A whitewater park would provide direct access to the river, so Oregonians and visitors alike can enjoy and appreciate the falls up close, while stimulating our local recreational economy.
With the addition of a whitewater park, Oregon City has the opportunity to create a world-class attraction and to become one of the region’s top outdoor recreation destinations.
Learn more about the Willamette Falls Whitewater Park project
We are working with many partners to re-open access to Willamette Falls and provide opportunities to honor the area’s heritage, connect the public with the river, restore healthy habitat, and provide opportunities for economic development.
Whitewater parks are increasingly
as a valuable investment for tourism
and economic development. A recent study completed by ECONorthwest demonstrates the strong economic potential for Oregon City and the state as a whole: Projections show that a whitewater center in Oregon City could inject $20 to $30 million dollars annually into the local economy, creating new jobs and opportunities for the area.
Whitewater parks are good for our whole community, providing recreational opportunities for our children and families while preserving our natural habitats. More than 2.5 million Oregonians live within 60 minutes of the proposed Whitewater Park. A whitewater park provides fun for all–from family floats to recreational kayakers.
Oregonians have a long legacy of appreciation for Willamette Falls from tribal canoeing to the steamboats of the 1800s, from the Willamette Falls Locks to the Eastside mill industries. Now, our recreation culture inspires new ways to enjoy the falls and develop the area. A whitewater park provides a way for all Oregonians to experience the power and beauty of the Willamette River, while building out a robust economy.
Oregon City can join the tide of towns across the nation in tapping into the economic opportunities that whitewater parks bring. More than a dozen U.S. cities have already developed whitewater parks, and many more are looking into them. Communities like Charlotte, Cascade, and Columbus, have found that their parks not only serve as a recreational focal point, but play host to major events and competitions, attracting visitors from all over the world and bringing wide returns on initial investments.