Willamette Mission State Park, nestled just north of Salem in the Willamette Valley, is a unique area in the Oregon State Parks network. The park’s 1,329 acres are home to one of the highest quality habitats for diverse wildlife species, such as fish, amphibians and birds. However the park, specifically the floodplain forests that surround the Willamette River, is under threat from invasive plants. Over the past few decades, the forests have been overrun with unwelcome flora.
Willamette Riverkeeper, a nonprofit organization that works to protect and restore the Willamette River, is hoping to stem the invading tide. They’ve been on the ground in Willamette Mission since 2013, fighting to restore 417 acres of vital fish and wildlife habitat. They’ve made progress, but can always use more help. They’re throwing two events in the coming weeks for anyone that wants to come out and get involved:
Rubber Boot Ramble
Saturday Jan. 20, 9:30 a.m. – noon
Join Riverkeeper reps for a family friendly nature walk through the floodplain forest in Willamette Mission State Park. You’ll have opportunities to explore on and off trail, taking in the diverse wildlife that inhabit the river basin. It’s also a great starting point to learn more about the habitat, the challenges it faces and how you can help. To register, visit the event website.
Restoration Work Party
Saturday, Feb. 10, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Want to get your hands dirty? This event is for you. Help Riverkeeper reps and Willamette Mission park staff plant trees and shrubs along the edge of a new floodplain forest. You and your family will also learn about the important role floodplain forests play in the Willamette Valley ecosystem. Tools and work gloves will be provided. To register, visit the event website.
Willamette Mission State Park
Experience the smoke and thunder of an American Civil War battle. More than 700 reenactors will converge at Willamette Mission State Park to portray the realities of war in the 1860s. Your family can visit the camps of soldiers and civilians and experience their lives during wartime. Bring your lawn chairs or sit in the bleachers to watch artillery and cavalry demonstrations. President Abraham Lincoln will visit the camps and review the troops, as well as hold a town hall meeting Saturday.
Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for seniors 55-plus and students through high school with student ID. Children under 6 receive free admission. Day-use parking is $5.
Battle and Demonstration Schedule
|9 a.m.||Daily||Event opens to the public|
|Battalion dress parades (USA Camp, CSA Camp, Artillery Camp)|
|9:30 a.m.||Sunday||Church service
(Artillery Camp; Picnic Shelter if rain)
|10:45 a.m.||Daily||Cavalry drill (Battlefield)|
|11 a.m.||Daily||Morning battle (Camps closed during the battle)|
|Noon||Daily||Artillery demonstration (Battlefield bleachers)|
|12:30 pm||Daily||US medical demonstration (USA Camp/Union Hospital)|
|1 p.m.||Friday & Sunday||Oregon during the Civil War (Picnic Shelter)|
|Saturday||Abraham Lincoln speaks with Stephen Holgate (Picnic Shelter)|
|Saturday & Sunday||Fife and Drum Corps field music (Between Battlefield and Artillery Camp)|
|2 p.m.||Saturday & Sunday||Fashions of the Civil War (Filbert Grove)|
|Daily||Third Brigade Band concert (Picnic Shelter)|
|3 p.m.||Daily||Afternoon battle (Camps closed during the battle)|
|4:30 p.m.||Friday & Saturday||CSA medical demonstration (CSA Hospital/Artillery Camp)|
|Camp presentations (Throughout the camps)|
|6 p.m.||Friday & Saturday||Camps close to the public|