton Beach*
o Paddle and litter pick-up, 12:00 pm- 5:00 pm
o Original project uncompleted on day of event; end result= 3 volunteers, 1 hr, 3 bags (30 lbs)
o Environment Oregon, Rachel Reddick (intern)

 Ridgefield, Washington- Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge
o Invasive plant removal, 9:00 am- 12:30 pm
o 8 volunteers, 616 plants
o Friends of Ridgefield NWR, Kieslana Wing: kieslana_wing@fws.gov

 St. Helens, Oregon- Sand Island
o Litter pick-up and invasive plant removal, 9:00 am- 1:00 pm
o 12 volunteers, 3 bags (30 lbs), 2 truckloads of invasive plants
o Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, Samantha Dumont: SDumont@estuarypartnership.org

 Columbia City, Oregon- Pixie Park
o Picnic celebration of the river, 12:00 pm- 4:00 pm
o 65 people
o Community Citizen, Paulette Lichatowich

 Astoria, Oregon- Astoria Riverwalk Park
o Invasive weed pull and litter pick-up, 9:00 am-12:00 pm
o 50 volunteers, 27 regular bags (810 lbs), 17 XL bags (680 lbs), + 2 mattresses, 1 futon, ___ lbs of invasive plants pulled
o Astoria Parks and Recreation, Janice O’Malley: chip-in@astoria.or.us

Grand Total: (approximate)
 538 people in attendance, 339 volunteers
 1,781 hours of people in attendance (including recreational), 1,119 volunteer hours*
 10,750 pounds (over 5 tons) of litter removed**

* Total hours does not include the work put into planning the event and projects or the amount of time for preparation and wrap-up. It is solely the amount of hours accumulated on the day of the event based on the individual project times.
** This is an estimate that does not include the weight of materials like mattresses, tires or woody debris/vegetation.
In finale, a truly special thank you goes to all of the people, groups and sponsors that helped to make this possible and exuberant. Some projects were more successful than others, but the overall event was a learning experience that can be built on and made more successful in the future. As a whole, the first annual Love Your Columbia event accomplished an incredible amount of goals and benefited the Columbia River on a large scale. It could not have been feasible without everyone’s involvement.

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