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  • PPRV From Fire to Flowers Pollinator Garden Program: Restoring Community and Ecology, Part 1

    by Erin Keller, PPRV Pollinteer November 2023 Pollinator Project Rogue Valley’s From Fire to Flowers Pollinator Garden (FFFPG) program helps restore the community and ecology in many ways! It fulfills the need for beautiful gardens for neighbors impacted by fire, gives community members a way to support those who lost their homes and gardens, educates about the importance of native plants and pollinators, provides learning opportunities for students, contributes to the connectivity of native habitats, provides critical food and habitat for pollinators, birds, and other wildlife, and adds to the amazing PPRV Buzzway program. Whew! That’s a lot of restoration from just one program! Excerpt from the From Fire to Flowers Pollinator Garden webpage As a result of the Almeda and Obenchain fires of 2020, a large number of community members lost their homes as well as their gardens. As they rebuild, many are not in a position to create new gardens, and may not be aware of the need for, and benefits of, pollinator gardens. That’s when Kristina Lefever, President of Pollinator Project Rogue Valley (PPRV) envisioned the FFFPG program. In this vision, recipients would help create their new, native-plant pollinator gardens, for little to no cost! Even more amazing, the gardens would be designed and installed by talented landscape designers. Community members and schools would be involved and receive hands-on learning, while helping people and habitat recover after the fires. Dr. Chhaya Werner's SOU EcoAdventure class helping design the Anglin's garden Importantly, this program would support the 'Rogue Buzzway', increasing and restoring pollinator populations by creating a native-plant, pollinator corridor through the Rogue Valley – eventually connecting to the Cascade Siskiyou Monument. The Rogue Buzzway map, interactive and continuously updated, created in partnership with SOU's GIS department Although it was an ambitious vision, the need was great, and the potential benefits even greater. Fast forward a couple years, and the FFFPG program is going strong and making a real difference thanks to our skilled and dedicated team! To complete each garden, the PPRV team first meets with fire-impacted homeowners, providing information on the importance of native pollinator gardens and clarifying the homeowner’s goals. Then, Tiina Beaver and Vanessa Henson, PPRV’s FFFPG Coordinators, help residents create a plan that will be sustainable and manageable over the long-term. Next, as appropriate, PPRV Pollinteers and community members apply sheet mulching for soil improvement and weed suppression. When the sheet mulch is sufficiently decomposed, the team reassembles with native plants, tools, and equipment, and creates a new pollinator garden! Maureen's garden before and after To top it off, homeowners are also provided with a customized garden guide with instructions and information to help them learn about and maintain their new gardens. Andi being presented with her garden's Garden Guide by Vanessa To date, 11 homeowners have participated in the program, and more than 350 native plants have been planted, representing more than 125 native species. As of November 2023, the FFFPG program has 6 gardens on the docket for the next 6 months. This program depends on the amazing work of our Polllinteers, and the funding and support from the community! Pollinteers finishing Tom and Melissa's garden - Melissa is in the red hat The Gordon Elwood Foundation generously provided some initial funding and encouragement, and we so appreciate donations from both ACCESS and Indigo Creek Outfitters. Plant Oregon is a huge supporter, providing donated and/or deeply discounted native shrubs, trees, and flowering plants, as does Shooting Star Nursery. C3 Enterprise and Constant Gardener bring expertise, equipment, coordination, and guidance to the program and for the gardens. We truly depend on the generosity of donors, sponsors and partners to continue this program! We are inviting additional sponsors and contributors to be a part of this important work and to help us grow the program. Would your business, organization, or school like to be involved? Would you like to make a donation, become a sponsor, or provide a service? Visit the FFFPG webpage and sign up! To learn more about how our From Fire to Flowers Pollinator Gardens program, the gardens, and the community benefit, watch for personal interviews with FFFPG program participants in the next installment of this series. Thank you to Mountain Rose Herbs for sponsoring our native plant nursery and plant sales, and to Southern Oregon Subaru, for providing support for our gardens!

