For most, hearing a creek flow over cobbles and viewing the wildlife present along its banks delivers a reviving feeling. Here in the Rogue Valley, there are many opportunities to absorb the peacefulness that is provided by its natural areas. However, in order for creeks, rivers, and lakes to continue providing these opportunities, uninhibited, we all must play a role in preserving, maintaining, and restoring our local waterways.
To keep our waterways clear of excess algae and overbearing aquatic plant growth, we as homeowners can adopt Stream Smart yard and garden behaviors, such as: mowing high, mulching lawn clippings, using the appropriate amount of fertilizer in the correct place, properly disposing of yard waste, installing efficient irrigation systems, and removing turf and replacing it with native plants.
We love our dogs and going for walks with them, but we don’t always, if ever, enjoy picking up their poop. Pet waste that does not get picked up often gets washed into the storm drainage system, which empties into the nearest waterway untreated following rain events. With enough pet waste present in creeks and rivers, the water becomes contaminated with bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can threaten human health. On your next walk, remember to bring a bag, bag it up, and dispose of it in the nearest trash can.
Using “Earth-Friendly” cleaning supplies instead of conventional cleaners can keep harmful chemicals out of our waterways. While conventional cleaners will first enter wastewater treatment facilities, these chemicals are not always completely removed from the water before being emptied back into our rivers. Some “Earth-Friendly” suppliers include: Planet Earth, Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers Clean Day, and ECOS, which can be found at most grocery stores and online at Grove Collaborative.
While car maintenance is not a particularly welcome way of spending money, by responding to oil, coolant, and transmission fluid leaks, less of these fluids are able to reach our local waterways. Additionally, the actions that you take when washing your car can impact water quality. To protect our waterways, follow these suggestions: wash over a permeable surface, such as gravel or your lawn, limit the amount of water used, or take your vehicle to a car wash facility, such as Wash N’ Go Depot, Crater Car Wash, or Yellow Submarine Car Wash.
If we want to ensure the continued feeling of serenity in the presence of our local creeks, rivers, and lakes, it is important that we adopt these actions. Take a pledge to do your part and be Stream Smart: www.stream-smart.com/pledges. For more information about Stream Smart: A Rogue Basin Clean Water Project, visit: www.stream-smart.com.
By Amie Siedlecki
Fall is here and that means OCTOBER and that means HALLOWEEN and that means BATS!
Bats are victims of BAD public relations, specifically because of that FICTIONAL guy, DRACULA!
Bats have been on Earth for more than 50 million years. With over 1,400 species, they are the second largest order of mammals, and those species cover six continents. Globally, bats provide vital ecosystem services in the form of eating insect pests, plant pollination, and seed dispersal, making them essential to the health of our planet.
Making a bat-friendly place in your backyard supports the essential role bats have in the environment. All 15 different species of bats in Oregon eat insects…..mosquitoes, gnats, night flying beetles and moths.
Here’s a few BAT facts:
1. One Little Brown Bat can eat over 1000 bugs PER HOUR!
2. The world’s smallest bat is the Bumblebee Bat measuring 1.5 –3 inches in length and weighing 2 grams as a full-grown adult.
3. The world’s largest bat is the Giant Golden-crowned Flying Fox with a wingspan up to 6 feet!
4. The oldest known bat was a male Brant’s myotis who lived 41 years.
5. Of the 1,400+ species of bats in the world, only three are vampire bats that drink blood. They ONLY live in Central America NOT TRANSYLVANIA!
It’s time to help our BUG EATING friends….THE BATS!
Here’s your chance – Build your OWN BAT-HOUSE – STEM kit.
You get it ALL…..pre-cut ALL weather re-purposed plywood, screws and nails along with FULL detailed instructions to build your own BAT-HOUSE. Measures 16 in. tall, 8 in. wide and 2 ½ in. deep when finished. All you need is a hammer and screwdriver.
Features galvanized mesh for inside the house…..gives ‘em traction to climb up inside. Will hold about 35-50 little brown bats. They will use it as a roost as well as a NURSERY!
This package also includes a BAT coloring page and detailed 3 page educational fact sheet about all 15 Oregon bats and why bats are SO important.
If you are interested, please send an email to [email protected] with quantity and your address.
This is a PERFECT activity for scouts, homeschoolers or ANYONE who wants to invite these AMAZING mammals to your property.
The Coronavirus has become a pandemic crisis impacting every aspect of our lives. Parents are being forced into the role of educator as our children are pushed into a home-schooling situation. To add to that stress, many of us do not know how long we will have a paycheck or a job as so many industries are having to reduce operations or shut down completely. We are being asked to limit contact with others. All of this is causing anxieties to rise in both adults and children.
Be mindful that your children are looking to you to see if they should be scared. Do not completely ignore what is happening. Answer your child’s questions in an age appropriate way. Develop a new routine so that your child can feel safe. Talk to them about taking the recommended precautions to stay healthy.
Additionally, do a daily “worry” check in. With my child it goes something like this, “Let’s check in. Tell me something you are worried about today?” or “Are you concerned about anything today?” It is enlightening what you may find out. Many days those concerns have nothing to do with what is currently happening and many times it is something that a parent can address easily. The later is great. It gives you a boost in your confidence level as a parent and your child is reassured that things are okay. Soon, you may find that your child is initiating the daily check in. “Hey Mom! Tell me how your day went? What made you happy today?” At my house, we change the questions up. Sometimes worried focused questions, sometimes feelings focused questions and sometimes activity focused questions.
Here are some ideas for activities that you can do to keep your child engaged and to help with your own self-care during this unsettling time:
Read a book aloud. My child’s class has read aloud time during the school day and it is something he enjoys. Pick a series and read together for thirty minutes a day.
Do an art project together. Draw, make slime, finger paint, color—build with legos.
Write a “book” together. Develop a story line, take turns writing paragraphs, create illustrations. It can be a true or fantasy.
Take a hike. Go someplace and enjoy nature together.
Watch a movie or find a series on Netflix or Amazon Prime that is family friendly. Gilligan’s
Bake or cook with your child. This helps to develop math, reading and survival skills.
Teach your child to clean and disinfect.
Play outside…basketball, catch, blow bubbles, hide and seek, take a walk.
Play tic tac toe, board games, card games, or make up your own game.
Structure can help get you through this crisis and as a bonus the “together time activities” will help to strengthen family bonds.
Our trip to go snow tubing at Diamond Lake was a BLAST! We had been planning it for weeks and the kids were ecstatic. Truth be told, Brooke and I were just as giddy to go! Between the two of us we have 6 kids total, including two sets of boy/girl twins, and each a singleton girl!
We decided ahead of time we were going to make it a day trip and pack lunches for a little snow pic-nic together. There is lodging options as well and it would be fun to stay a day or two next time! The drive was nice, only about 2 hours from Grants Pass. There is also a little store with food and snow gear just in case you forgot something like I always do! There is also a few dining options located by the store, hotel and cabins.
At the tubing hill they also have a few snacks available and snow gear if needed. One fun thing we didn’t expect was the music playing outside and families eating what they brought in and bbq’n in the parking lot!
The entire atmosphere was family friendly. When we got to the hill, we selected our tubes. They have single or doubles to choose from. While riding the conveyor belt to the top we all realized how fast everyone was going, we were terrified and excited all at the same time! The ride down is about 25 seconds but feels like 5! Little did we know that about 1 hour before closing it’s less, maybe 20 seconds to the bottom and you start to go further and further past the finish line!
That last hour was probably my favorite. Most the crowd had left or went to the parking lot to bbq so the line was shorter. We had gotten over the initial anxiety of going down and we’re having a blast by then! The kids were going down backwards and on their stomachs and my friend Brooke was able to record her and I going down together, best video ever!
Both of our families are from California and have lived in Oregon 10-12 years and this was by far one of the funnest things I have done in Oregon! There were no electronics involved besides a fun video with lots of laughs and amazing family memories made! I highly recommend going to Diamond lake for your next family trip!
The season usually starts in December to March, but depending on the weather conditions may extend to April.
For dates, hours of operation, costs and more details you can visit:
or call 541-793-3333
By Jennifer Whitney
It’s that time of year again to lace up your skates and hit the ice! The Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink will officially open on Thursday, December 2019 through February 17, 2020. The outdoor rink, a division of Ashland Parks & Recreation, is located at 95 Winburn Way, across from the Lithia Park playground, around the corner from the Plaza, and at the corner of Nutley Street and Winburn Way.
