Sign Up to Kayak at The Cove

“The Rivers flow not past us but through us.” – John Muir

Spring is just around the bend and it will once again be time for Oregonians and visitors to our beautiful state to start a new adventure.  Do something healthy and fun for yourself.  Check out our kayaking page on The Cove Rattler – you can sign up for a tour at

benefits to kayaking.jpg

Discover Nature Festival

Saturday, September 24 from 11 – 3 at Riverbend Park in Bend, Oregon

Kids, come play!  Oregon State Parks will be there!  Enjoy a beautiful fall day with family!

The Children’s Forest of Central Oregon presents Discover Nature Festival featuring over 35 nature education, outdoor recreation, and health and wellness activities. Bring your whole family out for a fun day to connect with nature, play fun outdoor games, practice outdoor skills, and spend time together. Free!

Activities Include:

Sponsored by The Gear Fix

-Bike Rodeo Obstacle Course with Bend Endurance Academy and Hutch’s Bicycles
-Archery with Bend Parks and Recreation District
-Crosscut Saw Demo with Heart of Oregon Corps
-Compass Skills with REI
-Fly Casting Practice with Trout Unlimited
-Leave No Trace with Oregon State Parks
-“10 Essentials” with Camp Fire Central Oregon
-Rope Skills with Boy Scout Troop 25


-Wacky Watershed Wonders with Upper Deschutes Watershed Council
-Volcano Demonstration with Discover Your Forest
-Birds of Prey and Reptiles with Sunriver Nature Center
-Solar Viewing with Sunriver Observatory
-Skulls, Pelts, and Tracks with High Desert Museum
-Story Time in a Tent with Deschutes County Library
-Birding with East Cascades Audubon Society
-Stream Tables with Discover Your Forest
-Migratory Bird Run with Discover Your Forest
-Fish Prints with Bend Park and Recreation District
-Wood Cookies with Bend Park and Recreation District
-Recycle Run with The Environmental Center
-Nature Mandala with The Environmental Center
-Braintan Leather Demonstration with Wildheart Nature School
-Pine Needle Baskets with 4-H Deschutes County
-Enviroscape with City of Bend
-Sally the Snag

Sponsored by Mix100.7

-Healthy Snacks with OSU-Extension
-Health Activities with Mosaic Medical
-Outdoor Family Photo Booth
-Fire Fighter Challenge with Deschutes National Forest
-Wild Side with Bend Park and Recreation District
-Energy Challenge with Children’s Museum of Central Oregon
-Animal Yoga with Mama Bear Oden
-Sun Safe with St. Charles

Plus food carts, games, arts and crafts, and more!
All activities are free and fun for all ages and abilities!

For more information:  dnf-poster-2016-8×11

Culver Middle School Adopts The Cove

This year Culver Middle School has adopted The Cove Palisades State Park as part of their STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program for the 2015/2016 school year.  “Culver Middle School is so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Cove Palisades State Park, creating real world life experiences that foster 21st century skills to be successful in the future while also arranging a solution to a problem right in our backyard,” says Mr. Brad Kudlac, Principal.

This year natural resource management is really the key focus.  Students are challenged to find solutions to real world problems in their community.  In this case they will be tackling threatened wildlife species, habitat loss from wildfire; as well as sharing local oral history.  Culver Middle School  teachers Mrs. Naomi Little, Mr. Mark Habliston and Mr. Jake Shinkle will bring several classes to the park throughout the year. Students will make significant differences in their community at The Cove by creating a certified monarch butterfly way station to aid in the butterflies successful annual migration, riparian restoration in a burned out area of the Crooked River Wetlands area and encouraging other children to learn about The Cove’s history.

One of the first projects undertaken is willow propagation to help restore sections of the Crooked River Wetlands that were burned in a wildfire over the summer.  This project has already piqued the attention of the Governor’s Office.  Everyone involved is really excited to make a difference that visitors and wildlife will notice and appreciate.

Coyote Willow (Salix exiqua), photo credit USDA

Coyote Willow with it’s long, narrow leaves is the most distinctive of the willow species, is a perennial shrub, native to Central Oregon and much of the west.  This culturally important plant was collected by Native American’s for a variety of uses including food, medicine, building material and basketry material.    It is currently found in the wetlands and is important to birds and wildlife for cover and food.  Willow is also used as stream bank erosion control.



