In 2007 the organization received a generous donation of 50 acres of rural property in the beautiful Illinois Valley of Southern Oregon.
There are large meadows, forests of pine, fir and cedar, as well as high country hardwoods. The West Fork of the Illinois River offers access to lower channeled areas rich with unique flora and fauna communities growing in an area of constant disturbance.
RRNC has a phased strategic plan that includes the creation of a Butterfly Pavilion featuring native butterflies, interpretive trails, restoration of wetlands, youth partnership programs, an interactive Nature Discovery Center with hands-on nature-based exhibits, and a community & event center.
Rusk Ranch Nature Center goals include:
- Offer an interactive learning environment that features the unique flora and fauna of our area
- Create children’s programs that offer regular field trips and learning experiences.
- Become a destination venue to compliment other visitor sites in the area, thus enhancing the valley for visitors
The Mission of the Rusk Ranch Nature Center is to benefit the community, with enrichment, jobs, housing, and opportunities for the public, particularly young people, to appreciate the natural world and instill a sense of stewardship toward the earth and its inhabitants, and preserve and conserve nature and wildlife.
Rusk Ranch Nature Center is an inspiring place for interactive nature programs & exhibits and outdoor recreational activities, enhancing quality of life and fostering community pride.
Rusk Ranch Nature Center awakens children of all ages to the adventure, discovery and awe of our natural world. The center supports the mutually beneficial relationship between the human community and nature, restoring wetlands, creating habitat for wildlife, and providing protected areas for endangered species.
Board of Directors
Patricia Downing, President,
John Gardiner, Secretary
Susan Taylor, Treasurer
Bonnie Medina, Board Member, Executive Director
Kaci Elder, Board Member, Children’s Programs Coordinator
Divonna Ratliff, Board Member, Exhibits Advisor
Cathy Shepherd, Board Member, Organic Garden Coordinator
Carol Nye, Board Member, Regulations Monitor
Leaving a Legacy for Illinois Valley: As we plan this vision for the future to create a beautiful world class Nature Discovery Center for our community, consider the possibility of leaving a legacy gift to benefit our community. Talk with your attorney or estate planner to make a charitable donation that will help connect children and adults to nature for generations to come.
Email the Executive Director: email for ruskranchnaturecenter.org
Rusk Ranch Nature Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, physical circumstances, age, status as a veteran, or national origin.