BEND, Ore. - As a part of their local community service efforts, the nine Central Oregon Rotary clubs have joined together to assist the Central Oregon Veteran’s Ranch in Redmond. Volunteers from all nine clubs along with a number of local veteran volunteers have been hard at work over the past few months, making the necessary preparations for building a greenhouse at the ranch.
After many delays related to weather earlier this spring, and the inevitable rock shelf where the greenhouse was to be constructed, the actual construction is now underway. The 16’ X 40-foot greenhouse structure itself is scheduled to be erected on Monday, May 22nd and Tuesday, May 23rd.
The greenhouse construction was proposed as a local service project from the Central Oregon Rotary clubs. With funds from the local clubs and the leadership of Marv Kaplan from the Redmond Rotary Club, the group was able to secure a matching grant from Rotary for the $12,000 project.
As the project has evolved and the word spread, the size and scope of the project grew. The total project is now valued at $60,000 (and growing) due to generous in-kind contributions from local construction companies, landscape companies, and building supply stores.
The greenhouse is being purchased with substantial discount from NW Green Panels, a Madras company. It will be constructed on a concrete slab so that it is wheelchair-accessible and will include raised growing areas with ADA access as well as beds for in-ground planting. Local businesses have donated everything from soil and amendments, seeds, fertilizers, irrigation systems, to discounted lighting, electrical and plumbing supplies as well as installation.
“This is truly a community effort,” said Marv Kaplan, a Redmond Rotarian and the project manager, “It is heartwarming to see the support of our veterans.”
Central Oregon Veterans Ranch was established as a nonprofit organization in September of 2014. The organization was started by a group of veterans, veteran family members and health care workers in conjunction with founder Alison Perry, a licensed professional counselor and trauma therapist.
Perry realized that what was often missing for her veteran clients, especially those on 70% to 100% disability, was community – connection to other veterans struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress or post-military readjustment challenges.
Perry envisioned a place where veterans could come together in community; learning, working, and healing together. A sanctuary where the generative aspects of the natural world might help heal the often destructive impact of combat trauma. A place where veterans could restore their sense of purpose and renew their spirit.
The Central Oregon Veteran’s Ranch is on a 19-acre property between Bend and Redmond.