Water is life

by Canoeing,
Eugene is lucky to have large rivers descending through town with crystal clear water. With such aquatic abundance the locals over the years have found ways to utilize and enjoy the rivers. Native Americans commuted along the water and lived in harmony with the riparian bounty. Take a look at the mural under I-5 along the Canoe Canal to get a feel for their verve.


Along came settlers who diverted the river for the sake of industry. The Millrace was likely a large contributor to the boom town times of Eugene. Processing the resources with such efficiency made it possible for the people to have spare time to recreate. The Millrace was a natural place to do this. Canoeing was popular, rentals were available and there were many festivals or fetes. Life was good on the Millrace until the water quality diminished and large buildings were built on the edge of the waterway. Even today there are battles being won by the more powerful about Millrace building expansion.


Maybe we can learn from this history and protect the Canoe Canal on the other side of the Willamette River. As the current concessionaire on the Canal, I've been lucky to introduce countless locals and tourists to such a magnificent waterway. Working the boat rentals since 2010 I've been able to witness the one of a kind beauty that the Canoe Canal boasts. Canoeing remains a great way to travel up and down the Canal. As kayaking and paddleboarding have become popular the Canal may be experiencing it's busiest year ever. Many locals have their own gear and can splash into the fresh flowing water when their busy life allows them to.


Like the Millrace, the Canoe Canal has buildings along it's banks. Cuthbert Amphitheater, Autzen Stadium, private businesses and homes are all present. With plans for expansion and general encroachment the shoreline will be paved, not so wild.

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