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PPRV TEAM

Pollinator Project Rogue Valley is directed by an all-volunteer board.
We joined together to promote the health of pollinators and people
- for our food systems and ecosystems - in our communities and beyond.  
Working together, we can save our pollinators.

BOARD

Arti Kirch

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Arti has been following a passion for the natural world her entire life, beginning with a childhood spent in the glorious Upper Peninsula of Michigan. As an adult, she lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 40 years. There, in addition to creating several residential and public dry-land gardens, she also operated a nonprofit nursery specializing in native and Mediterranean-climate plants, co-founded a business growing

and selling edible plants for summer gardens, was a docent at state and regional parks, and studied horticulture at several local colleges. Arti is a steadfast member of the Native Plant Society of Oregon and the California Native Plant Society.
Arti is thrilled with the opportunity to  share her knowledge and passion for the magic of seeds with the Pollinator Project Rogue Valley community. 

Kristina Lefever 

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Kristina moved to the Rogue Valley in 2012 and immediately became enamored with the region's flora and fauna, especially our pollinators. At the same time, she began learning about the unprecedented decline of all pollinators and the associated implications for our food system and eco system. She and her husband turned their barren property in Ashland into a pollinator garden, with many native plants, trees - and dandelions - but of course it's never finished.

Kristina loves talking about our native bees, butterflies, flies, wasps, beetles, and hummingbirds, and the plants and habitats that best support them. She also loves connecting to people who shares the dream that everyone's yard or landscape will include a little or a lot of pollinator habitat, even if it's just a pot of nepeta (catmint) on the porch.  As her knowledge of native plants (and Latin!) continues to grow, she is even more passionate about growing, sharing, and planting the native annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees that create the habitats that best support our region's native pollinators, and thus, all the creatures that depend upon them.

Kristina is available to make presentations on the subjects of pollinators, pollinator gardens, and beneficial insects in the garden.

Kristina led the effort for Ashland to become the fifth Bee City USA in 2015, and continues to serve on the subcommittee. She also serves on the board of Beyond Toxics, is a certified Jackson County Master Gardener, and is a member of  the Native Plant Society of Oregon.
Kristina is honored to serve as president of Pollinator Project Rogue Valley.

Patricia Burnham

Pat moved to Southern Oregon in 2018, very happy to come to this slower-paced, smaller, and greener locale after  living in Los Angeles. Before retiring, Pat spent many years working in corporate accounting and financial reporting. Upon moving to Oregon, she discovered her interest in native plants and pollinators, which led her to Pollinator Project Rogue Valley, where she realized her work experience would be useful and she could continue learning about the critical role pollinators

play in our ecosystems. Pat is delighted to serve as Treasurer for Pollinator Project Rogue Valley.

Ellen Barry

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Ellen moved to Jacksonville from Los Angeles in 2018 after retiring from a 35-year legal career defending gang members and fraudsters charged with serious crimes in federal courts across the nation. The last decade of her career was spent mostly working on death penalty cases. Her drought-resistant, mostly native hillside garden is what kept her sane through it all. Ellen also sees the importance of growing the next generation, so she volunteers as a mentor and tutor for teens, helping them plan for a brighter future.

She joined PPRV as a volunteer, glad to find fellow gardeners also working on sustainability and resource management issues. She’s learning all the time about the important work that pollinators do every season, and wants to help spread the word that each of us, even if just in our own gardens, can increase local biodiversity for a more sustainable future. 

TRAINEE

Christine Freidel 

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Christine began working with PPRV in the summer of 2021 through the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) managed by Easterseals. This community service and work-based job training program provides employment support for seniors re/entering the workforce, or wanting to learn new job skills. Christine certainly is - from office duties, helping with events, and caring for our gardens, plants and seeds, Christine is providing valuable support at the same time. We are thrilled to have 

Christine working  with us, and really appreciate her presence and ideas to help keep The Pollination Place running smoothly!

My name is Christine Freidel. 

I was placed at Pollinator Project Rogue Valley in July 2021 by Easterseals SCSEP, a program geared to assist seniors in finding a permanent career. It is a great program. When they have grant money, they’ve bought me a Chromebook, and a Winter Coat, Shoes to look for work in. Even paid for car repairs.

PPRV has taught me so much. My tasks can be anywhere from Creating a spreadsheet to Watering plants.

I have come to respect the nature of the seeding process. Meaning, I have harvested, cleaned and sowed seeds. When we look at each individual seed it is amazing! Some seeds are so small you need a magnifying glass to see them, others are quite large. Then these little seeds grow into these amazing plants. 

We sowed our first seeds October 31st, 2021. We had our first sprouts November 11th 2021. By this summer, they will be in the plant sale.

So, why are these plants so important? We need to grow these plants for the pollinators!! Which is more important than most people know. Without pollinators, you’re not going to have a Vegetable garden or a fruit tree. Can you imagine a world without fruits and vegetables. What a scary thought!!

