A View From Above

10 07 2014

You know the feeling you got as a kid after monkey-ing your way up a tree, right?  And then, just as fun, you got to hang out with your friends or your sister on a limb.  Tree Climbing camp at River House speaks to those kids who’s first thing when they get to a park is to head to a tree.  You turn your head for 2 minutes and they’re yelling down at you, “Hey, look up!” Our staff have extensive technical experience and training to take your kids in the types of trees their climbing dreams are made of. 🙂 Wondering what exactly a week of Tree Climbing camp might look like? Let us help you–check out our website for the camp description here, and watch this short video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keAxDikwBLs

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Advertisements




Tree Climbing: A Photojournal

6 06 2014

I’m just going to let the photos speak for themselves. Last weekend I found myself climbing old-growth in the Fall Creek area with a great group of people and beautiful weather. There’s nothing like watching the forest from above, discovering trees growing out of branches 100 feet high, cheering young ones on as they pull themselves up through the canopy, and letting my imagination soar as I wonder what critters might be living in a broken top.

While the experts set anchors and tie fancy knots with cool names (ok, ok, they also play a vitally important role in climbing!), an equally important project is happening on the ground: fort building. Photo Credit: Cedar Sparrow

While the experts set anchors and tie fancy knots with cool names (ok, ok, they also play a vitally important role in climbing!), an equally important project is happening on the ground: fort building.
Photo Credit: Cedar Sparrow

 

preparing to climb

Locked and loaded: preparing to ascend. Our goal is upwards of 170 feet, near our anchor point.

 

arborial yoga_edit

Brendan starts his day off with some arboreal yoga. Maybe we should start offering classes at River House!

David_erik

Peeking through the web of branches at the top, Erik and David prepare for the descent.

 

Enjoying the view from 150 feet up in a tree.

Enjoying the view from 150 feet up in a tree.

 

Brendan and Cedar make it to the top complete with rosy cheeks, words of encouragement, and really silly-looking bug glasses.

Brendan and Cedar make it to the top complete with rosy cheeks, words of encouragement, and really silly-looking bug glasses.

 

Watching the decent_shadows fall

Looking down from above as they disappear back into the forest and shadows fall.

 

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine





Play in the Rain Day, November 9th

1 11 2013

Join River House staff and several other partners at Mount Pisgah on November 9th!  While we can’t guarantee rain, we can guarantee that there are plenty of activites for kids, parents, and grandparents. Archery, tree climbing, nature art, and cider pressing are just some of the many offerings this year.  Dress for the weather and be prepared for a busy event–last year, over 2000 folks attended!  Play in the Rain Day is a free annual event from 10am-3pm.  More information below, thanks to www.youthinnature.org.

 

PLAY IN THE RAIN DAY!!!

FREE PUBLIC EVENT

NOV. 9th – 10 am to 3pm 2013

Free Parking Courtesy of Lane County Parks

Come to Mount Pisgah Arboretum’s White Oak Pavilion to join the fun at Play in the Rain Day.  Local outdoor recreation and education organizations will come together to provide fun activities for you and your family.

Enjoy

  • Tree Climbing – Campfire Cookery – Nature Exploration/ Hikes
  • Nature Crafts – Backcountry Horse Demos – Hayrides
  • Smokey the Bear and MORE!!!!

GROUP

PLAY IN THE RAIN FEATURED ACTIVITY

Emerald Back Country Horseman
Demos of horse packing with real horses. Hands on! Come meet the horses!
Forest Service
Demos of horse packing with real horses. Hands on! Come meet the horses!
Whole Earth Nature School
Practice archery with foam-tipped arrows! Check out our nature touch-table!
WREN
Join us for a guided nature walk and Scavenger hunt with WREN, BLM, and Forest Service volunteers!
Willamalane
Bones ‘n’ Animal Tracks and Track Crafts! Get to know your furry friends. Check out our cool collection of bones.
Near by Nature
Create art with natural materials! Use small cones, shells, pebbles, lichen, and more to “paint” a temporary picture.
BLM
Check out the fire truck! Join us for a guided nature walk and Scavenger hunt with WREN, BLM, and Forest Service volunteers!
Friends of Buford Park
Come along for a hay ride!
Mt. Pisgah Arboretum
Take a guided blind-fold walk and experience nature through your other senses! Try a little fresh apple juice, pressed right before your eyes!
Northwest Youth Corps
Nothing says camping like good ‘ol fashioned campfire cookery! Cook hotdogs or marshmallows over a fire! Visit us inside the pavilion and dress like a corps member!
LCHAY
Come play our Spin the Wheel game and learn about fun and healthy lifestyles!
UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History
Make coil or pinch pots decorated with natural materials!
Camp Fire Wilani
 

Learn about canoe safety techniques outside, and join us inside to learn to tie knots!