The 2019-2020 Season will feature something for everyone… Bring the whole family! For more information on prices, schedules, lessons, programming, hockey, scholarships and all we have to offer you, visit AshlandParksandRec.org or call the ice rink directly at 541.488.9189. You may also call the Ashland Parks and Recreation office at 541.488.5340. Watch for details on the annual First Frost event that will be held in December this year. This gala celebration culminates the spirit of the outdoor rink and the holidays! Psst kids, tell your parents Chilly the Snowman and Santa’s elves will be at First Frost on Saturday, December 14. Complete details online at AshlandParksandRec.org.We hope you can experience one of the most magical places in Ashland… that little outdoor rink in beautiful Lithia Park, where the air is fresh, the white lights are twinkling and the music blends with the sounds of nature and blades on the ice… “Let’s skate!”Be sure to check the online schedule BEFORE coming out to the rink – ashland.or.us/IceRink. And, look for the holiday schedule for Christmas break.Follow us on social media… Facebook & Instagram @AshlandParksandRec
What is on top of every First Responder’s wish list this Holiday Season? Your family’s safety! The adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is certainly true and—when simple prevention is ignored—our alarm bells ring!
Please take note of these tips this holiday season:
Inspect electrical decorations before use. Look for damaged or frayed wires, and replace any component that shows wear.
Do not overload electrical outlets. Overloaded electrical outlets and faulty wiring are a common cause of fires
Never connect more than three strings of incandescent lights. In fact, consider low-wattage LED strings.
Keep trees fresh by watering daily. A dry evergreen inside your home is a fire hazard.
Use battery operated candles. Candles start almost half of home decoration fires.
Keep combustibles at least three feet away from heat sources. A heat source that was too close to a decoration was a factor in half of home fires that began with decorations.
Protect cords from damage. To avoid shock or overheating, cords should never be pinched by furniture, forced into small spaces such as doors or windows, placed under rugs, located near heat sources, or attached by nails or staples.
Check decorations for certification labels. Decorations not bearing a label from an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), or Intertek (ETL) have not been tested for safety and could be hazardous.
Stay in the kitchen when something is cooking. Unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of home cooking fires.
Turn off, unplug, and extinguish all decorations when going to sleep or leaving the house. Half of home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11:00pm and 7:00am.
Captain Brian Bolstad
Jackson County Fire District 5
Holiday tips: https://www.esfi.org/resource/top-10-holiday-safety-tips-337
Join in the Victorian Christmas Celebration activities in Jacksonville, Oregon.
Holiday Festivities continue on weekends up to Christmas
Christmas Tree Lighting, caroling at 5pm. and visits with Father Christmas from 11am-4pm on Novemer 30th, 2019.
Experience an old fashioned Holiday Season every Saturday and Sunday in December when Historic Jacksonville is transformed into a 19th Century village celebrating Christmas in Victorian style. Enjoy the buildings decorated with greenery and lights. Listen to and join in with strolling Carolers. Sip some hot cider from a street side stand. Take a horse drawn wagon ride.
Don’t miss the Victorian Christmas Parade at 10am.
Stop by Dan McGeorge Photo Gallery to visit Father Christmas. Bring your camera to take photos of your kiddos
Take a ride on the Holly Jolly Trolley for just $1 as it makes a short loop around town and lets you off to shop and eat.
Make sure one of your stops is the 1873 Beekman House Museum at 470 E. California. It’s decorated for a Victorian Christmas in the late 1800s. Costumed docents share the origins of holiday traditions during 1- hour tours between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. every weekend. Find the good luck pickle on the Christmas tree; steal a kiss under the mistletoe; and sample one of Mrs. Beekman’s sugar cookies.
You also can step behind the counter of the Beekman Bank Museum, the oldest financial institution in the Pacific Northwest. Peer in drawers, walk in the vault, and interact with docents sharing stories of late 19th Century banking practices, gold shipping, and handshake deals.
And there are special activities and events every day! For a complete list of event, times, and locations visit www.ChristmasinJacksonville.com and www.historicjacksonville.org.
A Magical performance of Stillpoint’s presentation of The Nutcracker in Grants Pass at Grants Pass Performing Arts Center.
A Holiday Tradition every December not to be missed.
Tickets on sale now.