River Partners' mission is to create wildlife habitat for the benefit of people and the environment.

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The Inauguration of the Mudder Nature Challenge

River Partners moves annual event to the river

Inspiration for the Mudder Nature Challenge.
Photo by Matthew Morgan.

Since it started in 1998, River Partners has held its annual dinner at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. In the early years, it was a small, intimate convening on a balcony. As our partnerships grew, the dinner moved into Big Room and became our largest “outreach” event of the year. It was our chance to celebrate the important work that was happening for California’s river systems

This year, River Partners is taking advantage of a special opportunity. We now own 176 acres along the Sacramento River that has been earmarked for conservation. While we plan for its restoration in partnership with the National Resource Conservation Service, it offers itself as the perfect location for a community event: The Mudder Nature Challenge. The Mudder Nature Challenge is a 5K trail and obstacle course race that will take place on Saturday, September 10, 2011

This “mud run” involves runners and bikers racing on a 5k or 8-mile course around this future restoration site. Racers will tackle obstacle courses on open fields and a trail run around an ancient riparian forest

Entrants are welcomed to race in teams or as individuals (donning costumes or traditional race wear). There will be a child’s Mini Mudder division, and a huge BBQ celebration at the Sacramento River, where sponsors are invited to set up a booth.

Our goal, in addition to raising money for the restoration of the site, is to promote responsible outdoor recreation and stewardship of California’s watersheds and river systems. River Partners has found that citizen level support for river and watershed conservation begins with creating a positive association between community, economy, and local waterways

Already we have registrants representing Colusa, Davis, Folsom, Citrus Heights, Plumas Lake, Sacramento, Elk Grove, El Dorado Hills, Modesto, Turlock, Redding, Quincy, Susanville, Chico, Yuba City, and Irvine

By bringing our supporters and potential new friends to the Sacramento with the Mudder Nature Challenge, our hope is to inspire a deeper appreciation of our region’s rivers and public lands.

The above article originally appeared in the July 2011 issue of the River Partners Journal.