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Catching the Rain

In September of 2021, the irrigation wells on the OSU Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center campus at 569 Hanley Road in Central Point ran dry. Watering of all campus Demonstration Gardens stopped and plants in the Native Plant Nursery began to die. Through a massive emergency effort, the nursery stock was either donated to local restoration projects or taken to member homes to be maintained until we could install a watering system.


An emergency water storage system of eight caged tanks was installed near greenhouse #1 in February 2022 to provide purchased water to irrigate native plant seedlings and transplants being produced in our nursery. This was intended as a temporary fix for the ongoing watering problems.


As a more permanent solution, JCMGA, in conjunction with Small Farms, Land Stewards and other programs housed at SOREC, began fundraising to install a large Rainwater Catchment System. The 5,000-gallon system will capture water off the roof of greenhouse #2 and is due to be installed sometime in July or August, 2022. The captured water will supply emergency irrigation to the nursery on campus in the event of future well failures.


This system will also act as a demonstration teaching tool for Master Gardeners, Small Farms, Land Stewards, 4-H programs, and any community association that would like to bring members onto campus to see what a large capacity capture system looks like. Interpretive signs and brochures will be placed with the system for the public’s information.


The Rainwater Catchment System is a $15,000 project, so we needed to raise considerable funds. With the help of a small cadre of volunteers, we reached out with personal emails and text messages to all Jackson County Master Gardeners for donations, as well as to other stakeholders and community members. As of March 25th, we have received $9,782.00 in donations.


We are pleased to have made so much progress toward our financial goals. We are now pursuing grants to make up the balance of the expenses to pay for project completion. Though the GoFundMe campaign ended on March 15th, we are still actively fundraising directly through our website donation page


Our association would like to thank everyone who donated to this effort, for supporting Master Gardeners in Jackson County in our ongoing efforts to educate and serve the citizens of Jackson County!


Garden for Life!