A Sample of Our Projects.
The Gold Hill Whitewater Park has been incorporated into the City of Gold HIll's Strategic Plan and the Gold Hill Parks Master Plan. It has been endorsed by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, the Governor's Regional Economic Solution Team, SOREDI, and USACK, the former governing body of Olympic kayaking. Design for the whitewater features was funded by the City of Gold Hill, the Oregon Community Foundation, and the State of Oregon. The preliminary design for the whitewater feature was completed by Rick McLaughlin and John Anderson, who designed the 1996 Olympic course, among many others. The permitting process is now underway with the guidance of Alex Campbell of the governor's Regional Solutions team and technical assistance from Jason Shappart, PhD, of Meridian Environmental.
Meanwhile, another historic project is taking shape at Ti'lomikh Falls: A First Nations Day monument in honor of Grandma Agnes Baker Pilgrim, the oldest living Takelma Indian and Keeper of the Salmon Ceremony at Ti'lomikh Falls. The site of the monument has been approved by the City of Gold Hill and the design is being finalized. The monument cannot be completed until the whitewater enhancements are completed.
Future plans include Grandma Aggie's Dragonfly Bridge. The spectacular bridge will connect the Bear Creek Greenway to the Rogue River Greenway, the highlight of a bike path from Grants Pass to Ashland. Grandma Aggie's vision of the bridge has been endorsed by the Rogue River Greenway Foundation and the City of Gold Hill.
Salmon Ceremony Monument
On June 28, 2013, more than 1,000 people from all over the world gathered at Ti'lomikh Falls for Grandma Agnes Baker Pilgrim's 20th annual Salmon Ceremony -- and to install the first of two new photographic monuments. The monuments commemorate the ancient and modern Salmon Ceremony, the "Story Chair" at the base of the falls, and Grandma Aggie, the oldest living Takelma. Grandma Aggie is a world renowned activist and spokesman for clean rivers. When her people lived in the village of Ti'lomikh, the salmon runs were more than ten times what they are today. What are we doing wrong? As Grandma Aggie says, "We humans are not intruders. We are participants." At the Gold Hill Whitewater Center, we believe the solution to the salmon crisis is to change how we human relate to the river, and these are a good start.
"King of the Rogue" Race
A world class whitewater park needs a world class event. Ours is the "King of the Rogue," now in its 7th year. The race combines Class IV (expert) race for 4-person rafts, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards (SUP's). The 2019 race will be July 13.
Riparian Trail System
Ti’lomikh was a large Takelma Indian village located on both sides of the Rogue River that was destroyed in 1853 and became a site for mining and hydropower. The trail intends to honor the history of the Native People by telling the stories of the Salmon Ceremony, the Story Chair, and revealing the plants and animals the village would have relied upon. Following the removal of the dam, riparian improvements began. The trail, designed by Lori Tella of Jackson Soil & Water Conservation District, will demonstrate and explain best management practices that we can use today to be good stewards of the river, including stormwater management and new riparian plantings. Funding for the trail plan was just provided by a grant from the Olsrud Family Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation. Thanks to Sherman and Wanda Olrud and Sherm's Thunderbird Market Corp.
First Nations Day Monument
Grandma Aggie is working to make October 10, 2016 the first official First Nations Day in Oregon. To help her, we are working on a monument for Ti'lomikh Falls overlooking Mugger's Alley. The monument will be cast concrete that looks exactly like the native rock. Each of the 15 steps of the monument represent 1,000 years of history—symbolizing the 15,000 years Native Amerians have lived here. At the top are replicas of the 10,000 year old Fort Rock Sandals, cast in bronze. Visitors will be able to put their feet in the sandals and see the Story Chair, the centerpiece of the Salmon Ceremony.
Mapping the River Bottom
In November 2013, a team of whitewater experts gathered at Ti'lomikh Falls to map the riverbed in anticipation of building the whitewater park. In September 2015, went back for more detailed mapping of Mugger's Alley to begin the design process. The additional mapping was a huge success funded by the Robert M. Stafrin fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. Funding for the actual design has been provided by the State of Oregon, and is being managed by the Rogue Valley Council of Governments RVCOG, the same group that managed the removal of the Gold Hill Diversion Dam. Additional work in the river is scheduled for the summer of 2016 to measure the velocity of the river in Mugger's Alley to ensure that the whitewater features improve fish passage rather than make it worse. The Gold Hll Whitewater Center is following guidance provided by ODFW and NOOA Fisheries provided in pre-permitting meetings set up by the Governor's Regional Solutions Team.