 

The sky is NOT the limit for enjoying the great outdoors! We hope to see you at Play in the Rain Day.

The Youth in Nature Partnership

Purpose Statement:

The Youth in Nature Partnership is a collaboration of non-profit and governmental organizations committed to increasing opportunities for youth to spend time in nature.

Why We Collaborate:

The partners are concerned about the decline in children spending time in nature. Each organization brings unique resources and perspectives to the partnership and creates opportunities to reconnect children with nature. From nature education to service learning to just having fun, we all value how nature can inspire and teach children.

Current Members:

Bureau of Land Management Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah
Northwest Youth Corps Mt. Pisgah Arboretum
United States Forest Service Willamette Resources and Educational Network
Nearby Nature City of Eugene Recreation Services
Willamalane Whole Earth Nature School

Contact Us:

Learn more about how to get involved with the partnership or to take part in any of our events please e-mail or call:

Jennifer Steimer –
jen@nwyouthcorps.org
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
541 349 7501

Sara Lausmann –
office@bufordpark.org
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
541 344 8350

 

 

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine





Whiteaker Neighborhood River Festival!!!

27 07 2012

Hey EVERYONE!!

Come on down to the eddy behind the River House and join us for the annual Whiteaker Neighborhood River Festival.  Enjoy great music from  “Fire in the Rootz” (powered by Pedal Power), circus arts and a giant slip and slide. We’ll bring down all of our kayaks so you can paddle around in the water.

Image

New this year following our healthy snack initiative we will be serving up sumptuous fruit parfaits.

The event and even the food is all FREE.

Brought to you by the awesome staff at the River House and the City of Eugene Recreation Division and Northwest Community Credit Union.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine





The Knots Your Headphones Know

9 04 2012

This is a follow up to my post about the “5 Knots Everyone Should Know.”  I was recently sent this picture after my orginal post and thought I would share it here. 

I think I will start to take a closer look at my headphones and see what knot they are trying to teach me.  Who knows, maybe the next update will be the “5 Knots Everyone Should Know How to Untie!”

-Robert Brack, Spencer Butte Challenge Course Director

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine





The 5 Knots Everyone Should Know

5 03 2012

I love knots, I tie them for practicality and I practice tying them for fun!  Whenever I travel I take a small section of rope because I know practicing knots will be a great way to pass the time.  In my trainings I prefer to see clean (dressed) knots, and often will ask people to retie a knot if a section is out of place.  After all, “a knot not neat is a knot that need not be knotted.”

So here it goes…  In my opinion the top 5 knots that everyone should know are:

#1 The Half Hitch.

-Simple knot, many uses.  Two half hitches will hold dang near anything as long as there is consistent tension.

-It will probably not get you any style points, however there is no reason why people should not know this knot.

#2 The Figure 8 (and its multiple variations.)  This is a great knot that is touted in the climbing community as one of the strongest knots that retain a high percentage of a rope’s breaking strength

-Here I just tied a Figure 8 on a Bight. (and safely clipped it to my coffee mug!) You may ask, “How do you tie that knot directly onto the coffee mug?”

-Glad you asked, you simply tie a Figure 8 Follow Though.  Same knot, tied differently will include the handle of the mug.

-Make your first Figure 8 by taking a bight of rope. (huh, that looks like a head. Did you hear what he just told me?)

-Next, I choke em,

-and poke em in the eye.

-(I am really a non-violent person!)

-Pull that working end out and then we we are ready to tie in the mug.

-The reason this is called the Figure 8 Follow Through is because after you include the mug, the next step is to follow the 8 pattern already mapped out.  The way I learned is very similar to others, and that is to “follow the race track!”  Meaning you follow the path of the rope exactly.

-Remember to dress the knot at the end, so that the ropes are parallel and not crossed.

-One of the bummers to the Figure 8 is that when it is loaded with a heavy weight or experiences a great amount of tension, the knot can meld together making it impossible to untie.  In those cases, only a good pair of safety sheers (or yes a knife!) will be able to undo this powerhouse of a knot.

#3 The Bowline One of my favorite and most practical knots.  This is a great knot that I use for multiple purposes when I want to tie the end of a rope to a fixed point.  Practiced enough, it is quick, easy and strong, with a bit more standing power than the Double Half Hitches mentioned above.

-Start by making a loop with the working end on top of the remaining rope.

-Then for fun’s sake, after you have run the working end through what you are securing, lets tell a story about a rabbit!!!

-The rabbit comes out of the hole,

-runs under a root,

-and then jumps back into the hole.

-Tighten it up and you have a secured bowline!

#4 is the slightly harder, and the more impressive Bowline on a Bight!  This knot is surprisingly strong and after taking a massive amount of tension, it will still easily untie. (For when you have to pull that car out of the mud/snow and still want your rope back!)

