McKenzie River Interpretive Center

McKenzie River Hatchery at Leaburg, Oregon

“The McKenzie River, Gem of the Cascades, has a powerful story of which you and I are now part”

The McKenzie River Guides Association, in collaboration with federal, state and local agencies, is planning a world-class visitor destination currently referred to as the McKenzie River Interpretive Center, adjacent to the historic McKenzie River Hatchery at Leaburg, Oregon. Working with the guides and other stakeholders, Jan Coleman led an intensive planning workshop where client teams explored opportunities for memorable, educational and immersive experiences for their visitors – thinking quite ‘outside the box’ – in the following categories encompassing the entire McKenzie River Story, past, present and future: Boats and Guides; River and Watershed; The Fish.

A wide spectrum of media and methods including a theater will be employed to deliver the stories about: massive volcanism in the Western and High Cascades; a spring-fed river cutting through lava; seasonal rounds of early People; settlers evolving to river guides; drift boats spreading round the world; habitat and wildlife changing over eons; fish appearing and disappearing; and a fragile system supporting the Willamette River and life in the Willamette Valley.

The vision of stakeholders for the McKenzie River Interpretive Center is to be bold, dream big, and plan for a world-class facility whose presence on the River will create transformational experiences for all who come there. It will be a catalyst for community activity and a “hearth” where all Oregonians will rally. It will pass its amazing history and its River stories onward to future generations, and through this education will ensure long-term management of the River’s watershed and its resources as a healthy, vibrant, well-loved home for people, plants, forests, fish and other wildlife. Jan staunchly supports environmental education and is proud to be part of the large, motivated team of people working to bring this vision to fruition.