1st Annual “Birds & Brews” at Siskiyou Field Institute (SFI) in Selma
Siskiyou Field Institute Mission Statement:
“The Siskiyou Field Institute deepens people’s scientific understanding and intimate connection to the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion by providing educational programs and outdoor experiences to a broad spectrum of the public.”
Yesterday I was able to attend the first annual “Birds & Brews” all-day fundraiser at Siskiyou Field Institute (SFI) in Selma, which is located right outside of Grants Pass. Many thanks to the event sponsors Dutch Brothers and Southern Oregon Sanitation for helping SFI make this happen by the way! Starting at 7am, they provided free (not to mention very knowledgeable) guided bird & wildflower hikes, live music by Eight Dollar Mountain and the Robbie DaCosta Trio, activities for kids (bird box building, raptor demonstration by Wildlife Images, exploring Pacifica’s Caterpillar science trailer) and a complimentary pint beer glass with the SFI logo. They also had beer from 4 local microbreweries; local wine and root beer were also available for a small fee.
The event was located at the Deer Creek Center, which is on an 850-acre property is situated at the gateway to the Illinois River Canyon. Overlooking Deer Creek Valley and the Siskiyou Mountains, this place would be a great location to hold any event whether it be private or public. With that said, I found out that it is for rent all year round. The facilities include unlimited primitive camp sites, two yurts, a state-of-the-art solar bathhouse and a covered picnic pavilion.
SFI offers lifelong learning opportunities about our wonderful region to people of all ages. No matter where your curiosity lies (birds or botany, butterflies or bryophytes, wildflower photography or botanical illustration) you’re sure to find classes here that catch your interest. Check out their event schedule online and see what fun things you can get into this upcoming season! For more information on Siskiyou Field Institute go to their home page at www.thesfi.org
If you are a music lover such as myself, you have to check out the two bands that performed at the event. My friends and I took our shoes off and danced in the grass for hours!
Robbie DaCosta Trio, http://robbiedacosta.com/
Eight Dollar Mountain, http://eightdollarmountain.net/
The Caterpillar Science Trailer is a 32 foot travel trailer that goes around to different schools and provides children with the “hands on” approach to activities with environmental science since 2001.
Pacifica’s Caterpillar Science Trailer, http://pacificagarden.org/the-caterpillar/what-is-the-caterpillar (where you can also view past and current programs, events, and more).
In addition, I want to urge you to go to Wildlife Images if you have not yet been. It is on my summer to-do list as I have not been in years.
Wildlife Images, www.wildlifeimages.org
I really appreciated the knowledge and resources this event had to offer for people such as myself who had to tap into their small knowledge bank of birds and wildflowers. Fran Taylor from the Siskiyou Audubon Society was very informative, provided me with a bird check off list for my bird watching walk, and even let me borrow her binoculars! Although there were a few birds on our walk, the majority of the birds we observed were right near the center (which is great for those who cannot go on a nature walk). I counted eighteen alone within an hour. If birding interests you, check out the Audubon Society at www.audubon.org (where you can find the Siskiyou section as well). I am sorry to say I did not catch the name of our wildflower hike guide, but she was amazingly patient and enthusiastic with the group of people who all said they knew nothing about flowers except for that they were pretty and smelled nice. At least they were honest! On this hike, I was able to identify over fifteen flowers in less than an hour of our trail hike. Lastly, I want to say congratulations to SFI on their first annual Birds & Brews fundraiser, and thank you to Daniel Newberry for having me as a guest. To those of you who have not been there yet, make sure to do so. It is geared towards any and all ages. Your heart will melt when you see what the area has to offer.
Bonnie Ryan, Web Content/Social Media/Blogger
Southern Oregon Visitors Association (SOVA) AKA Travel Southern Oregon