Shelter home, Piano, Boat building


January 11, 2024 | View PDF

FINN ROCK: McKenzie River Community School students have notched a milestone in their “Constructing a Brighter Future” with the successful construction of another shelter for the unhoused. Their latest structure was recently installed at Square One Villages.

The school’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) project allows students to gain real-world experience while making a meaningful impact on the community.

CTE instructor, Seth O’Hare says, “I am grateful for this opportunity, allowing our students to gain real skills while benefiting our community is a win-win for all involved.”

VIDA: A gorgeous baby grand piano, generously donated to the Vida McKenzie Community Center by a local gentleman to honor his disabled wife, was delivered and played for the first time in its new home on last Friday. People in attendance report the sound quality of this instrument and the new Center’s acoustics are amazing.

This fine piano was found after a several-year-long search by Kimberly Parker Reeves, an exceptionally talented river resident who is also an accomplished singer/songwriter, music teacher, and performer. Kimberly, and a combo of regional professional musicians, presented the last concert held at VMCC before the Holiday Farm Fire. Aptly, Kimberly will be the centerpiece of the first concert at VMCC, as soon as its doors open.

LEABURG: The McKenzie River Discovery Center has announced the popular five-day drift boat building workshop is slated from April 22nd to 26th at the Discovery Center. Under the leadership of Jayson Hayes, of Hayes Custom Wood Boats at Cedar Flat, attendees will build an iconic McKenzie River drift boat. Students in the class will learn the free-form construction method, develop a clear understanding of how the boat is built, and gain the confidence to build their own. For the price of the kit and the luck of a draw, one fortunate student can return home with the boat. Registration information can be found at

According to workshop coordinator Roger Fletcher, a second 10-day class will be held from April 29th to May 9th, focused on building a dory to the lines of the first Colorado River dory built on the McKenzie by Keith Steele in 1962. Colorado River guide, dory builder, and historian, Brad Dimock will teach the class, along with his colleague Cricket Rust. Fletcher notes that the McKenzie River is the spawning grounds for these popular boats and “we at the Discovery Center are pleased to offer these opportunities to our local wood boat aficionados as well as others from around the country.”

The classes are limited to 12 students. “We expect them to fill quickly so I encourage those interested to check out the registration information soon,” he added.


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