Culver Middle School STEM Class

Twenty-four students from Culver Middle School, accompanied by their teacher Mr. Jake Shinkle, came out to the park and collected more than 200 willow cuttings from existing plants that did not burn in the fire.


Ms. Maggie Prevenas, OSU STEM Outreach Coordinator, taught students that plant communities are constantly changing.  These changes can be very subtle and can be undetected by the casual observer; however from a management perspective detecting change is essential.  Maggie showed six students how to take photo points.

Mr. Shinkle and Ms. Prevenas working with students.

This method consists of taking photographs from two permanently fixed points to monitor change in the plant community over time.  Coyote willow roots freely from cuttings, and is an easy species to propagate.  Students are hoping for an 80% survival rate.  These cuttings were taken to the middle school and will be prepared.  The first step is to soak the cuttings in water.  Students will treat half of the cuttings with growth hormone and leave the other half in plain water.  Once cuttings sprout roots, they will be planted and cared for over the winter.  Next spring students will bring their new plants to the park and will repopulate an area that was devastated last August by wildfire.


Wildfire at The Cove, August 29, 2015 – photo credit Jefferson County Fire


  Area that will be rehabilitated.


Stay tuned for more news on all the projects and how they are progressing…

Fur Identification Challenge

Several years ago we brought you the feather identification challenge and it continues to be one of the most popular blog articles we’ve posted.  So… for those of you up to the challenge, lets see who knows their fur:

beaver fur

coyote fur

racoon fur

mule deer fur


bobcat fur


Here are your only hints:

All of these mammals can be seen at the Cove.

#1 is related to the porcupine

#2, and 3 are commonly seen near campgrounds

#4 is from the Cervidae Family

#5 is rarely seen but lives here

Post your answers in the comments section and check back in one week for the answers!! Good luck and thanks for playing!! 🙂

Bungee Jumping at Crooked River Gorge

“Crooked River High Bridge” by Cacophony

There is a new adventure in Central Oregon guaranteed to get your blood pumping! High above the Crooked River Gorge visitors will be able to jump from the historic High Bridge located at the Peter Skene Ogden Wayside between Terrebonne and Culver.  Central Oregon Bungee Adventures will be securing its bungee cords to a truck with a custom-built platform that extends out over the western edge of the High Bridge. This beautiful spot allows jumpers to experience a drop of more than 200 feet, then be reeled back in.  If you are worried you’ll miss the scenery as you hurdle through the air, screaming at the top of your lungs, don’t worry, photos and video of your jump will be available when you are back on solid ground.

The upper part of the Crooked River Gorge is made of 300 foot columnar basalt cliffs eroded by the Crooked River since the Newberry volcanic eruption 1.2 million years ago.  Due to the river, there is a semi-lush feel to the gorge even in the summer time when temperatures can soar over 100 degrees.  There is a variety of wildlife including deer, rabbits, hawks, osprey, eagles, and vultures.  You can see both Mount Jefferson and Mount Hood from the park.  It is a beautiful place to take photographs or watch the sunset.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department operates the Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint, including the historic High Bridge. Designed by Conde B. McCullough 1926 , the steel arch bridge has a total length of 464 feet with a main span of 330 feet. The deck is 295 feet above the canyon floor. It has been restricted to pedestrian use only since traffic on U.S. Highway 97 moved to the Rex T. Barber Veterans Memorial Bridge just to the east in 2000.

David Slaght, manager of the viewpoint for OPRD, said he rejected more than two dozen requests for commercial bungee jumping from the High Bridge before Scott approached him.  “I think he’s a very intelligent guy and came to State Parks with a very intelligent proposal rather than just an idea up front,” Slaght said.  Under the agreement between Scott and the State, Scott will pay 5% of his revenues to OPRD.  Slaght said his department plans to re-evaluate the agreement at the end of next summer, and decide if bungee jumping should continue at the site.


Owner James Scott, longtime bungee jumper, BASE jumper and skydiver is an avid extreme sport enthusiast with years of experience.  Scott and his experienced team will open for business on August 1st every day of the week. For more information, you can email or call Central Oregon Bungee Adventures LLC. at or 541-668-5867.  (website is currently under construction.)