DISCOVER Uncategorized

Do Your Part and Be Stream Smart!

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: For more information about Stream Smart: A Rogue Basin Clean Water Project, visit:

By Amie Siedlecki


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Simple Steps to Start the Money Conversation with Kids

A list from WalletHub released earlier this year ranked Oregon the 30th most financially literate state. It’s not something to brag about and our state’s financial literacy standards are far from perfect. A new survey from COUNTRY Financial found that when it comes to financial matters, 60 percent of Oregonians rely on what they learned from mom and dad. Though the survey found that parents preferred to discuss the birds and the bees or go to the dentist, than talk about finances with their kids, it’s no surprise to see the importance of parents’ role in shaping our kids’ money management skills. Not sure how to broach the topic with your kids?

Here are some simple steps to start the money conversation:

 Start young. As soon as kids can count, they can start to learn about money. Early on, use coin banks so they learn how to save, think about money and learn how to share with others. When they are a little older, open a savings account with them. Take them to the bank in person to set up an account and help them set a savings goal.


Use chores or allowances as a teaching tool. When kids are old enough to do chores for an allowance, you can teach them lessons about saving and responsibility. By creating a set dollar amount for chores, kids lean about the relationship between work and money. An allowance can also be a teaching tool, opening up the door to discussions about spending, saving and even investments and donations.

Introduce a budget. Creating a budget is one of the most important financial habits people can learn to develop. And it’s a great thing to teach kids because it puts financial decisions in their hands. With more experience thinking about and practicing budgeting, it can make it easier for kids to learn responsible money practices. Try the “50-40-10 system” for each allowance or birthday dollar received (save 50%, spend 40% and donate 10%). This concept helps kids understand the importance of categorizing money.


These are just a few simple steps to get you started. There are many ways to integrate financial education and skills into daily life. Just remember to make it fun, give them some incentive, and most importantly start early and your kids will be on the right track for an educated, financial future.

Trey Berkey is a financial representative with Country Financial in Medford. He can be reached at [email protected].

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U Pick Peaches at Sugar Plumb Acres

I recently found Sugar Plumb Acres on Facebook and was super excited to go out and check out the farm located at 1850 Pioneer Rd. in Talent, Oregon.

We have a family recipe for a peach cake that my children love so it was easy to talk them into coming. When we pulled up to the farm the first thing that caught my eye was all the beautiful flowers!

They have a u-pick area that you can find reasonable priced flowers to make your own bouquet. Our next trip out we will be taking advantage of this for sure. We were directed to area to pick the peaches, you need to bring your own containers to transport them, we brought reusable fruit bags.

There are plenty of low hanging fruit so that even your toddlers are able to participate. Once you’ve gathered all your peaches you just have to pull up to the exit and you’re able to weight and pay right there, the farm does only take cash or checks.

For more information visit

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Park & Play: Providing Free Summertime Fun!

Looking for free children’s activities to kick those the summertime blues?

The Park & Play program provides free activities, sports, crafts and bounce houses guaranteed to deliver a positive and enjoyable experience for your kids.

The Park & Play crew brings a mobile recreation vehicle and leads children in fun, engaging outdoor activities aimed to increase activity, creativity, and build social skills.

The daily schedule consists of a game, sport or contest, a creative art project and time in the bounce house. The bounce house is monitored closely by staff and administers a time limit to guarantee that everyone gets a chance to bounce safely.


Park & Play visits eight Medford parks Monday through Thursday, stopping at two parks each day for two hours; 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m.

The schedule allows Park & Play to visit a park in each Medford once a week to assure that all residents have access to the program. Park & Play runs for eight weeks beginning in June.

Movie Night at Lewis Park




 The program is also available at the Rogue Credit Union Movies in the Park series providing free pre-show movie themed activities Saturday evenings from June through August at several city parks.

Go to or call 541-774-2400 for more information.


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Matching Grandmas2Go-Family Coaches with Struggling Families

We all know that babies don’t come with an “instruction manual!” What’s a mom or dad to do when they need help? The answer: … call Grandmas2Go-Family Coaches and be matched with a “trained and trusted” community volunteer Grandma!
The idea for this program came from Linda Otto, when she realized through her work as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), a Baby Cuddler at Asante Special Care Nursery, and a trained Postpartum Doula and Infant Massage Instructor, that parents today are stressed out, overwhelmed and need help. So, she decided to fill that need by starting a non-profit called Grandmas2Go-Family Coaches.
The mission of Grandmas2Go is to mentor, nurture and support parents, infants and toddlers during the critical years of childhood brain growth – from pregnancy to preschool. This multi-generational program is changing lives …not only for struggling families, but also for the senior volunteers who are staying active, engaged, and finding a new life-purpose!
In 2017, Grandmas2Go entered the national Generation to Generation Encore Prize Competition and was named one of the top five new, innovative, inter-generational programs in the country! Grandmas2Go has been featured in major local and national media including Forbes, MarketWatch, and Wall Street Journal. PBS’ online newsletter, Next Avenue, recently published an article: “Grandmas2Go Arrive with Love”. 
Volunteer Grandmas are ‘women of wisdom and experience.” We partner with local agencies to help all our children to thrive!  With families today facing a multitude of challenges, no wonder a father of twins stated, “I don’t know how we would have survived without Grandmas2Go!” A single mom wrote “My Grandma2Go helped me get through that dark period …. we love our Grandma2Go!” And from a mother of two, who was helped by her grandma-mentor to get her US Citizenship: “Thank you for helping me make my dream come true!”
Grandmas2Go is growing, replicating and scaling to serve communities throughout Oregon and across America! And we’re promoting this growth through our “Help Us Grow -“HUG” Campaign. Help us reach more families! Send your name and email address to [email protected] and receive an invitation to Help Us Grow!
We need community support to continue our compelling work. We invite you to join us … as a volunteer Grandma, a donor, or in helping spread the word by hosting a presentation in your neighborhood, church, or social club. 
As Linda, Founder & CEO, says, “We know that one caring adult can change the life of a child. Just imagine what a team of Grandmas can do!”
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U-Pick Strawberry Picking at The Oregon Bee Store

The Oregon Bee Store in Eagle Point has the cutest little store with the cutest stuff inside and pure local honey. But the main reason we stopped was for the U Pick strawberries!


My 3 1/2 year old daughter had a blast picking her own strawberries . It is a great way to get outside and teach children where strawberries come from,  how they are grown, when they are just right  and taste a freshly picked one.

The Oregon Bee Store offer buckets to pick the strawberries but don’t forget to bring something to take them home in.

They are on Facebook and update it there with all the info for the U pick.                                                
The Oregon Bee Store is located at 14356 Highway 62 in Eagle Point, Oregon. You  can give them a call at (541) 826-7621 or stop in to visit the shop and pick some fresh strawberries.
By Caiti
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DESTINATION IMAGINATION:  for creative, innovative K-12 students

In the Destination Imagination (DI) Challenge program, two to seven-member teams focus on finding solutions to two separate types of Challenges: Team Challenges and Instant Challenges. Then they present their solutions to Appraisers in Tournament-style settings. By working together to develop solutions, participants push the limits of their imaginations to better themselves and best their competition. DI is an international program with teams across the US, Canada and 30 countries, all solving the same Challenges.

We offer six standards-based Challenges in Science, Technology, Engineering, Fine Arts, Improv, Service Learning for grades 3-12, and an Early Learning challenge for K-2 students. Each open-ended Challenge enables students to learn and experience the creative process. For 2018-19, teams will:
  • Design/build aircraft that takes off, flies, and lands and delivers a team-built payload.
  • Tell a story about a medical mystery that affects a human character from two different points of view.
  • Create a game gizmo that causes an action/event to occur and design/create a container that goes through a transformation
  • Changing between comedy and tragedy, present an improvisational skit in two styles, changing from verbal to nonverbal.
  • Create/present a story in which the sudden appearance of a monster, enhanced by a team-created special effect, has surprising results.
At tournaments teams have the opportunity to present their solutions in the form of an 8 minute skit to trained appraisers. Students have fun and gain confidence in their ability to solve any challenge. In working to solve our Challenges, teams learn 21st century skills (creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, citizenship and courage), step outside their comfort zones to pursue ideas and make presentations that build on their unique strengths.

Each team requires an adult Team Manager. Oregon DI supports volunteers who manage teams with training, lesson plans and mentors. Teams spend a couple of hours weekly for about 16 weeks working toward a spring tournament.


Since 1981, Oregon Destination Imagination has provided students with an educational experience: to learn through clarifying questions, resource awareness, rapid thinking and implementation, learner ownership, and authentic self-expression. Our goal is to create a different type of learner. A learner who asks questions. A learner who is in control of their learning. A lifelong learner.
Start a team in your community.
Oregon Website:
National Website:
Questions?  [email protected]
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Medford to open first Hebrew School

Bringing Jewish Life to Medford, Oregon!

Chabad Jewish Center of Southern Oregon will open the first ever Hebrew school in Medford, Oregon beginning this October of 2018 for children ages 3-12. The Hebrew School will be servicing the areas of Medford, Jacksonville, Grants Pass, and suburbs.

“Our Regional Jewish Center is located in Ashland but we saw a great need to branch out to the Medford area to service all those families that need to drive a distance just to participate in any Jewish activities,” Rabbi Avi Zwiebel of the Chabad Jewish Center. “We are really excited to offer this opportunity and have already received a very positive response.”

