2022 brought big accomplishments, and big changes…
I will never forget 2022. For A Greater Applegate it has been a year of tremendous accomplishment. With your help, we wrestled through heat, smoke, and pandemic to complete our listening sessions and created the Applegate Valley Vision. This community-driven vision document will guide the work of A Greater Applegate and many others for a generation.
Many may be surprised how small an organization we really are: five part-time staff and less than a half million-dollar budget. We achieve far beyond our size because we believe in the power and promise of rural community. That belief has enabled us to accomplish something pretty remarkable for the Applegate Valley. While working with you to map our future, we did much to improve life in the Applegate in the present:
- Working Groups formed quickly to begin addressing key parts of the Vision, including art, Destination Applegate, education, food and farming, forest and fire, history, and outdoor recreation. Still more Working Groups are ready to emerge in the new year.
- Through our Innovations Grants and other resources, we built new partnerships and helped almost two-dozen independent efforts to further the Vision.
- We provided free resources and technical support directly to over 40 local businesses and helped many more through collaborations like the farmers markets.
- We continue to build connections and community through the business and nonprofit networks.
- We provided fresh produce and meat from local farms and ranches to our food pantries throughout the growing season, through the Farm to Food Pantry project.
- We continue to work hard to raise awareness about telecommunication needs in the Applegate with commercial providers and elected officials.
- We raise awareness about the Applegate Valley’s gifts and challenges at venues across the state.
Yes, this has been a year of accomplishment. This is also the year I experienced a heart attack deep in the Utah mountains. I was fortunate to have loving support, good health care, and a strong heart to carry me through. I consider myself completely healed, but also changed. It is time for me to release A Greater Applegate to a talented and committed board and staff who already have been carrying the organization for the last several months. I plan to retire in the Spring of 2023.
But before I do, I have more to ask of those of you who have been showing up at our community events, appreciating our efforts from afar, or are simply lovers of the Applegate Valley. Join us. Support us. With the help of so many of you, we have identified over 500 ideas for action and over 90 strategies to make the Applegate a better place for all who live here. Implementing the Vision will cost money and time that we don’t possess as a small organization. We have been successful taking AGA this far almost entirely on grant funding, but it’s not sustainable. What we have, what I have, is a belief in the collective power of the Applegate to make our shared Vision happen. Join us. Support us. Let’s do this together. To donate, click here.