New Permanent Signs for the Fairgrounds Gardens!



On Monday Mike Nelson and I installed the 6 new full color metal signs on the five Firewise Demonstrations Garden beds at the Josephine County Fairgrounds.  One sign is for the project as a whole and the rest describe the purpose of each garden bed; the Permaculture Garden, the Bees and Pollinator Garden with Mike’s wonderful Insect Hotel, the Monarch Butterfly garden, the Natives Edibles Garden and the Rain Garden. The beds are now going into their third year and are doing very well!

The thriving Permaculture Bed in April – grape vines not leafed out yet.

Mike also just installed a new bird house designed especially for swallows, and moved the small one it replaced down to the crepe myrtle in the Monarch Butterfly bed.

Our butterfly “bath”, which was a 12″ un-glazed clay saucer, disintegrated this winter and we need to replace it. If you have a large clay saucer you don’t need, please let us know.

As a reward for all our hard work – we did a little harvest of purple asparagus before we left – some of the biggest asparagus I have ever seen! Yum!  The strawberries and blueberries are in full bloom and the fig tree has lots of little figs forming. Last summer we had a bumper crop of grapes as well!  Anyone working on caring for the beds gets to enjoy whatever is ripe at the time.


Stop by the Fairgrounds at any time (they are always open) and check out the new signs.  I am usually there on Monday mornings. If you have an interest in helping to maintain the gardens email me at barb22 at

The Landscape of Environmental Justice

Thursday, April 19, 2018 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Large Meeting Room – Medford Public Library
205 South Central Avenue, Medford, OR 97501

RCC’s Diversity Programming Board & SO Health-E invite you to join us for dinner & a discussion about climate, environmental, & social justice, food security, and health outcomes.

Please register for the event at

Learn About:

•Rural movements & the work that can be done in anti-white supremacy &gender justice.

•Current environmental issues from a climate- and food-justice perspective focusing on race/ethnicity and health disparities.

•Protecting & restoring the diversity of native pollinators, and reducing the toxic chemicals in our environment.

•Empowering communities to build healthy and fertile soils, and to grow and save native and heirloom seeds.

•Overview of Jordan Cove LNG Export/Pacific Connector Pipeline, with discussion of significant impacts.

Printable pdf Flyer

Right to Repair

Stand up for your Right to Repair!

State Legislators have the power to protect you from unfair and deceptive policies that make it difficult, expensive, or impossible for you to repair the things you own. Right to Repair or Fair Repair Bills have been introduced in 18 states, but they  will only pass if you tell your lawmakers that you want Right to Repair.

Posted by Jerry Allen

To be a sustainable, resilient, self-reliant community we need to be able to reasonably fix stuff and not just throw it away and make another trip to the big box store. We also need to support local repair shops. It’s time to speak out for your right to repair

This year, the people of Oregon have a chance to guarantee their right to repair their stuff—like cell phones, laptops, and even tractors.

It’s yours. You own it. You shouldn’t have to beg the manufacturer for permission to fix it when it breaks. Tell your legislator that you want the right to repair.

There are two easy ways to get in touch: call and write. We’ll track down your legislator’s contact info for you.

Common Questions about Right to Repair

What does Right to Repair do?

Right to Repair is simple. It requires manufacturers to provide owners and independent repair businesses with fair access to service information and affordable replacement parts. So you can fix the stuff you own quickly—and get back on with your life.

That sounds great! Who would be against that?

Well, manufacturers like John Deere and Apple don’t like the idea. When your tractor breaks or your cell phone stops working, they want to be the only people who can fix it. And they get to set whatever prices they want for parts and service.

Is Right to Repair a new concept?

Nope! We already have right to repair for cars—that’s why you can take your Ford into a local mechanic. They have all the same software diagnostics and service manuals that the dealerships have. This is the result of decades of auto Right to Repair legislation—laws that have been a resounding success.

How can I get involved?

It’s time to fight for your right to repair and defend local repair jobs—the corner mom-and-pop repair shops that keep getting squeezed out. Write or call your legislator. Tell them you support the Fair Repair Act. Tell them that you believe repair should be fair, affordable, and accessible. Stand up for your right to repair in Oregon!

Visit the website, contact your representatives, and let your voice be heard. If you don’t want Apple to be the only place you can go to repair your iPhone or Mac computer, you need to reach out to your representatives and tell them that! This is really important!

Oregon Master Naturalist Training

The Oregon Master Naturalist Program provides an opportunity to learn about natural resources through the study of scientifically sound information: the natural history of plants, animals, habitats, and geology, the history and processes of landscape change, as well as the most relevant topics in present-day sustainable natural resource management. Participants volunteer for natural resources programs, agencies, organizations, and other groups in their communities.


