Last month, students from the University of Oregon were selected as the winners in CengageBrain’s Alternative Spring Break competition. With the cash prize of $2,500, they were able to take a group of students from a local middle school on a backpacking trip through the Rogue River Wilderness Area in southern Oregon. Here the group traveled by foot to restore the area by clearing trails, removing visitor impact and improving habitat. One of the leaders of the group from the University of Oregon, Grace Rogan, has graciously offered to share the group’s experience through the Rogue River:
Our group of college and middle school students were able to spend our week-long spring break along the banks of the beautiful Rogue River in Southern Oregon. Throughout the week we were able to assist in stewardship of the Rogue River, while building skills in the areas of conservation and back-country leadership, and all the while working with middle school aged youth.
We spent two nights at the Indian Mary campground and worked on the Umpqua Joe trail. We sawed through trees and removed them from where they were blocking the trials, cleared brush and worked to remove poison oak that was lining the trail. This allowed us to get our hands dirty and we could really see the difference we made!
Two of our participants were avid fishermen and caught a trout from the river. A UO student was able to clean and gut the fish and then cook it up for all of us to taste. There is nothing better than fish straight from the river!
Despite the fact that it rained almost the entire week, our group remained positive the entire time. We made the most of our wet boots and wet tents and not a single complaint was uttered. Winning the CengageBrain Alternative Spring Break contest allowed us to purchase new tents for our trip, which we have donated back to the Holden Leadership Center for future use. Without these tents we would have not been able to survive in the rain, and our trip would have been cut short! They made a huge difference on the success of our trip!
Until next time Wild Rogue!