Updated: May 10
by Julia Babb
2019 was an amazing year! Lots of hard work, but full of growth and changes that helped Pollinator Project Rogue Valley become stronger and more impactful on so many levels! We had a blast connecting with so many enthusiastic people both inside (classes, presentations, and more) and outside (garden work parties, community events, etc.). Thank you, everyone!
Some highlights from the year:
February: Kristina Lefever traveled to Corvallis to attend the first-ever PNW Pollinator Conference. Accompanying her was Jarrett Taylor, one of the two students at SOU working on the Rogue Buzzway map for their capstone project. Jarrett displayed the map he and Seth Campbell created of the Buzzway to date.
With the assistance of 6 or so Mighty Volunteers, we packed up the old office, cleaned the old place AND the new place, moved all our “stuff”, arranged and rearranged the new space, got acquainted with our wonderful neighbors at Essential 3, and then flopped down into our chairs. Whew! We love our comfortable, practical homebase in the Beyond Toxics office we lovingly call “the Pollination Place”.
March: Thanks to Wanda Borland, producer at Rogue Valley Community Access TV (RVTV), we were featured twice on RVTV’s show, “Animals Matter”, with host Julia Babb. With Wanda’s guidance, we also produced two PSAs, one about neonicotinoids, and one about the Rogue Buzzway project. If you haven’t seen these, watch them here.
We were thrilled to be selected as one of the first community organizations for the Medford Food Co-op’s innovative “Positive Change” program! We had fun tabling at the Co-op, and are very honored to have received such amazing financial support from our community. These funds have been so helpful to support our Non Toxic Southern Oregon work.
April: We celebrated the progress of our Rogue Buzzway mapping project at the Talent Community Center. It was a lovely gathering of people around the Valley, with talks by Gerlinda Smith, Dolly Warden, Free Walker, and others. Jarrett Taylor and Seth Campbell spoke about their experiences mapping the Buzzway for their capstone project. We are grateful for their work!
Kristina traveled to Salem to help educate our state legislators about the dangers of chlorpyrifos and neonicotinoids.
Together with Beyond Toxics, we began working on our Non Toxics Roadsides initiative, thanks to Laura Bee and other concerned community members. After requesting spray records for county roads, we helped write a 20-page report about the herbicides (over 1,500 gallons) used along county roads in Jackson County, and spoke at a number of the County Commissioners public meetings. We so appreciate all the community members who came forward to speak their concerns.
May: The Ashland Food Co-op awarded us with a Community Grant. We are using these funds to install native, pollinator plants in our frontscape and in the side garden. Again, we so appreciate being selected for this grant!
June: We helped convene a 6-hour long symposia with other 'pollinator people' to talk about the various aspects of pollinators at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Pacific Division Conference, held at Southern Oregon University.
September: working with Beyond Toxics we helped to host Chip Osborne of Osborne Organics and Jay Feldman of Beyond Pesticides for a day-long workshop about how to create and manage organic parks and greenspaces. Attendees included elected officials, city leaders, and park staff from 5 cities, 2 schools, and Jackson County! We even watched a demonstration of a weed-steamer in action by City of Talent staff!
Throughout 2019, we also:
hosted 9 different classes with amazing instructors from the Rogue Valley
invited to make 9 presentations to the community
tabled at 6 large community events hosted by others, from Grants Pass to Ashland
and last but not least, Kristina was interviewed 4 times, including Jefferson Public Radio and KSKQ
If YOU would like to get involved on beehalf of our Pollineighbors this year, there is plenty to do! We are limited only by our imaginations! Let us know how you would like to help make 2020 an even better year!