The Oregon Master Naturalist Program is for people interested in Oregon’s natural history and natural resources management who want to dedicate their time as volunteers.


How to Become an Oregon Master Naturalist

Your journey begins here!

You are about to set forth on a journey of learning, exploration, and service. To become a full-fledged Oregon Master Naturalist, there are several steps you must take. The Oregon Master Naturalist Program is ideal for those who wish to become certified Master Naturalists, but classes are open to anyone with interest, as space allows.

Steps to becoming an Oregon Master Naturalist

1. Complete the online core statewide coursework.

The course “Oregon Master Naturalist Online” provides a basic overview of Oregon’s natural history and the management of its natural resources (learn more).

2. Complete regional course requirements.

We currently offer courses in 5 Ecoregions, which are in-person coures taught within an ecologically distinct region of Oregon. You must take at least one Ecoregion to become an Oregon Master Naturalist (learn more).

3. Volunteer.

Once you have completed your coursework, you must volunteer for a natural resources oriented group or project for a minimum of 40 hours within the first full year after completing your coursework (learn more).

4. Maintain your certification.

To maintain your status as an Oregon Master Naturalist, you must continue to volunteer a minimum of 40 hours per year, and attend at least 8 hours of continuing education per year (learn more).

Ecoregion Field Courses

To become an Oregon State University Extension Master Naturalist, you must complete one Ecoregion field course. An Ecoregion course is a set of in-person classes taught within one of Oregon’s ecologically distinct regions. These field-based courses, taught by experts, introduce participants to a wide range of natural history and conservation topics relevant to a single Ecoregion. A typical course contains 6-8 all day classes. Full course participation is expected.

Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains (2018)

Ecoregion Field Courses begin May 18, 2018


For more information contact:

Jason O’Brien
Program Coordinator

Swallows Raising Family in Permaculture Garden Bed at Fairgrounds!


While weeding the Fairgrounds Demonstration garden beds this week, we noticed a pair of swallows darting in and out of one the birdhouses that David Sligar made for our Permaculture Garden bed!  Needless to say we are pretty psyched about that!   We have had Monarchs lay eggs in the Monarch Butterfly Garden and many many bees and other pollinators visiting each year, but this is the first time we have had birds use the bird houses!  Even in the middle of what is essentially a big asphalt parking lot we were able to create an environment that encouraged birds to inhabit it! Yea!


Disaster Preparedness Planning Conference


Fruitdale Grange is hosting

Disaster Preparedness Planning Conference

May 23, 2018, 9-12 noon

Fruitdale Grange, 1440 Parkdale Drive,
Grants Pass, OR 97527

All over our state and country there are disasters that happen—fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, tsunamis, blizzards and even occasional dislocations of essential food and water due to economic disasters. In order to encourage greater preparedness here in Josephine County, the Fruitdale Grange is hosting a Disaster Preparedness Planning Conference this Spring, before fire season.

We invite all governmental and other organizations to attend, such as: county emergency services, public health department, hospitals, schools, police, sheriff, fire departments, State Fire, water agencies, ODT & debris clearing agencies, city councils, Board of Commissioners, Human Services, CERT emergency responder organizations, service clubs, churches, synagogues, Red Cross, SPCA, Humane Society, homeless services, charities, food security experts, regional medical reserve corp., community radio stations and ham radio organizations, hardware stores, local food stores and farmers groups.

We will encourage all to frame the dialogue positively as exploring disaster risks, identifying greatest unmet needs and how we can work together to augment existing plans and develop greater regional preparedness.

We envision a matchmaking format wherein government agencies briefly state what they need help with and non-profits, stores, churches and service organizations state what they can help with. We look forward to working with all of you.

Please RSVP to help us plan for the space, with your name, organization and how many people will be attending to Jerry Allen at Send any questions to the same email address. Thank you.

Update on RCC Bioswale/RainGarden Project


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The new gravel path is nearly finished and runs from one end of the garden to the other, the boulders have been placed, and four bird houses hung: three have larger holes for Bluebirds or Swallows (most likely violet green), and one is for smaller birds (Chickadees or Nuthatches) (see below).  SRV member Mike Nelson made the houses and worked with Chas to install them.


Plant labels for each of the 27 plant species used in the garden are being made and will be installed soon, so visitors using the trail will be able to identify the different plants growing there. There are 24 different native plant species and 3 non-natives.

An irrigation system is being installed by the RCC grounds crew with the help of project manager Chas Rogers, so we won’t have to worry about losing any of the plants while they are getting established. In two or three years, when they have good root systems put down most of the plants will survive our dry summers with little additional water.

Be sure to mark your calendar for Thursday, April 19th, the day RCC holds it’s Earth Day Celebration from 12 – 2 pm. Sustainable Rogue Valley will have an information table and Chas will be giving tours of the RainGarden!