An AmeriCorps program administered by the Institute for Policy Research and Engagement (formerly Community Service Center) in the School of Planning, Public Policy and Management, RARE is beginning a 25th year of service to rural Oregon, buoyed by especially strong support at a time when state resources for similar efforts are limited. Through Resource Assistance for Rural Environments or RARE, 30 graduate-level students depart immediately for rural communities across Oregon. They’ll spend the next 11 months living and working in the state’s smaller towns, assisting officials with projects that improve economic, social and environmental conditions. Click here to watch Khristina Fulkerson and Terra Wilcoxson, Year 19 participants in the University of Oregon’s Resource Assistance for Rural Environments program, discuss their assignments in rural communities of the state.

Oregon Food Bank
Oregon Food Bank partners with RARE to place program participants in rural communities, working on local food system assessment, planning and implementation. Please click here for complete description of the RARE – Oregon Food Bank relationship.

FOOD for Lane County, Oregon Food Bank and RARE have partnered to carryout a comprehensive inventory and capacity assessment of Lane County’s regional food system, with a particular emphasis on three rural communities.  As part of this project Year 18 RARE participant Danielle Hummel helped organized a FEAST in the rural coastal community of Florence.  A FEAST is a community organizing process that allows participants to engage in an informed and facilitated discussion about food, education and agriculture in their community and begin to work toward solutions together to help build a healthier, more equitable and more resilient local food system.  Click here to see how the FEAST event impacted the Florence community.
The City of Creswell, Oregon has a great opportunity. It owns a building, that was given to it, right in the heart of a part of town that is growing.  The building would make a perfect community center.  Click here to find out how our RARE members have helped move the Cobalt Building Redevelopment Project forward.

For the first time in Creswell’s history, Garden Lake Park turned into a giant classroom/celebration on Earth Day 2010. Several hundred students teamed up with local groups to learn more about the environment, the world we live in and what they can do to protect both.  Click here to see how a past RARE participant helped the City of Creswell and the Creswell helped organize their first Earth Day Celebration.

Year 19 RARE participant Stephen Dobrinich helped the City of Creswell and Family Relief Nursery open a local satellite office. Many children from Creswell already attend Family Relief Nursery’s Cottage Grove site but that’s a long way to go and having a facility in Creswell would be so helpful to many families. Click here to see how this project impacts the Creswell community

Eight distinguished UO directors of research centers and institutes were be recognized in June of 2011 for their outstanding achievements. This was the latest in a series of annual events celebrating the diversity of the UO’s achievements involving research and scholarship.  Amongst those who received an award was Megan Smith, Former Director of the RARE Program.  The award was received for guiding sustainable development via applied research and community service.  Click here to watch a video that highlights the great work that the Community Service Center (now the Institute for Policy Research and Engagement) is doing in the State of Oregon.