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Oregon Stewardship works the students on handson watershed projects in a four county area of Southwest Oregon.   Collaborators include students at five high schools, Medford Parks and Recreation, and  Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and a growing number of southwestern Oregon citizens’ groups and businesses.

Working with school districts and teachers, we lead students on hands on projects near their schools where they can plant trees and gardens and create nature trails.  Students design and build the trails, create an informational brochure, and place sign markers along the trails. All projects that students create continue to be maintained by subsequent students year after year.  High school students that work with Oregon Stewardship are eligible for scholarships for college or vocational education.  High school students also mentor younger students on nature hikes and field trips.

We focus on high school students and do some work in elementary schools, where the high school students are mentors on field trips and projects.  High school students help when we do art or writing classes with younger students.

Our focus is:

  • Watersheds: river, stream and forest ecosystems
  • The ecological cycles and functions that sustain these ecosystems
  • Indicators of ecosystem health, such as anadromous fish

The mission of Oregon Stewardship is to offer education that encourages the community to provide stewardship for the land of Oregon.We encourage students, adults, and all community members to participate in the grassroots stewardship of our environment. We do this with integrity, responsibility, balance and knowledge, and with community commitment and support.

Oregon Stewardship serves Jackson, Josephine, Curry, and Coos Counties.

About Jim and Carla Hutchins
Jim has been teaching students about caring for the environment and running Oregon Stewardship with his wife, Carla, for more than 25 years. Both lovers of the outdoors, Jim spends a good deal of his free time fishing the rivers and the coast, and Carla is a busy organic gardener, growing all sorts of berries, flowers and vegetables.

Annual Bear Creek Salmon Counts

Each October Jim counts salmon in Bear Creek at three locations and on several locations on the Illinois River near Cave Junction.  The salmon begin their migrations after the first rains, usually late September or early October.   The bulk of the spawning is in mid October.  Salmon counts have recently been very strong.  A chart under Programs lists the yearly survey.