I’m so excited about this project. I’m trying to put it into words. It has completely changed my way of looking at the world. To learn about how powerful one little seed is…

When I saw the first sprout come up from our planting party, it was, look at what we’ve done!! We took a seed from a dried up plant and put it in soil, added some water and voila’ you have a little sprout. It’s very similar to conception and childbirth.

It makes me feel so positive towards life. How did I get so lucky to live and learn about the Pollinator Project.

Christine, January 28, 2022

Ethan Robison 2022-2023

AMERICORPS
MEMBER 

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Welcome, Ethan! Ethan is a United Communities AmeriCorps Member, serving as our first-ever Pollinator Educator and Outreach Specialist. As a junior in the Environmental Science and Policy program at SOU, studying biology, Ethan is also serving an internship at PPRV. He is excited to be working with all kinds of pollinators, especially those that some see as "creepy crawlies". He is looking forward to learning and teaching on the subjects of insect biology and ecology, and how the Rogue Valley community can work together to learn about and support these vital creatures that support our shared ecosystems.

Ethan has lived in Southern Oregon since 2019, after growing up in Reno, Nevada. Since moving here, he has fallen in love with the landscape and wildlife, especially the pollinators, that make the Rogue Valley so vibrant. Ethan asks: Did you know that even carrots need pollinators? Carrot seed is produced because of the pollination activities of small wasps, bees, and beetles! 
Learn more about United Communities AmeriCorps, and Ethan, here.

EDUCATION
VOLUNTEER COMMITTEE

Hannah Borgerson

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Hannah is a Southern Oregon local! She developed her love for nature whilst frolicking among the nearby ponderosa pines, white oaks, madrones and other grand native trees and plants. Later, she moved north to attend the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma Washington, where she studied Sociology, Anthropology and Education Studies. While in Washington, Hannah’s love for the outdoors grew. By her second year in college, she was a leader of her university’s outdoor club and eventually helped coordinate the

outdoor portion of the school’s orientation program.

After college, Hannah moved all around the U.S., working at various summer camps and outdoor education sites. The more time she spent teaching outdoors, the more her passion grew for learning about the importance of creating healthy and sustainable ecosystems around us. Pollinators, bees and native plants became a central learning and teaching point in her outdoor education lessons at her most recent role as the Rural Schools Coordinator for Ruch Outdoor Community School. She is excited to learn more about the crucial role of pollinators and native plants, and engage more community members on this vital environmental topic.

Sue Fthenakis

Sue grew up backpacking in the Sierras where she fell in love with the unique and beautiful wildflowers along the trails, in the meadows, and amidst the rock outcroppings of such wonderful mountains. When she had to choose a major at her liberal arts college she was delighted to discover that if she majored in biology she could focus on learning to identify those wildflowers. That was in Colorado many years ago and although most of that knowledge has faded as her life took her in other directions, the love of native plants never diminished. Of course the health of native plants, not to mention all

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living things, requires healthy populations of pollinators. Knowing that educating people about the importance of pollinators is key to their survival, Sue is pleased to be part of the Education Committee, advancing the mission of planting pollinator friendly, native plants in every possible space all over the Rogue Valley to give our pollinators an environment in which they can thrive. 

Sara Enriquez

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Sara has lived in the Rogue Valley for 35 years and has loved it since day one.  Growing up in Colorado in a family that camped and hiked all summer, she has always enjoyed the outdoors and the beauty and diversity of life around us.  She has been a teacher, primarily math, to students of all ages, from elementary school to community college. Now retired, is loving this opportunity to put 40 years of educational experience to use. Sara is looking

forward to working with Pollinator Project Rogue Valley and learning all she can while spreading the word about ways to protect these vulnerable species we all depend on. 

INTERNS

Tallulah Fattorusso - Winter / Spring 2023

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Tallulah is studying Environmental Science and Policy at Southern Oregon University. She grew up in northern California where her interest in the environment was sparked and she hopes to further her learning opportunities in Oregon through internships and volunteering. She is interested in this particular internship because it will help her learn about the local environment and how to get people in the community involved in environmental projects. Tallulah is enjoying working on updating our Rogue Buzzway map, and connecting to the many people with pollinator gardens.

Allison Barnes - Summer 2021

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Allison is a graduate student in the Environmental Education and Arts and Teaching programs at Southern Oregon University, and is excited to be helping to develop new educational materials and curriculums for future PPRV programs.  Allison is looking forward to learning more about the local pollinators that can be found in the Rogue Valley, and to find creative and fun ways to share that knowledge with the community.  

Sydney Godwin - Summer 2022

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Sydney is a senior at St. Mary’s High School in Medford. Inspired and mentored by her dad, a wildlife biologist at the Bureau of Land Management, she began volunteering for various pollinator projects in middle school. Every year she enjoys helping with bat surveys and participating in the annual Bumble Bee Bio Blitz at Mt. Ashland and other locales. As an intern with Pollinator Project Rogue Valley, she is excited to be focusing on mason bees and sharing her knowledge with students and other members of the community!  

ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Pete Gonzalves
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Pete began volunteering with nonprofit environmental organizations during his high-school days. A 10-speed bicycle greatly expanded his access to natural areas and the sense of freedom and wonder they provided.

His early riparian explorations grew to include the shores of San Francisco Bay and the drier side of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Add in a motorcycle plus construction and nursery management opportunities, and Pete was off to live among oak savannas, coastal redwood groves, and the High Sierra.  Along the way, he studied horticulture, agriculture, forestry and zoology, eventually earning

a Bachelor of Science degree from the Department of Entomology at Oregon State University.

Occasionally flying himself to far-flung farmsteads, Pete provided insect monitoring and management advice for Rogue Valley and northern California farmers for 10 years while performing organic farm inspections throughout southern Oregon, the western United States and much of Latin America.

Pete went on to serve five years as executive director at Oregon Tilth, Inc., a nonprofit promoting environmentally sound and socially equitable agriculture. He has accumulated nearly ten years of experience serving on local and national nonprofit boards.

Recently retired, Pete continues to explore. He's focusing now on the wildlife habitats of a small acreage he shares with his son, daughter-in-law and newly born grandson.

Pete brings many skills and expertise to PPRV, as recognized in a Volunteer Spotlight a few months ago after authoring the Native Plant Pollinator Garden Guide for the garden in front of the office in Phoenix. He looks forward to engaging with the PPRV Advisory Committee to help provide considered and progressive counsel for the organization, and also serve on the Education Committee. 

Kristi Mergenthaler

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Kristi is a botanist and naturalist based in Talent. As Stewardship Director at Southern Oregon Land Conservancy, she helps conserve and care for pollinator habitat and natural areas throughout Southern Oregon. Kristi is also the volunteer outreach coordinator with the Siskiyou Chapter Native Plant Society of Oregon, which means she often takes long hikes through beautiful meadow and montane plant communities, and shares lots of photos on social media with other native plant lovers. She has a special affinity for native bees, especiallythe bumble bees, and learned a lot from the esteemed Dr. Robbin Thorp. She loves volunteering with The Xerces Society's Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas.

Robert Coffan

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Robert has lived in the Rogue Valley for 25 years, passionately enjoying his research into the biodiversity of this basin - from the springs gushing from the headwaters of the Rogue on the flanks of Mt. Mazama, to the hills and rivers where our Western Monarchs stop and rear their young during their fantastic migration.

Robert is fascinated by the beauty and life processes of the Monarch butterfly and other pollinators, and has joined forces with others to help restore their habitat and bring the population back.  He shares his knowledge and enthusiasm with students, colleagues, children, clients, landowners, decision makers, and volunteers, and continues to learn from each of them.  Robert never loses sight of the importance of preserving and caring for this beautiful and diverse part of the world we call home on planet Earth.  Humans are a part of it all.  Together we can add value to our natural resources, and facilitate community growth and change. Robert's knowledge and perspective comes from his experiences as:

  • Chair and Co-Founder, Western Monarch Advocates

  • Co-Founder, Southern Oregon Monarch Advocates

  • Owner, Katalyst, Inc. 

  • BS in Hydrology/Hydrogeology

  • Former Adjunct Professor, Southern Oregon University. 

  • Former Chair, Rogue Basin Partnership

  • Proud Grandpa

  • Community Volunteer: Coyote Trails Nature Center, Northwest Seasonal Workers Association

Suzie Savoie

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Since 2000, Suzie has been learning about and incorporating native plants into her gardens and habitat restoration projects on her property in the Applegate Valley, and she continues to delight in the numbers of pollinators and pollinator species she sees. As co-owner of both Siskiyou Ecological Services and Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds, and volunteer Conservation Chair for the Siskiyou Chapter Native Plant Society of Oregon, she enjoys helping others with their projects. Suzie provides native seed collection services, online native seed packet sales, native nursery plants, and native 

projects. Suzie provides native seed collection services, online native seed packet sales, native nursery plants, and native plant consultation and planting plans. She is an avid hiker, backpacker, gardener, native plant enthusiast, and off-grid homesteader. 
Suzie is co-author of the Native Pollinator Plants for Southern Oregon (available at the PPRV office) and an editor of The Siskiyou Crest: Hikes, History & Ecology.

Pollinator Project Rogue Valley does not discriminate or tolerate harassment on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, veteran status, national origin or any other status or basis prohibited by state or federal law.

Jen Radueg

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Jen Radueg is stewarding 10 acres near Ashland, OR, after 20 years in Colorado and then Northern California. On a quest to bring more native plants and pollinators back to her land, she discovered PPRV's resources and educational materials, and began to volunteer in April of 2022. With her background in marketing, public relations, and sales, her skillset was just perfect and perfectly timed to support the release of The Rogue Valley Pollinator Anthology project.

Jen has always loved the outdoors: hiking, x-country skiing, downhill skiing, getting lost in the woods and gardening. She spends most of her time working, taking care of her 2 dogs and fixing things up around her property.

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