You Can Make a Difference

The Critical Nature of the McKenzie River

The Discovery Center has been an ongoing conceptualization since 2005.  The vision of creating the McKenzie River Discovery Center was carefully crafted by a community that were driven to create awareness in preserving and capturing the unique essence of the McKenzie River. Seeing as there’s no current  primary place to educate the public of the river’s significance in sustaining the region’s communities, collaboration across several groups organized a planning group to set up a multi-part planning process for the development of McKenzie Discovery Center. 

 The MRDC has raised and invested nearly 300k in funds to put into further plans and site ideas that proved the space to be essential to the community. Plans of creating spaces with interactive and immersive exhibits were then established and an executive director was hired to oversee the journey of vision to realization.. 


2019 proved to be a year of successful fundraising, where the MRDC surpassed their goal of 150k of funds. It provided a push for the submission of grants and visualization planning of building placement. A site development plan was created, and the center has spent part of the funds to purchase the assets of the wooden boat museum, in support of their plans for a social website exclusively for a McKenzie River Drift Boat.

The MRDC was fortunate to partner up Oregon Electric Station, Blue Sky Trees, Woodblock Architecture, Chambers Construction, Whole Earth Nature School, McKenzie River Drone Photography and Stangeland & Associates Landscape Architecture to raise money and awareness to take the vision forward.

This year, MRDC formed a board of members that continues to build strategic partnerships and explore ways to fund the project. They were granted additional staffing and a fund of $235,000. to be paid over the next three years to hire a full time executive director to oversee the development of the center. With MRDC’s forward-thinking initiatives, a website and facebook page is in production, making headway to reach other potential fundraisers and visitors to support their cause.

Moving Forward

As part of amending its multi-year improvement plan, MRDC is aiming to build a board of directors. Volunteers will be formed into a campaign committee that’ll be focusing on creating sustainable relationships with potential key donors to support MRDC’s cause. Our current programs prepare the existing buildings for programs that can start in 2022 and the details of our variety of causes are listed in our donation pages.

Your money will support future projects in preparing hands-on workshops which requires repairing the aesthetic and architecture of the existing buildings. 

The exciting site development will start in 2021 with foundation building. The new building, where the McKenzie River Discovery Center will physically start building in 2023, with plans of immersive exhibit and interactive playground. The center will be open to the public in the fall of 2024. 

Aiming to enhance the promotion of the importance of education, the McKenzie River Discovery Center is welcoming donors to become a part of an ongoing commitment of creating a unique destination of education.