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Boathouse Foundation launches Aubrey McClendon memorial campaign

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OKLAHOMA CITY - It's been a year since Aubrey McClendon died tragically.

The oil and gas executive left a legacy behind in the Boathouse District.

Now, the very same district he helped launch wants to honor him with a memorial campaign.

"When we put forth this idea of what was a ditch and turning it into a world-class Olympic venue and really something that's become internationally known, Aubrey was the one who embraced that vision," said Mike Knopp, executive director of the Boathouse Foundation.

$140 million has been invested into the Boathouse District in the last decade.

The late McClendon was chairman of the board since its inception.

In his memory, the whitewater building will be renamed the Aubrey McClendon Whitewater Center.

"We felt like it was very appropriate that the anchor facility, kind of that main building in Riversport Rapids, that will be named in honor of Aubrey," Knopp said.

It's part of a $6 million fundraising campaign.

A new exhibit on the history of the Boathouse District will also be unveiled later this year as well as scholarships, a memorial tree grove in McClendon's name and an event for the former Eagle Scout.

"We're going to have a major Boy Scout camp out in the Whitewater Center that will happen every year," Knopp said.

Thursday will mark one year since McClendon died.

The Boathouse District will light up for one month to remember the man they said had the vision to bring the river "onward and upward."

"Really, the way of thinking he brought to this whole project, and his spirit and really how that was seen throughout Oklahoma City not just in the river," Knopp said.

The MAPS3 project will need to be approved by City Council before the whitewater facility is renamed.

The city expects to make a decision in March.