The Destination Applegate Working Group is seeking to develop low-impact, conscious, community-based tourism that strengthens our rural economy while expanding local social and entertainment opportunities. The Destination Applegate Working Group is creating a website to promote outdoor recreation, art, history, wellness, and culinary experiences in the Applegate Valley. This working group also will be helping promote and coordinate events of interest in our valley. Current members include owners and operators of local hospitality, wineries, culinary, and lavender farms, outdoor recreation operators, Travel Southern Oregon, Business Oregon, and destination management organizations from neighboring cities.
The Education Working Group wants to create a range of local educational opportunities that offer safe, healthy, meaningful, and fun experiences for youth, young adults, and continuing learners to better equip them with skills, knowledge and confidence. This working group created a survey to better understand the educational priorities of Applegaters and is currently developing a new page on Applegate Valley Connect to highlight the many educational opportunities available locally. The Education Working Group currently includes representatives from public schools, charter schools, homeschooling programs and parents, outdoor education, and after school programs. All are welcome!
Food and Farm
The Applegate Valley Food and Farm Working Group is an extensive network of farmers, ranchers, growers, food entrepreneurs, grocers, and restaurateurs. The overall goal is to maintain and enhance our local food and agricultural system. Currently, the group is focusing on increasing awareness and building relationships in the community about local food and agriculture; increasing on-farm land and water management capacity; assessing and building necessary food system infrastructure; supporting the farmers’ market development, growth, and attendance; and increasing local purchasing in the community.
This working group meets twice a year and will be forming subcommittees to work on priority projects coming out of the issue-areas listed above. The food and farm work being done in the Applegate is a part of the greater Rogue Valley Food System Network and also works in conjunction with the Oregon Community Food System Network. It is currently being funded through a Business Oregon Rural Opportunities Initiative grant.
If you would like to get involved, please contact the Applegate Valley Food and Farm Coordinator, [email protected].
Forest and Fire
The Applegate Valley Forest and Fire Working Group is a multi-stakeholder group of organizations and agencies working in the forests of the Applegate Valley with the goal of promoting forest conservation, restoration and fire resiliency on public and private land. Goals of this group include increasing community education, engagement and communication with federal agencies, and better preparing the region for wildfire. Among other things, this group is working on a proposal with the NRCS Conservation Implementation Strategy (CIS project) for private land fuels reduction in the Applegate, integrating local needs into the Rogue Valley Integrated Fire Plan, and planning a Fire Education and Preparedness Fair.
Members of this group include the Applegate Partnership and Watershed Council, representatives from Medford BLM and Ashland BLM, local contractors, KS Wild, NRCS representatives from Jackson and Josephine Counties, OSU Extension, SOFRC, USFS Rogue River- Siskiyou, Rogue Valley Integrated Fire Plan Coordinator, Applegate Siskiyou Alliance, Rogue Valley Prescribed Burn Association, and Prescriptions for Safety.
The Applegate Valley History Working Group formed to conserve the cultural heritage and recognize the local history of the Applegate Valley. Working group members include representatives of local historical societies, libraries, educators, and descendents of early settlers to this area. Members of this working group are interested in understanding and sharing the cultural, political, and geographical history of the place we now call the Applegate Valley.
Projects being created out of the History Working Group include an Applegate Valley History museum, identification and promotion of history trails and sites of interest, and opportunities to recognize and celebrate the long-time families of the Applegate Valley.
The Outdoor Recreation Working Group is a collaboration of trails associations and recreation organizations coming together to share resources, prioritize needs, and promote outdoor activities in the Applegate Valley. Members of this group are interested in expanding and improving access to outdoor recreational opportunities, including the Applegate River, regional trails, and enhancing our local parks. They are also coordinating to develop outdoor recreation services, infrastructure, and outreach materials, such as a comprehensive trails and recreation map, and opportunities to engage the community to build volunteer work forces that will help build, maintain trails, and steward projects in our community parks.
Members of this group include, but are not limited to, the Applegate Partnership & Watershed Council, Applegate Trails Association, BLM- Provolt Recreation Site, the Provolt Volunteer Team, Jackson County Parks and the Cantrall Buckley Park Enhancement Committee, Pacifica, Siskiyou Uplands Trail Association, Wellington Wildlands Council, McKee Bridge Historical Society, and the Williams Community Forest Project.
In April 2021, the Applegate Valley Artist Network (now called The Arts Working Group) was reinvigorated and continues to grow thanks to the participation of several local artists. As an offshoot of the Business Network, local artists have formed a unique group to support and address their own specific needs. The Working Group includes performance artists, woodworkers, graphic designers, visual and textile artists and more. Some goals that this working group is moving towards are: increased connection with Applegate Valley wineries and existing events, a shared makers’ and/or gallery space, arts workshops, open studio tours and collaboration with local art galleries.
They have also created a survey to gather more detailed information on local artists, as well as create a contact list for local businesses who are interested in partnering with artists. Please fill out this form to have your business information shared and added to our contact list.
Village Hubs are concentrated collections of public and private resources spread strategically in the rural commercial corridors of the Applegate Valley. AGA wants to nurture this development to allow for services like coffee shops, work spaces, Internet access, laundromat, social and health services, and places to sell locally made and grown products. This strategy can also create the physical hubs that would serve as community centers where people can gather to conduct business and visit with neighbors. If you would like to participate in helping research and design the Village Hub concept, please reach out to [email protected].
A Greater Applegate also participates in the Regional-Local project with Southern Oregon Climate Action Now. This group was formed in 2021 for climate action advocates across Southern Oregon to come together to learn about, network, and collaborate on local actions and issues with the goal to reduce the emissions and concentration of greenhouse gas in Southern Oregon (climate change mitigation). The group works to accelerate climate action in our our counties, municipalities and unincorporated areas through sharing information and resources and working together. The primary activities are developing policy options and proposals for local government action in southern Oregon, to mitigate, adapt, and build resilience to the impacts and causes of climate change; maintaining communications and involvement with individuals and non-profit community climate action organizations in the region in order to facilitate coordinated action in support of climate adaptation and mitigation; and developing a regional inventory that documents the current status of climate action in regional communities.
There is opportunity for an Applegate Climate Action Working Group to form and be more involved with this southern Oregon network. Contact [email protected] if you are interested in helping to get this started in our community.
New working groups are forming all the time. Contact [email protected] to learn more about groups forming around wine, cannabis, and any other specific interests you may have.