Bend Whitewater Park Update

Construction Updates

It’s finally happening! The Colorado Dam Safe Passage and Bend Whitewater Park have an estimated completion date of the fall of 2015, according to Bend Metro Park & Rec District. There is still no final word on when the park and safe passage will be open for boaters and floaters and construction on either side of the river will continue through the summer of 2016. To see minute to minute updates check out this live webcam.


This project will renovate the Colorado Dam to create three channels downstream—a safe channel for paddleboards and floaters, the west coast’s first whitewater park and a natural river area to enhance habitat. This project will also replace the existing pedestrian bridge connecting McKay Park to Miller’s Landing Park. It is primarily funded by Bond Measure 9-86, which passed in 2012. Of the $9.68 M budgeted for this construction, Bend Paddle Trail Alliance has committed $1.13M which we have raised and continue to raise through grants, private sponsorships and fundraising events.



125 FOR 125

125-coverAt the end of 2014, BPTA raised our contribution to Bend Park & Rec for the whitewater park from $900K to $1.13M. For one, the projected costs of the project were exceeding the original budget, and more importantly, we wanted to support the inclusion of pneumatic features (or bladders) in the current, which will inflate and deflate depending on the water levels. The bottom line: We wanted to ensure we were helping to deliver the best possible whitewater park to our community. 

With $125K left to raise, we are launching our 125 FOR 125 Campaign. We’re looking for 125 sponsors to each donate $1,000 or more to reach our goal of $125K. We need your help to reconnect the Deschutes River and enhance river health, beauty, safety and recreation. You can donate online by clicking in the header, or send us a check by printing off this form by clicking here. Do you know some river enthusiasts in our community that want to be a part of this lasting legacy? Please… forward along this email, or send them this PDF.

The 125 FOR 125 campaign will raise funds to cover final Colorado Dam improvement costs not funded by the Bond Measure. Your donation will improve the connectivity and recreation opportunities of the Deschutes River while creating a safer passage for fish, paddlers and floaters in Bend’s urban core. 100% of your donation supports the work of BPTA.

Pickin’ Sponsorships

We’ve also started confirming sponsors for Pickin’ & Paddlin’, Bend’s favorite gathering by the banks of the river featuring live bands, boat and board demos, food carts and more. If you know of a business that might be interested please send them this Pickin’ & Paddlin’ Sponsorship Flier or have them email laurel {at}