The Umpqua Economic Development Partnership is aiming to get the word out about Douglas County’s abundance of fresh, farmed, and fantastic food by putting them on the map — literally.
With funding provided by Travel Oregon and the City of Roseburg, the project has been named, “The Great Umpqua Bounty” or “GrUB” for short. According to UEDP, the mission is “to promote the Umpqua Valley as a food destination to visitors, locals and agricultural industry through epicure and cultural experiences that foster economic growth and agri-tourism in Douglas County.”
The first part of the project will be a GrUB Trail map. “It will become a very cool map showing all Douglas Counties wineries, food stands, farmers markets, restaurants, etc…,” said Executive Director for UEDP, Wayne Patterson.
The map will direct visitors and locals to businesses where they can buy and enjoy local agricultural products and experiences. These stops can include local farmers’ markets, farm stands, u-pick farms, breweries, wineries, farm-to-table restaurants and seafood sellers.
Participation in the trail map is free to businesses for the first year and applications will are being accepted now and will continue until April 27, 2018. Maps will be published and distributed in June 2018.
Benefits to participating in GrUB are a trail logo sign at business entrance, guest book and maps; listing and spotlights of business on map, website and social media; invitation to participate in special events, such as a food festivals and farm-to-table dinners; invitation to participate in networking and distribution opportunities with other members; agri-tourism resources and support for visitor experience enhancement, regulatory compliance, staff training and wayfinding signage development; and more.
GrUB criteria includes that the member must be located in Douglas County, has or is able to obtain liability insurance, and accepts visitors a minimum of 90 days per year or during product season. There is specific criteria for farmers/fishers/producers, restaurants, retail, culinary experiences, and beverage producers that is listed online.
The GrUB project was recommended to UEDP by Travel Oregon Rural Tourism Studios in the spring of 2017 and as mentioned above, is scheduled to be completed early this summer. Funding is being provided by UEDP, Travel Oregon and the City of Roseburg, and the program design and management is being provided by a member of the Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) program, Maegan Hollister.
RARE is an AmeriCorps program administered through the University of Oregon’s Community Service Center. Hollister is a Douglas County native who was excited to return home and help create sustainable tourism opportunities for both travelers and locals as well as generate economic growth for Douglas County.
The GrUB is just another leg stemming from the UEDP’s, The Great Umpqua. The Great Umpqua held the first food truck competition event last Fourth of July, and saw a huge success. The second annual food truck competition will be held again on Fourth of July this year. The GrUB plans to hold farm-to-table dinners with local wine pairings. The first dinner will be held during an outdoor, multi-event held all over Douglas County on Labor Day weekend — another new Great Umpqua experience. Visit thegreatumpqua.com for more information on these events.
To submit an application to be listed on the GrUB Trail, for more information and for specific criteria, visit http://bounty.thegreatumpqua.com/.
Originally Published in The News-Review
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