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Our program manager, Jim Hutchins, has been teaching stewardship of our natural resources in schools from kindergarten to high school since 1992. Oregon Stewardship was incorporated as a non-profit in 1995.

Jim Hutchins has enjoyed a lifetime exploring Pacific Northwest rivers and lakes.  In 1993 he founded Oregon Stewardship (originally named Rural Outdoor Education) which emphasizes a balanced, positive approach to resource management.  Jim helps elementary and high school students learn to improve and preserve ecosystems surrounding their communities through classroom and outdoor, hands on projects.

In 1994 Jim was recognized with the “Oregon Spirit” award by KTVL.  Other awards include “Caring for the Land”, U.S. Forest Service, and “Outstanding Achievement Award for Conservation Education”, U.S. Forest Service and BLM. In 2004 Jim was recognized as a Volunteer of the Year by BLM and was inducted into the Wild Salmon Hall of Fame by the Northwest Salmon Center on Hoods Canal.   Mayor Gary Wheeler of Medford declared November 1, 2017 “Jim Hutchins  Day” in recognition of 25 years of teaching environmental stewardship.

A love for this world and a love for its inhabitants is the main focus of his life, and the concept behind Oregon Stewardship.

Since our founding, we have been honored by a number of different organzations and government agencies for our work.

  • Butte Falls School District: 2007 Mentor Award, to Jim Hutchins
  • Coquille Education Association: 2008 Friends of Education
  • Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife: 2008 Good Neighbor Award
  • The US Forest Service: “Caring for the Land”
  • The Bureau of Land Management: “Outstanding Achievement in Conservation Education”
  • BLM: “Making a Difference,” in 2004. Jim Hutchins was one of seven nationwide volunteers to receive this honor.
  • Wild Salmon Hall of Fame: Inducted Jim in 2004.
  • National Center for Conservation Science and Policy: “Headwaters Heritage Award,” in 2006.
  • Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program for contributions to furthering the mission of STEP
  • October 1, 2017 proclaimed to be Jim Hutchins Day by Mayor Wheeler, City of Medford, in recognition of 25 years of teaching environmental stewardship through hands on projects