  • Why Planting Natives in the Fall

    By Anna Ehlers, PPRV Summer 2023 Intern As fall begins, we notice many things: cloudy days, cooler temperatures, and increased rainfall. How can we use these conditions to our advantage when planting our pollinator garden? Planting in the fall provides many benefits: Reduced occurrence of transplant shock More water via rainfall Warm soil temperatures Warm days, cool nights Plants shift their energy towards root growth What is Transplant Shock? Transplant shock occurs when a plant is being moved into a new environment and can cause symptoms such as: wilting, poor root growth, leaf discoloration, stunted growth, or death of the plant. Due to the cooler conditions in the fall, the issues caused by transplant shock may be reduced since the plant is going into dormancy. What is Dormancy? A period of time where the plant conserves energy and doesn't produce foliage or roots. The plant ‘falls asleep’ during the cold winter months and ‘wakes up’ in the warm spring months. Dormancy is induced when there are consistent cold temperatures and shorter days. The Main Takeaway: Root establishment in the fall better prepares the plants for the spring by establishing a strong root system before the plant enters dormancy. With the roots well established, the plant is ready to start putting more energy to growing foliage when spring starts. How to Plant Your New Plant Dig a hole! Make sure it's deep enough that the roots can sit in comfortably. The crown of the plant (the bottom of the stem before the roots start) should sit right at soil level, or just a little above if you are planning to add mulch around the plant. Loosen the roots! Loosening the roots encourages them to grow outwards, beyond the shape of the original container. You can do that by gently massaging the root ball. If the roots are growing in a circular pattern, ‘root bound’, additional pressure may be needed to separate the roots. If any of the roots are squishy or dead, they need to be removed before planting. Note: some native shrubs, like manzanitas and madrones, do NOT want to have their roots touched. Put your plant in the hole! Place your plant in the center of the hole and fill in dirt on all sides of the plant. Be sure to move the soil around to fill in any air pockets, and pat the soil in place, but not enough to compact the soil - air and water need to be able to move through. If the plant is unable to hold itself up, you may need a deeper hole or a support structure to keep the plant upright. Roots have been separated after being removed from the container Plant in the hole with crown visible at the soil line Soil has been filled in around the plant What should you do after planting your new plant? Give your plant a good drink! The plant needs to adjust to its new environment, and giving it lots of water will help it adjust. Water slowly to make sure the water spreads throughout the root ball. Make sure that the soil is wet to the touch in the area surrounding the roots. If the surrounding soil remains dry, it will stress the plant. Give your plant a blanket! Covering the area around your plant with wood chips or fine gravel will provide a layer of protection from the elements. The cover regulates the soil temperature and can keep the soil warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, allowing for roots to continue growing. Wood chips degrade over the course of years and in doing so, add nutrients to the soil. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the crown of the plant. Give your plant a haircut! Trimming old leaves helps the plant focus its energy on growing roots. With fewer leaves, the plant will be less stressed because it won’t be using its energy to keep the foliage alive while also adjusting to a new environment. So get out there and plant native plants this fall, and look forward to a beautiful garden for the pollinators this spring! Happy planting! Looking for more ideas and resources? Find our plant lists and favorite garden resources here. Check out our plant and garden videos here. Find our garden guides, seeds, and more here. Learn more about our upcoming Native Plant Sale for the Pollinators here.

  • A Tribute to Anne LaFrance

    by Kristina Lefever, PPRV President Anne was a regular volunteer with PPRV for more than a year, showing up almost every Wednesday to work in the nursery or garden ~ weeding, pruning, whatever. She was also helpful as we got started again with our Rogue Buzzway mapping project, and she also contributed to design ideas with some of the gardens for our From Fire to Flowers Pollinator Gardens program. Anne must be credited with much of the redo of our demonstration garden this past spring. She researched ideas for additional plants, helped select the species, gave great guidance on placement based on mature size, went to Plant Oregon and Shooting Star to get them, dug the holes, planted and watered them. And, helped get rid of those 2 mugo pines out front! What a shock to learn of her illness...... and then that she was no longer in the world she loved. Anne loved her gardens at home, volunteering at PPRV and the Master Gardener's Plant Clinic, her home with Jan, taking walks, cooking good food and sharing it with others. Jan, Anne's husband, told us: Remember Anne as a caring person who loved plants, gardening and life in general. Anne, we miss you. Click here to see a small photo album of Anne, PPRV Pollinteer. Deb Vroman, a PPRV Pollinteer who sometimes worked with Anne, shared this beautiful poem after learning of Anne's passing. This morning, thinking of Anne... this poem came to rest in my heart with memories of her beautiful spirit...& her smile! Adrift by Mark Nepo Everything is beautiful and I am so sad. This is how the heart makes a duet of wonder and grief. The light spraying through the lace of the fern is as delicate as the fibers of memory forming their web around the knot in my throat. The breeze makes the birds move from branch to branch as this ache makes me look for those I’ve lost in the next room, in the next song, in the laugh of the next stranger. In the very center, under it all, what we have that no one can take away and all that we’ve lost face each other. It is there that I’m adrift, feeling punctured by a holiness that exists inside everything. I am so sad and everything is beautiful.

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Other Pages (60)

  • Pals End of Year Reporlt | pollinatorprojectroguevalley

    Pollinator Pals End of Year Report See what we've been up to this year! Click the image to read the full report.