-Start by taking a bight of rope and then making a half hitch (or overhand knot).

-Then make it look like Mick Jagger by holding it so that the bight looks like a tongue resting on a bottom lip.  (What? You don’t know who Mick Jagger is?  Fine.  So it looks like Michael Jordan…  WHAT?!!! You’ve never seen… FINE!!, so it looks like ME after listening to Justin Bieber.)

-Next put your pincher fingers through the bight, going from underneath.

-And pinch the rope that is making the top lip.

-Next, without letting go of the top lip, flip the tongue over everything.

-This next part is a little difficult; you want to hold the middle of the knot loosely, while pulling the loops of the top lip in order to make the tongue up to meet the rest of the knot.

-Great knot!!  Test it by holding both the working end and the live end of the rope and the knot (not the loops.) and pulling them apart.  If your loop disappears you tied a slip knot (Bummer), if it hold, you have the beautiful Bowline on a Bight (Bomber!)

#5 The Butterfly Knot (more specifically an Alpine Butterfly)

This knot can be tied anywhere in the middle of a rope to provide a secure loop that can be pulled from both directions and will not come untied. There are many ways to tie this knot, here is one.

-Wrap a rope loosely around your hand so that you are holding 3 strands in your palm.  (I know, this is the only time I would tell you to wrap a rope around any part of your body.)

-Now you are going to move the strand closest to your fingers over the other two ropes and place it by your thumb.

-Repeat!  Take the strand now closest to your fingers and place it by your thumb.

-Now the strand that you just moved by your thumb should go under the two ropes to make your bight,

-Pull the bight out a little

-take out your hand and then pull the two ends of your rope apart to finish the knot.

These are the 5 knots I think everyone should know!  If you would like more practice, or want to learn some additional knots, visit one of my favorite sites, www.animatedknots.com

It is an informative site, with much better pictures and a great resource.  (Yes, their pictures are better than mine. Can you believe it?)  If you want to talk knots with me, stop by the River House, I am sure I have some extra practice rope knotted up around here somewhere.

“It’s better to know a knot and not need it, than need a knot and not know it!”

-Robert Brack

————————————————————————————-

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine





Play in the Rain Day 2011: Everyone Showed Up Except the Rain!

16 11 2011

A tree-climber begins his adventure at this year's Play in the Rain Day!

 As often happens when we make the choice to play outside despite a wet weather report, Mother Nature graced Eugene’s Play in the Rain Day with clear skies again this year. Last Saturday’s event at Mt. Pisgah Arboretum was attended by more than 1,500 families eager to play outside, rain or shine.

 Play in the Rain Day is organized by the Youth in Nature Partnership, a collaboration of local non-profit and governmental organizations dedicated to increasing opportunities for youth to spend time in nature. They transformed Mt. Pisgah’s White Oak Pavilion and fire pit into a bustling hub of outdoor activities, interactive games, and outdoor information.

Northwest Youth Corps tended a central fire, where participants roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah offered a hayride and hiking through Mt. Pisgah’s pristine native Oak ecosystem. The Emerald Empire Back Country Horsemen brought miniature horses to demonstrate horse-packing and taught principals of Leave-No-Trace backcountry travel. Children armed with foam-tipped arrows aimed for targets at Whole Earth Nature School’s archery station.

Nearby Nature's Frannie the Frog gets a curious high five from a Play in the Rain participant.

Overhead, young people dangled in harnesses from the limbs of a grand Oak tree at the River House’s tree climbing station. As in years past, the tree-climbing was a highlight. River House staff-members Brendan Currie, Kirsten Kelso, Wendy Maris, Mary Tyson, & Hannah Satein helped climbers into harnesses, and taught them how to use ropes to hoist themselves up the tree. Over the course of the day, approximately 60 adventurous youth climbed the 6 routes that Brendan and Kirsten had set.

Inside the pavilion, River House had one of 13 informational tables that offered resources about outdoor opportunities in our community. Nearby Nature offered crafts using recycled materials and Willamette Resources & Educational Network (WREN) provided an interactive station where participants learned about river drainage and wetlands, by making “rain” with spray bottles and sponges. Smokey the Bear  and Frannie the Frog were honored guests, thanks to the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management and Nearby Nature.

Those seeking more climbing opportunities can tap into River House’s community climbs at ATA, which continue into December on Tuesday and Thursday nights, 5:30-8:30 pm, and throughout the winter on Tuesdays. They’ll have to wait until Spring & Summer for outdoor tree-climbing programs, including Tree-Climbing Summer Camps.

Multiple tree-climbers enjoy the view from above the festivities.

By Jessica Land

——————————————————————————-

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine