Over the past few weeks we have gotten several questions about the status of the whitewater park. While the Falls Legacy Partners chose not to formally include a whitewater park into their process, we are encouraged by their ongoing interested in incorporating some element of river access into the plan, and we are continuing to advocate for such inclusion.
Like you, We Love Clean Rivers is dedicated to river restoration and recreation, and we are overwhelmed by the incredible outpouring of public support for the inclusion of active recreation into the site. Indeed, we owe it to everyone who has volunteered, testified, written letters, or otherwise supported this project, to continue our efforts to make the whitewater park a reality.
A little history. We Love Clean Rivers has been involved in the redevelopment process at the Willamette Falls since the beginning. Since Blue Heron’s Bankruptcy, we have supported public agency efforts by advocating for zoning changes at the property site, as well as promoting recreation as an important element of the Riverwalk project. We assisted with the developed of the Riverwalk’s four core values, and when a public outreach event was held in 2016, hundreds of outdoor restoration and recreation enthusiasts participated, showing a passionate interest in how a recreation option aligned specifically with the guiding principles of historic and cultural interpretation, public access, healthy habitat and economic redevelopment. In short, we support, and have always supported, the Riverwalk project and its lofty goal of revitalizing this Oregon City treasure.
Now, We Love Clean Rivers reconfirms its commitment to ensuring that the Riverwalk project not only becomes a reality, but becomes a world-class destination, and we will do all we can to help create a workable solution for a water trail connection. We intend to find a solution that works within the master plan of the site to both improve habitat, and create an active recreation site that would act as a multiplier for the passive recreation planned with the Riverwalk, and help address the economic redevelopment and tourism opportunity for the site.
In the months ahead, we hope you will join us in finding a workable solution, ensuring that Willamette Falls becomes the kind of world-class destination our region deserves.