Looking For Summer Adventure?

Sign Up to be an Interpretive Park Host

July 1 – August 28, 2016

P1030561Have you ever wanted to teach others about nature, geology, history, astronomy, fishing, or outdoor safety skills? Have the Central Oregon High Desert as your classroom? Do you like being around people? You can do all these things as an interpretive host at The Cove Palisades State Park. This is a fun and rewarding opportunity in a breathtaking location. As an interpretive host you will be an important part of hundreds of family’s summer vacation memories. Just to name a few resources to inspire your creative energy… the Cascade Mountain Range, Lake Billy Chinook, a rich and interesting local history that includes Native Americans, pioneers, homesteaders, farmers, fisherman and more, a variety of wildlife from bats to cougars, birds of prey and the unusual whip-tailed lizard, and a vast dark night sky filled with billions of stars, planets, galaxies and of course the full moon. 4th of July weekend and National S’mores Day are extra fun events here in the park with campground parades, family fun games and campfire programs. If you like to work with kids, we offer Junior Ranger Programs daily in the summer. You even have the opportunity to dress up as the Oregon State Parks mascot J.R. Beaver! Each host site provides water, power, and sewer service to make you feel right at home while you are here with us.

For more information or a full job description, please contact Ranger Erin Bennett erin.bennett@oregon.gov or Monday – Friday from 7:30 – 3:30 pm at 541-546-3412 x 229.  We hope you will come join us at The Cove!

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JR loves to hang out with our Hosts!

Wetlands Restoration Update

As spring is budding at The Cove, Culver Middle School continues their work in the wetlands.   165 students came to the park to plant 200 osier dogwood whips and 200 coyote willow whips.  This labor intensive work required students to trudge through hard muddy ponds, dig holes, plant the whips and net them so voracious herbivores would not eat them before they had a chance to sprout and then haul water by hand in buckets – not unlike the routine of homesteaders in the late 1800’s at The Cove.  Students raked the new interpretive nature trail that has been put in by park staff.  Mr. Habliston showed students how to put in GIS plots to track and map the plant growth near each pond.  Culver High School also came out to visit previous STEM projects and monitor their progress.

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Irrigation water filled the ponds last week which will increase the growth rate of the new whips.

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In the classroom, students are planting showy milkweed by seed.  This week they were rewarded when the seeds sprouted new growth.  Next month the new Certified “Milky Way” Monarch Way Station will be planted along the new Crooked River Wetlands Nature Trail – check back for photos.

 

 

Looking for a Great Way to Spend Your Summer

Sign Up to Be an Interpretive Park Host

July 1 – August 28, 2016P1030561

Have you ever wanted to teach others about nature, geology, history, astronomy, fishing, or outdoor safety skills? Have the Central Oregon High Desert as your classroom? Do you like being around people? You can do all these things as an interpretive host at The Cove Palisades State Park. This is a fun and rewarding opportunity in a breathtaking location. As an interpretive host you will be an important part of hundreds of family’s summer vacation memories. Just to name a few resources to inspire your creative energy… the Cascade Mountain Range, Lake Billy Chinook, a rich and interesting local history that includes Native Americans, pioneers, homesteaders, farmers, fisherman and more, a variety of wildlife from bats to cougars, birds of prey and the unusual whip-tailed lizard, and a vast dark night sky filled with billions of stars, planets, galaxies and of course the full moon. 4th of July weekend and National S’mores Day are extra fun events here in the park with campground parades, family fun games and campfire programs. If you like to work with kids, we offer Junior Ranger Programs daily in the summer. You even have the opportunity to dress up as the Oregon State Parks mascot J.R. Beaver! Each host site provides water, power, and sewer service to make you feel right at home while you are here with us. We hope you will come join us at The Cove!

Col. Rex T. Barber WWII Flying Ace

United States Air Force Colonel Rex T. Barber

Colonel Rex T Barber (1916 – 2001) served in the United States Army Air Corps in World War II and came home to Culver, Oregon a war hero.  If you’ve driven on Hwy 97 between Redmond and Madras, Oregon you’ve traveled over the Rex T. Barber Memorial Bridge.  His memorial is located at Oregon Parks & Recreation Department’s Peter Skene Ogden Wayside in Terrebonne.

Monday, April 18th is the 73rd Anniversary of Barber’s Victorious Bombing Raid that brought down Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.

Rex T Barber Memorial High Bridge Over the Crooked River Gorge, Culver, OR Photo Credit:  Trip Advisor

Rex was born and raised in Culver, Oregon by his parents Charlotte F. Barber and Col. William C. Barber.  He received his bachelors degree in agricultural engineering from Oregon State College and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps.

