Natural Sustainable Flood Management


Rural Sustainable Drainage from novadada on Vimeo.


Produced by
Antony Lyons with Rough Glory Films
Additional flood footage shot by
Brian Cooke, Jeremy Williamson
Adam Laity (used with kind permission of Esther May Campbell)
‘It Always Rains in England’ by Ergo Phizmiz
(creative commons license)

The Stroud RsuDs project is located in the catchment of the Stroud River Frome, which rises from the Cotswold escarpment in Gloucestershire. The project arose primarily out of a concerted effort by community flood action groups to reduce flood risk using natural flood management techniques.

The vision is “To create a river catchment where water management is fully integrated into land management practices. Where public bodies, private companies and local communities work together to manage water within the landscape, creating valuable habitat for wildlife and people, and limiting flood risk downstream”.

The majority of headwaters in the catchment have been impacted by incision and bank erosion, straightening and removal of woody debris, siltation and soil pollution. To help achieve the project’s vision and aims over 280 measures have been installed over 18km of stream/river. Key activities undertaken include introducing large quantities of Large Woody Debris, reducing the speed of flow in erosion gullies by filling with logs and brash and much more.

The long term vision is to link with partners working to improve fish migration from the sea to the restored headwaters and to create an enduring and sustainable system for adding new projects and maintaining river improvement works.


“Leaky” Alder dam to slow and spread water flow.

Blue Zones Project – Grants Pass

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“Using secrets discovered in the original Blue Zones—rare longevity hotspots around the world—we help transform communities into thriving places to live, work, eat, and play.”  Blue Zones Project

Blue Zones Project–Grants Pass started the new year with a free and family-friendly public Kickoff celebration.

Held at Grants Pass High School on January 20th, the Kickoff attracted more than 600 community members who spent their afternoon exploring ways to be healthier and happier, and learning how to help improve the well-being of their community.

The upbeat Kickoff featured demonstrations by Club Northwest of tai chi, yoga, and aerobics, as well as a rousing performance by the Grants Pass High School Jazz Band.  Attendees enjoyed a wellness fair featuring local well-being organizations and resources.

A highlight of the event was a panel discussion hosted by Dr. Robin Miller, well-known author and KOBI-TV health expert. The panel featured Peggy Maguire, president of Blue Zones Project leadership funder, Cambia Health Foundation, and Sarah Foster, executive director of Oregon Healthiest State, a Blue Zones Project partner.

At the heart of the Kickoff was a keynote presentation by Nick Buettner, one of the original Blue Zones researchers and current Blue Zones community and corporate program director. After discussing the lifestyles and secrets of people living in the original Blue Zones around the globe, Buettner asked the crowd to make a personal commitment to their own and their community’s well-being. Nearly 300 people signed the pledge to make healthy lifestyle changes in their own lives.

“Community leaders and volunteers have worked hard over the last few months to develop our strategic plan and this Kickoff event is the official launch of Blue Zones Project in our community. We hope individuals and families will join us to learn and experience how we can all live longer, better lives,” said Diana Hoover, Blues Zones Project community program manager. “By focusing on helping change the settings where people spend most of their time we can make healthy choices easier, and we can make Grants Pass an even better place to live, work, learn, pray, and play.”

Blue Zones Kickoff events follow the expansion of a community well-being transformation strategy led by Oregon Healthiest State, an initiative focused on supporting communities in building a culture of health. Blue Zones Project was brought to Oregon by Cambia Health Foundation in support of Oregon Healthiest State. Community champions Asante Health System, AllCare Health, Primary Health of Josephine County, and Siskiyou Community Health Center are providing support for the Grants Pass initiative. Office space is being donated by Club Northwest.

“Our vision is for Oregon to be the healthiest state in the nation” Sarah Foster of Oregon Healthiest State told the audience. “To do this we have partnered with Blue Zones Project to create opportunities for lasting well-being transformation. It is so inspiring to see the Grant Pass initiative move from planning to implementation, especially knowing how much local thinking and leadership is guiding the work. The Kickoff celebration is an exciting milestone in the life of the initiative and I am greatly looking forward to it.”

Blue Zones Project – Grants Pass Team  

Hoover Diane circle.jpgDiane Hoover
Before serving for six years at the Josephine County Health Department, Hoover spent 26 years in the United States Navy Medical Service Corps.  Her role, as Community Program Manager for the Blue Zones Project, will be to direct the execution of the initiative; to work directly with advocates, leaders, and volunteers; and to help drive policy priorities set by the community.

