(Douglas County, Ore.) Douglas County Commissioners Tom Kress, Chris Boice, and Tim Freeman were honored to welcome Jeana Beam, Chief Financial Officer with Glide Revitalization to a weekly board meeting recently, for a special presentation and update on the groups ongoing efforts in the Glide Community. The Commissioners have long supported the efforts of Glide Revitalization, (often referred to as Glide Rev) and in the aftermath of the Archie Creek Fire made supporting Glide Rev’s and our Archie Creek Recovery efforts a priority mission within all departments of Douglas County Government. The County’s participation in recovery efforts have been facilitated expeditiously in concert with staff and volunteers at Glide Rev. Originally founded to encourage economic development in the community, Glide Rev has become the liaison for both community members, volunteers and government agencies.
“We are grateful for our partnership with Glide Rev and their continued efforts to serve and assist with the ongoing needs of the wildfire survivors. I know personally as a member of the Glide Recovery Team and Glide Rev’s Unmet Needs Committee how imperative it is for the survivors to get the help they need in a timely and efficient manner. We are also excited to hear about the future projects that Glide Rev has planned that will enhance and help their community prosper,” commented Board Chair Commissioner Tom Kress.
Beam shared with the board the current status of the work still being done in support of the survivors of the devastating September 2020 Archie Creek Fires near Glide that burned an astonishing 131,542 acres and completely ravaged over 170 properties and businesses. From day one, Glide Rev mobilized to serve as the all-encompassing hub for resources for the wildfire survivors. And while case work to help residents affected by the fires began during and shortly after the fire broke out, they didn’t officially start receiving and distributing funds from the Federal Government and the State of Oregon until 2021. They finished up with the Federal portion of the funding in March, and will wrap up the state funding for case work in June 2023. She reported that in total the group distributed $648,148 in 2022 and $206,582 in 2023. All of the funding dispersed has gone directly to individuals affected by the Archie Creek Fires. Glide Rev also distributed $167,500 last year for reforestation and will be distributing close to $250,000 for reforestation projects this year. This winter they placed a total of 400,000 trees in the ground. They plan to continue to work with wildfire survivors even after the state case support ends through community donations and unrestricted funds.
Now that the funding and case work for the wildfire is wrapping up, Glide Rev is looking at the next chapter. Their next focus was to identify what is really needed and what the future priorities are for Glide area residents. It was brought to their attention that the biggest need right now is access to reliable childcare, but that there is still a need for continued support and resources for community members. They also discovered that while Roseburg is only 20 minutes away, many residents didn’t know where to go for help or resources with local, state or federal agencies. So, in response to the concerns, they recently acquired a building that will serve as a Community Resource Hub, the new home base for Glide Rev and provide a score of other activities and community events. The plan is to have an onsite childcare and daycare facility, a small community library, a community resource hub and conference rooms that will be available for public use or to host educational events. Additionally, they hope to have shared office spaces for non-profit and government organizations that can bring their services directly to Glide residents. If they get the funding they need, they will be able to offer childcare serves for 80-120 kids. They will also be partnering with local Glide businesses like Caddock Electronics and Romtec, Inc. to reserve some spaces for their employees. Glide Rev has started a capital campaign through Federal and State agencies and private foundations in order to acquire enough funding to complete all of the renovations for the Resource Hub. They plan to start renovations at the beginning of 2024, with a one to two year timeline for completion of projects. As for Glide Rev staff, they will be continue to focus on community resiliency, beautification projects, economic development, disaster preparedness and sustainability.
“I wanted to acknowledge the support we have received from the County and specifically all three Commissioners. Without the support we have received from you, we never would have accomplished what we have to this point,” stated Jeana Beam.
Jeana has been working with Glide Rev for the past two years. She grew up in Glide and returned to the community in 2017. Jeana’s background is in the heavy equipment business, as well as the medical field. She is currently an Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic with North Douglas County Fire and EMS. She brings renewed energy to the program, a positive outlook for the community she loves and excitement about the long list of future projects. Although Glide Rev was not officially incorporated with the State of Oregon until 2014, its roots date back to 2007 when interest in starting a local beautification program, opening new parks and in finding ways to encourage economic development were planted. Today, those humble beginnings are still a big part of the focus of this groups mission.
If you would like to know more about Glide Rev or how you can get involved check out their website at https://gliderev.com/.
“Thank you for the work you are doing. It was incredible that this organization already existed when the Archie Creek wildfire happened. You were able to step up and take on this role immediately. That is not very common around the county. So as horrible as the fire was, the fact that you guys were there and willing to step up to do this work and continue to do this work is so very much appreciated,” commented Commissioner Tim Freeman.
Residents can watch a recording of the presentation on the Douglas County Government website at: https://video.ibm.com/recorded/132647335.