Barber received his commission as a U.S. Army officer and his pilot’s wings on October 31, 1941. He joined the 70th Pursuit Squadron, which arrived at Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, in December 1942. Flying a Bell P-39 Aircobra, he scored his first victory by downing a Japanese bomber. Upon transfer to the 339th Squadron, he began flying P-38 Lightnings and claimed two Zero fighters.

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto served as Commander in Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy and was Japan’s foremost military leader and planned the attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941.  Yamamoto was on America’s Most Wanted List.  On April 18, 1943, Lieutenant Barber  participated in Operation Vengeance. Intelligence sources had learned that Yamamoto would be flying in a “Betty” bomber (torpedo bomber aircraft) on an inspection tour of Japanese bases in the northern Solomon Islands.

Betty Bomber (left), P-38 (right)                 Photo Credit:  Historynet.com

The shooting down of the bomber carrying Yamamoto, the commander of the Japanese fleet, was a triumph of military intelligence and flying skills.  Historian Donald P. Bourgeois credits Barber with the sole kill of Yamamoto’s aircraft. In 1991, Barber and Captain Thomas George Lanphier, Jr.  were officially credited with half a kill each in Yamamoto’s bomber after the Air Force reviewed the incident. Barber also shared a second Betty destroyed on the same mission. In 2003, Barber was credited by the Governor and Legislature of Oregon with the sole kill after an inspection analyzed the crash site and determined the path of the bullet impacts, thereby validating Barber’s account and invalidating Lanphier’s claim.  However, despite numerous appeals, the U.S. Air Force refused to reverse its 1991 ruling giving each pilot half credit for the kill.  Donald B. Rice, then the secretary of the Air Force, said in 1993: ”Historians, fighter pilots and all of us who have studied the record of this extraordinary mission will forever speculate as to the exact events of that day in 1943. There is glory for the whole team.”

Captain Thomas Lanipher (left), Lt. Rex Barber (right)  Photo credit:  MacArthur Memorial Museum

After his tour of duty ended in June 1943, then-Captain Barber requested a return to combat. Late that year, he joined the 449th Fighter Squadron in China, still flying P-38s. He claimed three further Japanese planes probably destroyed and damaged, but he was shot down on his 139th mission, bailing out near Kiukiang on April 29. He was rescued by Chinese civilians, who treated his injuries and escorted him to safety five weeks later. At the end of the war, Barber attained the rank of major and commanded one of America’s first jet squadrons.   He retired as a Full Colonel in 1961 with a Navy Cross, two Silver Stars, a Purple Heart and several air medals.

Upon his military discharge, Barber returned to Culver, Oregon, where he lived with his wife, Margaret for the next forty years. Rex and Margaret had two sons,  Rex Jr. and Richard.  He worked as an insurance agent and, at different times, served the City of Culver as mayor and judge.

He was a strong supporter of Little League Baseball, and often helped out local youth. He was actively involved in numerous service organizations until his death at Terrebonne, Oregon. His son, Rex Jr., is quoted as saying that his “afterburner just flamed out on him.”

Rex Barber                                                           Photo Credit:  Oregon Live

You can visit Barber’s Memorial located near the south end of the bridge, at the Peter Skene Ogden Wayside, Terrebonne, Oregon.

Monday, April 18th from 10 am – 2 pm volunteers will be onsite to direct visitors to the memorial and answer questions.

Cove Kayak Tours

kayak training 035.JPGCelebrate spring, join Park Interpretive Staff on beautiful Lake Billy Chinook for an easy 1 1/2 hour guided tour along the Deschutes River. Enjoy a brand new fleet of sit on top kayaks.  You will see breath taking geology, hear tales of local history, enjoy wildflowers and look for wildlife – you may even spot a bald eagle soaring overhead!

Tour Schedule: 

  • Saturdays, April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 – Upper Deschutes Day-use Boat launch
  • Thursdays and Saturdays, May 5, 7, 12, 14 – Upper Deschutes Day-use Boat launch
  • Thursdays and Saturdays, May 19, 21, 26, 28 – Lower Deschutes Day-use Boat launch

All Tours are scheduled from 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Ages:  Paddlers must be at least 8 years old; anyone under 18, must be accompanied by an adult.

Cost: $15 per person, single and tandem kayaks available. All gear is provided – LIFE JACKETS ARE REQUIRED TO BE WORN AT ALL TIMES, BY ALL AGES.   To register, call 541-546-3412, Monday – Friday from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm. Walk-ins the day of may be available if space allows.

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Paddle along the cliffs of the Deschutes and see cliff swallows and turkey vultures.

