News

Coyote Trails Nature Center: July 3, 2012

Goat patrol seen as solution
Blackberries and other invasive species would be no match for these all-star munchers.

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July 3. 2012

Damian Mann
By Damian Mann
Mail Tribune

A herd of hungry goats could become foot soldiers in the ongoing war against blackberry bushes along Bear Creek in U.S. Cellular Park.

The Coyote Trails Jefferson Nature Center has proposed to the city of Medford that it test goats for weed control by letting them chomp their way through 7 acres of blackberries and other invasive plants along a 1,500-foot stretch of Bear Creek in the park.

"They eat everything. They will eat the shingles off your house if you let them," said Matthew Krunglevich, district protection planner for the Oregon Department of Forestry.

SOU: Student Paper April 8, 2012

Coyote Trails School of Nature hosts outdoor spring classes

By Don Bagwell | Apr 8 2012 | Posted in Ashland, Community, News, Top Story

Most college students have no problem navigating Facebook or searching Google to find obscure homework answers. Unfortunately, these finely honed skills come at the expense of time spend outdoors.

Coyote Trails, a nonprofit organization out of Medford, aims to change that, offering a diverse set of classes that teach participants how to navigate a forest for shelter, explore the wild for natural and edible medicinal foods, track and trap small animals, start a fire, and much more.

“Practicing these skills has really given me a more balanced life,” said Morgan Mansker, an instructor at Coyote Trails. “I was spending too much time on my computer and indoors and being more involved in nature has really helped center myself.”

Coyote Trails was founded in 2003 by Joe Kreuzman and has grown to the point where they now have a center in Medford called the Coyote Trails’ Jefferson Nature Center. Their instructors teach without books or theories and use personal experience instead. Each instructor is required to go through “dirt-time” before they can teach: four whole seasons of living off of the land and using their knowledge of nature to survive.

“Awareness removes that fear of danger and it prepares you for the wilderness,” said Joe Kreuzman, the founder of Coyote Trails and an adjunct professor at the University of Vermont.

Year of Living Primitively: April 6, 2012

Five young people push their edges as forest caretakers in the mud, rain and snow above Ashland

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By Juliet Grable

for the Mail Tribune

Living close to the earth sometimes means wearing it. Fortunately, Katie Buttermore, Steven Cossin, Dirk Minton, Amanda Smith and Sam Forti don't mind a little mud.

The five 20somethings are halfway through a year they're spending as caretakers of EarthTeach Park, on 1,680 forested acres east of Ashland. Six months into their tenure, all five say they are happy and healthy, spirits undampened by rain, snow, mud and the absence of Netflix.

The all-seasons Caretaker Program, brainchild of Coyote Trails School of Nature founder Joe Kreuzman, gives students what he calls "dirt time," the chance to learn self-reliance and practice primitive skills such as tracking, trapping and flint-knapping, which they turn around and teach to others.

"I was drawn to the opportunity to live immersed in the four seasons," says Minton, 24, who co-owns a business making herbal tinctures.

Coyote Trails Partnerships Grow Stronger: March 21, 2012

New STEM course allows students, residents to learn side by side

By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ThisWeek Community Newspapers Wednesday March 21, 2012 11:50 AM

This summer, New Albany high and middle school students will learn about geology, wildlife tracking and digital photography alongside adults.

The focus of the course is on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It is called STEM Expeditions: Geology, Wildlife Tracking and Digital Photography and is open to students entering seventh to 12th grades in the 2012-13 school year and community members.

“We have talked about lifelong learning but have not gone about encouraging that,” said Sandra Willmore, outdoors education leader for grades K-12. “This (class) promotes intergenerational learning. It doesn’t really matter what age you are. Everybody can benefit.”

Nature Education Centers Join Forces: November 5, 2011

Coyote Trails will continue mission of struggling Medford organization

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Bodhi Weir, left, and Kai Fix play a game called “screaming cheetah” Friday afternoon at Coyote Trails Jefferson Nature Center in Medford. Mail Tribune / Julia Moore

November 5, 2011

for the Mail Tribune

Coyote Trails School of Nature has taken over operation of the financially struggling Jefferson Nature Center in Medford and will continue the center's classes and field trips with low-income schools, while adding many new classes for all ages.

JNC has seen corporate and foundation funding wither during the recession, but has managed to stay out of the red, said outgoing director Susan Cross, adding that she is confident the well-established Coyote Trails, located in the Cascade foothills on Dead Indian Memorial Road, will bring "the energy and capability to make it grow."

Located on the Bear Creek Greenway corridor near the US Cellular Community Park ballfields, the 7-acre Jefferson Nature Center was started in 2004 on land owned by the city of Medford, mainly to provide nature education for Title I schools that lack funds for it. It serves 1,200 school children each year in Medford, Phoenix and Talent.

Its $80,000 to $100,000 budget came chiefly from grants from Carpenter, Meier, Cow Creek and Anna Mae Family foundations, as well as regional fundraising — and made some earnings with contract work, said Cross.

"It's been a hard economy, especially right after 2008. I've been working on organizational development and looking for ways to keep the center intact," said Cross. "I looked for a partner with the same mission, and Coyote Trails had that. They're positioned in the community, with fee-based classes ... that broaden the base of who might support the center."

The newly renamed Coyote Trails' Jefferson Nature Center, which will focus on an underserved 6-and-younger age group, began classes Friday with animal tracking, fire-making, awareness games and salmon spotting.

The center will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, with activities for kids and adults. There will be refreshments, "coyote coffee" (organic), live music and nature-related games, said Joe Kreuzman, director of the 10-year-old Coyote Trails and new director of the combined center.