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George Prokop
Having previously launched programs and services worldwide while working for Hewlett-Packard for 30 years, Prokop brings a broad set of experiences to the team. He will be responsible for planning, executing, and finalizing projects while ensuring that programs stay aligned with Blue Zones Project strategies.

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Cort Cox
Cox joins the Grants Pass Blue Zones team after two years with the Blue Zones Project—Klamath Falls initiative. Cox is passionate about working closely with the community to create positive individual change.  His role will focus on driving communication efforts for the initiative while managing activities to inspire people to engage with Blue Zones Project practices and resources.

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Denise Kalic
With more than 20 years of experience in sales and business development, most recently with Harry & David and Lithia Motors, Kalic will be working directly with organizations across the region including grocery stores, schools, and worksites, helping them create settings that encourage improved well-being for the people they serve.


We don’t just rely on individual behavior change. We improve community health by making permanent and semi-permanent changes on multiple levels. We improve or optimize city streets (smoking policies, bike lanes, sidewalks), public spaces (parks, lakes, walking paths), schools (cafeterias, safe walking paths to school), restaurants, grocery stores, employers, faith-based organizations, and community involvement.



Learn about Rain Gardens and Bioswales at RCC

The following is a Press Release put out by Rogue Community College about the project Sustainable Rogue Valley is doing in collaboration with them on the Grants Pass Redwood Campus.


The Rain Garden at RCC after the fall planting day

Grants Pass-Rogue Community College (RCC) and Sustainable Rogue Valley are working together to complete the demonstration Rain Garden and Bioswale on the RCC Redwood Campus to show how to help protect stormwater pollution from fouling freshwater ecosystems.

The demonstration project at the RCC Redwood Campus is located next to the Josephine Building at 3345 Redwood Highway in Grants Pass. Volunteers are needed to help complete the project. Anyone who wants to get involved and experience this project firsthand is invited to join the Sustainable Rogue Valley group at the Josephine Building parking lot on:

  • Friday, Feb. 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., to complete wetland and flower planting.
  • Friday, March 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., to construct a trail designed to encourage people to walk and discover the project.
  • Earth Day, Thursday, April 19, at noon and 1 p.m., there will be tours of the site.

RCC’s demonstration rain garden collects rainwater runoff from impervious landscapes such as parking lots and roads and filters the water through a bioswale using unique wetland plants and organic matter that acts as a sponge that holds and breaks down contaminants and pollutants while letting water seep into the ground or enter natural drainage systems. With a healthy and varied plant community, rain gardens can produce a pleasing environment while providing a vital function in the watershed.

Signs are posted on-site to explain the project and its goals, the pattern of runoff, types of wetland plants, and how bioswales improve watershed health. “We hope this demonstration site will inspire others to build rain gardens and bioswales to improve water quality and beautify the landscape,” said Charles Rogers, the RCC science instructor managing the project.

This project has been funded by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board to construct the drainage basin and filling it with mulch. The local Williams Creek Watershed Council completed that stage during the summer of 2017. Additional funding was provided by the RCC Foundation and Ashland Food Co-op for plants and materials to complete the rain garden.

Sustainable Rogue Valley is a local group dedicated to fostering sustainable practices through community service and education.

Individuals and local groups interested in getting involved in planting, shaping and maintaining this active demonstration project can visit for more information. If you would like to help with completing the rain garden, contact Rogers at


“A sumptuous looking film with a smorgasbord of people who give a damn, and who’re all trying to change the only world we have for the better.”

– Te Radar

Living the Change explores solutions to the global crises we face today – solutions any one of us can be part of – through the inspiring stories of people pioneering change in their own lives and in their communities in order to live in a sustainable and regenerative way.

Directors Jordan Osmond and Antoinette Wilson have brought together stories from their travels around New Zealand, along with interviews with experts able to explain how we come to be where we are today. From forest gardens to composting toilets, community supported agriculture to timebanking, Living the Change offers ways we can rethink our approach to how we live.

Sustainable Rogue Valley March Meeting – Sunday March 11 – 12:30

Fairgrounds Rain Garden

Join us for cookies and chat about how we can build a more resilient community… Sunday’s Agenda includes:

Fairgrounds Gardens
RCC Raingarden and Bioswale
Stream School (April 14) at RCC
Earth Day (April 19) at RCC
Blue Zone Project
Sustainability Class
Local Recycling

See you at the UU Fellowship at 129 NW E Street, Grants Pass, OR