What to bring:  Paddlers should be prepared for unexpected Central Oregon weather.  We suggest that paddlers dress in layers and wear shoes that can get wet. We do not anticipate that you will leave the boat but you may get wet.  The water in Lake Billy Chinook can be very cold so it is strongly suggested that you bring a towel and a change of clothing just in case.  Bring water, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and cameras are optional. 

Cancellation Notice:  In the event of inclement weather or other unforeseen emergency trips will be cancelled by 7 am the morning of the tour.  Notices will be posted at the campground booths, the boat launch and efforts made to contact registered participants.

Culver Middle School helps restore State Park

After fire raged last summer, park rangers welcome school’s interest

See the Bend Bulletin’s Article:  By Kailey Fisicaro / The Bulletin / @kaileyfisicaro Published Mar 9, 2016 at 12:01AM  Culver Middle School Cove Restoration

Culver Middle School S.T.E.M. students were charged with assisting park staff with fire restoration efforts in the Crooked River Wetlands after last summer’s wildfire.   Last fall Culver Middle School adopted The Cove.  Just before Christmas, students collected more than 200 Coyote Willow whips from the park and they’ve been carefully cultivating the plants.

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Culver Middle School – Willow Planting Day

Mrs. Little and Mr.Habliston’s 6th and 7th grade classes came out to the park and had a fantastic day planting the willows students cut in December, cutting/preparing more willow for the project and learning about habitat management.  Students learned that removing some plants can be just as important as planting others.

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Mrs. Little showing students how to pound in the rebar to make holes for the new trees.

In the current restoration plan, 30% of vegetation will be added to the ponds; later in the month, students will return and plant more coyote willow and red twig dogwood.    They will be netting each whip to prevent mule deer from eating the new trees and shrubs.

Stay tuned for more project photos…

 

 

Rockets on the Moon

The Cove’s Interpretive Ranger Erin Bennett has been looking for a way to reach younger visitors that are not old enough to participate in the Junior Ranger Program this summer. “With more young families camping in the park there is an unmet need to include more of our visitors in our programs,” say’s Erin. Erin is The Cove’s liaison for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) projects with local schools – and as it turns out, STEM is not just for older kids, it starts in Pre-K. Ranger Jennifer Godfrey at Detroit Lake suggested Erin try out the My Sky Tonight Program, which is a free program that guides educators on how to teach astronomy to children (ages 3-5) and provides the materials to get started.

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Erin recently went to the Children’s Learning Center in Madras and Culver Elementary School to try out some of the programs. As a 3 part series, children learned about the moon, its many phases, and how craters are formed; they became rocket engineers by building their own air rockets to get to the moon, and used their imaginations to become astronauts where they explored a moon landscape by making mini rovers and collecting rock samples. “Working with the kids is so rewarding; they are full of energy and curiosity and ask amazingly tough questions,” Erin said.

If you are visiting The Cove this summer, check the blog, park flyers or with park staff for new opportunities for our younger visitors.

20 Years of Watching the Eagles Soar

Eagle Watch – a “Culver Tradition” since 1996 – was a huge success this year, reports Event Coordinator Erin Bennett. The Saturday/Sunday event at Round Butte Overlook Park was attended by 800 people who enjoyed the displays, programs, and activities provided by the eleven different agencies and organizations represented there. The donation of more than 309 volunteer hours by a total of 26 volunteers made the event a great success.
Aquila, the golden eagle from the Sunriver Nature Center, as usual stole the show – even though J.R. Beaver, Smokey Bear and Larry the Lightbulb all came out for photo ops with the kids. This is not surprising after all, how often do you get to stand two feet away from an amazing apex predator?!  Visitors made commemorative buttons with the new Eagle Watch logo,  175 bluebird houses and 100 bird feeders. Children made flying eagles, plume pens, soared through Eagle Village on a scavenger hunt, and played raptor bingo. The event ended with the Quartz Creek Drummers and Dancers as they performed their cultural dances for visitors.

Special Thank You to all of our volunteers for sharing their time and talents to help make this a great weekend.  Eagle Watch would not be possible without your help!

Join us this weekend…

EW flyer 2016

Eagle Watch Art Contest – Last Week – Deadline is February 15, 2016

Open to Central Oregon Students (4th – 12 grade) in Jefferson, Deschutes and Crook Counties …

Do you love eagles, hawks, falcons, or owls? Are you artistic? Choose your medium and draw, paint, photograph or carve your favorite bird of prey and you could win cool prizes at the 21st Eagle Watch Event on February 27, 2016.

Eagle Watch Art Contest Flyer

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