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Press release—Celebrate Get Outdoors Oregon Day 2020

Greenbelt Land Trust

For Immediate Release

May 27, 2020

Contact: Torey Mill, torey@oregonlandtrusts.org, 503-568-1160
Contact: Kelley Beamer, kelley@oregonlandtrusts.org, 503-348-9612

Celebrate Get Outdoors Oregon Day on June 6—with 20 at-home activities

Land trusts provide a  library of activities to enjoy the outdoors from home

PORTLAND, OR—Nineteen organizations joined together to build a library of outdoor activities you can enjoy from home, to celebrate Get Outdoors Oregon Day on June 6, 2020. The effort is led by the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts—a network of over 20 nonprofits that works with people and communities to conserve land—so Oregonians can celebrate the outdoors from the safety of their homes. 

“The outdoors can provide a sense of peace and solace,” said Kelley Beamer, executive director for the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts. “Especially during a time where there is great suffering, isolation, and stress. This year, more than ever, we crave and need the outdoors—and the hope and health it can bring.”  

This celebration is in conjunction with the Oregon Office of Outdoor Recreation and the Governor’s proclaimed “Oregon Outdoor Recreation Day,”—House Bill 2143 signed by Governor Kate Brown in June 2017—is held every year on the first Saturday in June. The annual event to encourage Oregonians to explore, discover and learn about our great outdoors.

This year, traditional Get Outdoors Oregon Day events are canceled. Our top priority is the health and safety of each other and the communities we serve. Due to COVID-19 and the Governor’s stay-at-home mandate, many land trusts and other conservation organizations have canceled traditional in-person events for Get Outdoors Day in an effort to slow the spread of the virus and keep local communities safe. Just because in-person events are canceled, however, does not mean that Oregonians cannot seize the opportunity on June 6th to celebrate the great outdoors. 

Thanks to the generosity of land trusts and our conservation partners, we have catalogued a series of virtual events, activities, videos, and more to help Oregonians connect with nature and engage with conservation organizations around the state. 

Together, Oregon land trusts have protected around 448,000 acres across the state, including areas open to the public for outdoor recreation and enjoyment. Land trusts also protect wildlife and wild places, defend working farms and forests, provide climate solutions and champion clean water for all. 

“The work of Oregon land trusts is more important than ever during this time when our day-to-day realities have been dramatically altered due to the pandemic,” Beamer said. “We see many people yearning to reconnect with nature as a refuge from their lives in quarantine, and we can help.”

Please join us on June 6th in celebrating the Oregon we all love by participating in a virtual activity or event with your family and friends from your couch or backyard.

20 activities you can enjoy on June 6 for Get Outdoors Oregon Day:

1) Virtual event: Great Coastal Backyard Bird Count  (North Coast Land Conservancy) When and where: Your backyard! June 6, all day

2)  Virtual event: Become a Forest Park Ambassador – From Home! (Forest Park Conservancy) When and where: Your home, June 6, 10am – 12:30pm

3) Video: Wild Possibilities (~1 minute long; Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts) Why Conserve land? Because Community. 

4) Video: McKenzie River Trust and Ninkasi Brewing (~1:30 minutes long; McKenzie River Trust) Community volunteers make our restoration happen

5) Video: Wallowa Lake’s East Moraine: Securing a Community Legacy  (~6 minutes long; Wallowa Land Trust) Last year, Wallowa Land Trust and its partners embarked on a year-long fundraising campaign to secure the iconic East Moraine of Wallowa Lake. The campaign was successful! Now 1,800 acres on the shore of Wallowa Lake is forever open for public enjoyment and use.

6) Video: Oregon’s own Rainforest Reserve (~3 minutes long; North Coast Land Conservancy) Preserving these magnificent coastal-fronting peaks has long been a dream of coastal residents and visitors for generations. Didn’t know there was a rainforest in Oregon? You’re not the only one! Explore today. 

7) Video: How to Build a Rain Garden (~6 minutes long; Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District) Have you considered building a rain garden in your yard? A rain garden is a “sunken garden bed” in your yard where you can direct runoff from your roof, driveway and other impervious surfaces on your property. The rainwater can then soak into the ground naturally rather than running off into storm drains. This helps prevent pollution from entering our local streams and wetlands. It also helps recharge groundwater and keeps water in our streams during Oregon’s dry summer months. Installing a rain garden on your property can help us maintain a healthy watershed! For more information about conserving natural resources in your watershed, visit www.tualatinswcd.org

8) Video: Nature at Home: California Tortoiseshells, Butterfly Walk (~3 minutes long; Deschutes Land Trust) Join the Deschutes Land Trust’s Amanda Egertson for a butterfly update from the Metolius Preserve. Learn more about California tortoiseshells as we bring nature to you!

