Make the McKenzie Connection!

Green Island marks twenty of recovery

1,100 acres are at McKenzie/Willamette confluence

COBURG: Since the McKenzie River Trust acquired land from the Green family in 2003, Green Island has been evolving. The site has become recognized as the site of some of the least altered fish and wildlife habitats in the Willamette Valley.

Green Island’s significance was based on research indicating that between Albany and Eugene - from 1850 to 1995 - close to 80% of islands, 41% of side channels, 80% of riparian forest, and 74% of alcoves and sloughs had been lost.

Restoring the floodplain forest is a key element in enhancing the habitat on the property for native wildlife. With work begun in 2006, the Trust converted more than 450 acres of Green Island from agriculture fields to floodplain forest or riparian habitat, more than 65 acres to native grassland, and more than 15 acres to upland/oak forest.

To date over 650,000 native trees and shrubs have been planted on the property. and many more are yet to come. The result has been a gallery forest that provides refuge for birds, bugs, frogs, snakes, salamanders, beavers, otters, coyotes, and deer that visit and live on the restored land.

Lessons learned over the years at Green Island have allowed the Trust to take on bigger conservation opportunities throughout the region while creating opportunities for more people to participate. And as one staff member recently observed, it allowed us to “put love in the ground.”


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