“The goal of our school is to create a welcoming and dynamic environment where children can explore their Jewish heritage through interactive, hands-on, and innovative lessons,” said Faigy Zwiebel, co-director of the Chabad Jewish Center. “Our curriculum integrates Jewish Heritage, Hebrew reading and Holidays with STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, art and math) keeping the children on the edge of their seats.”

“The underlying approach is that the children thoroughly enjoy their time spent at Hebrew school so that they are left with positive experiences and a greater appreciation for Jewish life,” adds Rabbi Avi Zwiebel.

Chabad of Southern Oregon is known for bringing Judaism to the “streets” giving others, no matter their level of knowledge or observance, the opportunity to experience the beauty and joy of their heritage. Some of their innovative programs include public Menorah lightings, Shofar blowing in the park, Pop up Jewish.Deli and Sukkah on Wheels. And now, bringing Jewish life to Medford!

Hebrew school will be held for children ages 3-12 on Sunday mornings at the Medford library until a more permanent location is found. No membership is required to enroll.

To register or for more information, email  [email protected] or call 541-482-2778 

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U Pick Organic Cherry-picking Days at Valley View Orchard

June is cherry-picking month in Southern Oregon!  If you don’t have your own cherry trees to pick from, consider heading over to Valley View Orchard at exit 19 in Ashland next season.


This organic Farm also offers U-pick peaches, apricots, grapes and more when in season, so mark your calendars and follow them on Facebook for their Picking Times.

 Taking children on an outing to the farm teaches them where their food comes from and gives them a sense of accomplishment as they “hunt” for the best produce to choose.  But make sure it is an organic farm or orchard to insure the safest, pesticide-free foraging for the little ones.

Dress comfortably in loose-fitting close to accommodate lots of reaching, stretching and walking.  Tennis shoes (no open-toes) are a must, and wearing a hat naturally protects little faces from sun and the heat of summer.  Buckets are provided by the farm, but keep in mind that the trek back to the farmhouse to pay can be a long one with a full bucket of cherries.  We always ask for two buckets each and fill them only half full or less to make the return trip and checking out a breeze.

Be prepared to hear, “This was my most favoritist thing to do ever!” , as you drive away from the farm, with little  lips smeared in cherry juice and smiles that reach from ear to ear.

Karen Daggett Austin
Owner, True Juice organic Café’ and Nana to five kiddos who LOVE to garden and pick fruits and veggies


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Youth Programs at Rogue Rock Gym!

Rogue Rock Gym was founded in 2005 by Ashland resident Matt Lambert, who recognized the need for a modern indoor rock climbing facility in Southern Oregon. Rogue Rock Gym is Southern Oregon’s first full service indoor climbing gym with 30ft tall walls, over 6,000sq ft of climbing terrain, 33 rope stations, qualified instruction, youth programs, and fitness equipment. Rogue Rock Gym’s mission is to provide our community with an exciting and safe climbing environment while providing the highest standard of rock climbing instruction and coaching for youth and adults. This year we celebrate our 10 year anniversary and our proud to say that we have hosted over 30,000 individual climbers on our walls!
Exposing children to the benefits and joys of rock climbing is one of the primary focuses of Rogue Rock Gym. Indoor rock climbing is a fun, healthy activity for kids in a safe and controlled environment. They build strength and self-confidence on our walls, and when they achieve the top of a climb they garner a sense of accomplishment that is long lasting. Our staff is very experienced working with children through our host of youth programs including private instruction, birthday parties, summer camps, youth climbing club, and a competitive climbing team.
Our rock gym offers Auto-belay devices, which allow climbers access to our tall walls without requiring any previous instruction or training. Parents can bring their kids in and with a 2 minute orientation to the device can be clipping their kids in to scramble up the walls! The device does all the work of catching the climber and lowering them slowly and safely to the ground. Kids love them! These devices are safe and reliable and have become a standard in the climbing wall industry.

Kids looking to try climbing for their first time are encouraged to sign up for “Climb Time” which is a hour and a half long session with one of our staff instructors who coach and provide technique tips for the child while climbing. Group pricing is available for multiple climbers. Please call ahead to schedule.

Anyone is welcome to visit our gym at anytime, we are open 7 days a week! We offer a drop in daily rate for kids under 18, equipment rentals, and for climbers who frequent the gym we have punchcard and membership options.
A parental signature is required on our Waiver release form on a child’s first visit to the gym.
For more information about our Youth Programs and Parties, please inquire with us at the front counter or give us a call at 541-245-2665!
Or for more information or to obtain our Waiver please visit our website at
Happy climbing!
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