9) Nature projects for kids and adults: Nature-based projects for everyone (Blue Mountain Land Trust) Enjoy this series of nature projects—for kids and people of all ages—inspired by the Wild & Scenic Film Festival. Let’s get outside!

10) Virtual yard tours: Virtual Yard Tour and Free Gardening Workshops (East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District) The EMSWCD Virtual Yard Tour is a great opportunity to both share and explore creative nature-scaped yards and gardens – all from the comfort of your home! Connect with us via one or all of our social media pages: EMSWCD Virtual Yard Tour Facebook Group, Instagram,Twitter, Use our hashtag #EMSWCDYardTour! Join us for free online workshops to learn all about native plants and naturescaping basics, and how to attract pollinators to your yard! Visit this page to register.

11) Collection of activities: Videos and ideas to help you get #OutsideEveryDay(Southern Oregon Land Conservancy) Explore a series of videos—journal prompts, sketch ideas and more! SOLC is proud to be an organizing partner in the “Outside Every Day with SOREEL” initiative. About 20 regional environmental education providers are working together to share daily prompts that invite kids and families to get outside to connect and learn with nature. Check them out! 

12) Scavenger hunt: Nature’s Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt (Forest Park Conservancy)  Learn some plant ID and go on a scavenger hunt to identify native species that grow in Forest Park in your own backyard. Tag the Forest Park Conservancy in your photos so we can all learn together!

13) Wildlife photos and videos: Watch wildlife from home (The Nature Conservancy) While you may not be able to get outside and enjoy nature right now, let us bring nature to you. From kestrels and coyotes to ospreys and prairie chickens, these livestreams and slideshows might just contend with your new favorite Netflix series.

14) Facebook photo share: Share photos of Growing Strong with Local Food (Oregon Agricultural Trust) Support your farmers and ranchers while filling your belly AND getting outside! Share pictures of what a healthy local food system means to you on Oregon Agricultural Trust’s Facebook page.

15) Photo contest results: Nature + Nurture photo winners (Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust) Friends of the Columbia Gorge presents the winners, honorable mentions, and finalists of our fifth annual photo contest. The Columbia Gorge is a wondrous sight for the eye to behold. It’s one of the best nature photography spots in the continental United States, but with this spectacular nature in our region comes the need to responsibly steward and nurture it.

16) Read: North Coast Land Conservancy returns cultural site to tribes (North Coast Land Conservancy) Enjoy the press release and an opinion piece reflection on the land transfer.

17) Read: Trail Crew Digs Through Pandemic (The Trust for Public Land) The Klamath Trails Alliance is practicing social distancing at Spence Mountain and getting ready for the moment we can all safely gather together on the trails. Spence Mountain in Klamath County is being acquired for a community forest where over 25 miles of trails have already been built and open to the public. The Trust for Public Land is working with Klamath Trails Alliance, the County and other partners to complete this project.

18) Read: Eddied Out with WRC (Western Rivers Conservancy) WRC created the Eddied Out series to help connect people to rivers while we are all hunkered down at home during COVID-19. In hopes of bringing the spirit of rivers into your life during this difficult time, WRC tapped into our inner river nerd and started creating some lists to bring the river home: Our favorite river songs; our must-see river movies; the river books you have to read and more.

19) Read: Answers in the Trees (Columbia Land Trust) Understanding the role of Northwest forests in tackling climate change.

20) Write: The Great Indoors: Nature Poetry Inspired by Forest Park (Forest Park Conservancy) Draw inspiration to write your own nature poetry about your time in Forest Park, or any other natural area.

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View the PDF version of this press release

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About: Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts: The Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts (COLT) unites 29 conservation organizations in Oregon and serves as the central voice of the land trust community, working to protect the natural world. We serve and strengthen the land trust community in Oregon by building connections and advancing policies that help protect our natural world—our water, wildlife and open space—for all people, forever.

Kelley's our Executive Director for the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts and has over 15 years of experience leading collaborative efforts that support conservation.

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” ― Margaret Atwood

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