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The Calapooia Watershed Council will present the inaugural Willamette River Relay, a paddling/bicycling/running race, and Paddle Me Plunge in Albany August 8 and 9, 2014, to raise awareness and funding for river restoration efforts in the Willamette Basin, attract visitors to historic Downtown Albany, and highlight outdoor recreation opportunities in the mid-Willamette Valley.

willamette river relayThe City of Albany and The Nature Conservancy are partners in the events.

Event festivities kick off Friday, August 8, at 4:00 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.

The Willamette River Relay begins at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, August 9, 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 Path, 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.

After the relay, participants can join Calapooia Brewing Company's Paddle Me Plunge, a fun float from Hyak Park to Bryant Park, 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 best costume, best floatation device, and most innovative paddle, as judged by a panel of local celebrities.

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 local rivers and all that makes the Willamette Valley a great place to play, work, and live.

Proceeds from the Relay and 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 or contact Kyle Smith of the Calapooia Watershed Council at 541-466-3493 or  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .