First "Bikes to Blooms" event at Dorena Reservoir
On May 10, 2014, over 30 people braved the rain to participate in the First Bikes to Blooms event at Dorena Reservoir. This event is a multi-agency and partner effort to encourage people to spend time outdoors biking on the Row River Trail and to view wildflowers in bloom in native prairie remnants managed by the Corps of Engineers. Botanist Wes Messinger and Park Ranger Christie Johnson presented interpretive talks on the plants and Dorena Dam. This event is the first accomplishment of a recently formed partnership to promote wildflowers along the Row River Trail corridor. The Bureau of Land Management manages the trail, which spans the length of Dorena Reservoir, providing access to two Corps-managed day-use areas. The trail connects Cottage Grove to federal lands above the Dorena Reservoir. This event also marked the re-opening of Bake Stewart Park under new management objectives. The Willamette Valley Project converted Bake Stewart to a walk-in park to reduce impacts to the native prairie remnants, while focusing on the quality recreation opportunities that can be experienced without vehicles. This change also reduces operational costs and is expected to improve the recreation metrics for that park. To support the management change, the Willamette Valley Project built a trail connecting the park to the Row River Trail to encourage users to bike to Bake Stewart as a destination from one of the many trailheads. The connector trail and many other changes were funded by the monetary award from the Willamette Valley Project winning the 2011 Natural Resource Management Project of the Year Award. The WVP was also selected to receive Handshake funds this year, which will allow the Corps to continue working with partners on restorating the native prairie remnants, and also to develop and install interpretive panels along the trail.

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Photo by: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers |  VIRIN: 140510-A-JM613-001.JPG