  • Pollinator Pals | pollinatorprojectroguevalley

    Pollinator Pals Bee a Pollinator Pal! Our Program Provides Education and Hands On Activities Focused On Native Pollinators, Native Plants, and Our Local Ecology! Read our 2023 End of Year Report here! ​ Looking for a specific lesson for your curriculum? Just want a fun activity for an hour? Are y ou planning a co mmunity event? Let's see what we can do together! Lesson Plans Activities Community Engagement Please complete this form to tell us how we can provide a fun and educational lesson or activity for your students! Lesson Plans We offer creative lesson plans with hands-on activities, locally oriented to educate and engage students about our native pollinators, native plants, and our local ecosystems. Try this one out! Pollinator Flower Scavenger Hunt 2nd-6th grade ​ Students will be able to: ● Distinguish different flower types ● Identify bee and non-bee pollinators ● Understand the link between pollinators and their floral preferences ● Examine landscapes for floral diversity ● Understand the impact of low floral diversity ​ Download our Lesson Plan here and Activity Cards here . ​ "It was great! The lesson ran smoothly, was engaging for the kids, and was well staffed with knowledgeable volunteers who also clearly had experience teaching children. I didn't feel overwhelmed with too many emails or decision-making. Yet, I felt informed and a part of the process." ~ Angelina Tejada Ingram, Bellview Elementary, Ashland Lesson Plans Activities Here's an activity that could become a regular addition to your pollinator educational efforts! Bee a Citizen Scientist and do a Pollinator Count! Find out if your garden is making a difference for pollinators! Download our 2-page pollinator count form for students of any age.​ Tips: Survey the area twice per season for better results Conduct the survey when it is warm and sunny with good air quality Don't be afraid to get a close look at the bees - they don't want to sting you Activities Community Engagement Meeting the community at local events is a big part of what we do. From making seed balls to looking at bugs close up or offering quizzes, our goal is to teach kids of all ages while they are having fun! Reach out to tell us about your next event! Communit Engagement PPRV's Pollinator Pals Education Committee for Pollinator Pals Members The Education Committee is composed of experienced educators and community members who have a passion for bringing their knowledge and experience to the education programs at PPRV to spark interest and passion in members of our community. Their goal is to inspire our community to be caretakers and changemakers for our local ecosystems. Continue reading here . ​ Learn mo re ab out our team here and in this blog - Pollinator Pals, With Cheese . Meet Ethan! Ethan Robison is PPRV's Pollinator Pals Education Coordinator ! After serving as our first Pollinator Educator and Outreach Specialist as our United Communities / AmeriCorps member for 2022-2023, we were thrilled to be able to hire Ethan for this new part-time position! Enjoy Ethan's 'End of Term Reflection' he wrote about his AmeriCorps service on our Blog here. Meet Sam! Sam Inada is PPRV's second Pollinator Educator and Outreach Specialist as our United Communities / AmeriCorps member for 2023-2024. We are excited to have Sam working with Ethan to further expand the program! ​ L to R: Ethan Robison, Sara Enriquez, Hannah Borgerson, Sam Inada, Sue Fthenakis, Kristina Lefever. Pete Gonzalvez not shown. Gratitude! We are honored and excited to be a grant recipient of the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation in support of our Pollinator Pals program, as well as the recipient of the 2023 Martha Young Award! Read our press release here . ~ January 2023 Thank you, The Carpenter Foundation , for this grant in support of our Pollinator Pals program and our new Pollinator Pals Coordinator! ~July 2023 We are thrilled to to be one of only three recipients for the Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District's to further support our education and outreach efforts about pollinators and pollinator habitat ! ~ October 2023

  • The Pollinator Times | pollinatorprojectroguevalley

    Thanks so very much for your continuing efforts to keep so many people engaged with helping. I love reading each of your emails and then get to click on more links. Blessings, Shery The Pollinator Times Please enjoy past issues of our e-newsletter. 20 23 ​ December 2023 November #2 2023 November 2023 September #2 2023 September 2 023 August 2023 June 20 2 3 April 2023 # 2 April 2023 March 2023 February 2023 January 2023 20 2 2 December 2022 November 2022 #2 November 2022 October 2022 August 2022 June 2022 #2 June 2022 May 2022 #2 May 2022 April 2022 March 2022 #2 March 2022 January 2022 #2 January 2022 2021 December 2021 #2 December 2021 November 2021 October 2021 September 2021 August 2021 June 2021 April 2021 #2 April 2021 February 2021 January 2021 2020 December 2020 #2 December 2020 November 2020 September 2020 August 2020 May 2020 - News Flash! May 2020 - Special Edition! May 2020 March 2020 February 2020 January 2020 2019 December 2019 November 2019 October 2019 September 2019 August 2019 July 2019 June 2019 May 2019 April 2019 February 2019 January 2019 ​ Not gettingThe Pollinator Times ? White list We will never share your information. Ever. Bee Informed! Sign up for The Pollinator Times, our mostly-monthly e-newsletter! Have a Question? Have an Idea? Let us know! Thanks for you support!

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