Riparian Tours is not an island, but a part of the larger watershed. The support, encouragement and resources from the larger community, like the riparian zone in a river, makes us vibrant and whole.
As a donor and volunteer, I have a warm spot in my heart for what the McKenzie River Trust is doing in the McKenzie, Willamette and Siuslaw watersheds. Through both conservation easements and fee-title purchases, MRT has been connecting people to the places they care about, restoring natural systems and protecting special lands since 1989. Of all the non-profit conservation groups in Lane county, the McKenzie River Trust, in my mind, is doing the most for the watershed where we get our drinking water.
As a volunteer, I worked with the McKenzie Watershed Council on the South Fork McKenzie Restoration project. The McKenzie Watershed Council` along with the McKenzie Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest completed one of the largest restoration projects in recent years. Other agencies that were present and helping on the project the day I volunteered were Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Parks and Recreation and the Detroit, Sweet Home and Middle Fork Ranger Districts of the Willamette National Forest. The collaboration I saw that day among the local, state and federal agencies was exemplary.
As a member of the Friends of Buford Park and Mt. Pisgah and a frequent visitor of the Buford Park and Mt. Pisgah area, I am proud of the conservation work that is being done on the land, the sowing of sustainable seeds the native plant nursery provides and the work they are doing in concert with the Nature Conservancy in the riparian zone of the Middle Fork Willamette River. I volunteer weekly cutting blackberries in and around the Howard Buford Recreation Area, reclaiming native plant habitat.
Lane County Audubon Society, has helped me, as a beginning birder, to expand my identification skills. I’ve learned from some very kind folks and enjoyed a warm welcome from participants at the third Saturday bird walks. The monthly meetings always have informative speakers on conservation efforts, wildlife and recent bird sightings.
The Lane Community College Small Business Development Center has worked with Riparian Tours for over a year now. My advisor has provided guidance in brand, web presence, social media, marketing collateral and finances. The classes that I’ve taken immediately pay dividends and it’s nice to talk with other cottage industries.
Since becoming a member of Travel Lane County I have enjoyed working with many of my colleagues in the tourism industry. The staff at TLC has been extremely helpful getting Riparian Tours’ name out to the tourism industry and has helped me better market this cottage industry. TLC’s connections to Travel Oregon and the Willamette Valley Visitors Association have expanded my understanding of tourism in Oregon.
Food for Lane County has been a favorite non-profit for many years. The efforts of FFLC and its volunteers in getting local food into our community serves a growing need.
Bring Recycling has been a resource for many of the projects around our house. From the recycled wood in our planters in the front yard to recycling my castoffs to another’s home, BRING is a great resource. It is a treasure trove of a place for reuse, recycle and repurpose.
REI Eugene has been a go to for me since they moved into the old Eugene Planing Mill building many years ago. The staff is friendly and knowledgable and the prices with the ten percent dividend are reasonable.
Backcountry Gear has become one of my favorite Eugene outdoor stores. They are also an online store, but being one who likes to try on and see the product, their store at 1855 West Second has filled that need. They often have twenty percent off sales.
Food and Drink
Much of the food that ends up on the table on Riparian Tours lunch and snack stops comes from the below partners in the community.
Newman’s Fish Market has been selling fresh fish since 1890 and remains a Eugene staple for fresh seafood, artisan cheeses, and delectable wines. You will sometimes see me filling in at Newman’s with the delightful crew of fish mongers. Also, don’t miss out on the fabulous fish and chips menu at the Willamette Street location.
Long’s Meat Market exemplifies the local butcher shop of yesteryear. Long’s has a great selection of both raw, freshly cut beef, lamb, pig and chicken, as well as a full service deli offering turkey, ham, beef, cheeses and a host of varietal surprises that are fun to explore.
Sundance Natural Foods has been a local institution since 1971 for organic fruits and vegetables. The selection of whole and wild-crafted foods and the wine and beer offerings are sure to satisfy. Sundance has been our go to grocery since moving to the neighborhood in 1994 and it continues to deliver the freshest produce in all of Eugene.
I make every effort to provide flavorful, nutritious foods from the local market from primarily the above establishments. I am happy to support them all with my patronage.