Pacific Madrone – (Arbutus menziesii)

While traveling in coastal Oregon keep a lookout for a tree that really stands out with it’s red bark and broad evergreen leaves. Various confifer trees dominate the coastal range but if you look you will notice the Pacific Madrone. Madrone is a broadleaved evergreen tree and a member of the heath family (Ericaceae). It is distinguished by its smooth trunk, orange-red deciduous bark, white flowers, and red berries. It is utilized by wildlife, especially birds. It can grow to a height of 80-125 feet tall and although rare may grow up to 4 feet  in diameter. Pacific madrone produces seed as early as 3 to 5 years of age. Trees begin flowering in early spring, from mid-March to May, depending on the elevation. The blossoms are dense, drooping clusters (terminal panicles) of small, white, urn-shaped flowers. The fruit is a berry (0.3 to 0.5 in.), which ripens in the fall, turning from yellow-green to bright red or reddish-orange.The wood is also used for furniture, flooring, turnings, paneling, veneer for hardwood plywood faces and core stock, pulpwood, and firewood.

For a pdf fact sheet about the Pacific Madrone from Oregon Department of Forestry see


For some more cultural/spiritual thoughts about the Madrone see

“On the British Columbia West Coast, the Salish Nation also honors the Arbutus Tree as their Tree of Knowledge because it knows how to find the sun. It twists and turns and somehow knows to drop one branch when there is not enough sunlight and it is shaded and it will grow a new one where the sun can reach it.”


Travel Oregon has announced the opening of two matching grants program opportunities with a combined $358,000 of available funds.

The program makes awards to eligible applicants for projects that contribute to the development and improvement of the tourism economy in communities throughout the state in support of Travel Oregon’s mission of “a better life for Oregonians through strong, sustainable local economies.”

The 2017-2018 Competitive Small Grants opening cycle has $200,000 available for grant awards. Eligible projects may be awarded up to $20,000. Applicants must demonstrate at least a 10 percent cash match. Download the Competitive Small Grants Guidelines for specific eligibility requirements and to view the application questions.

An additional $158,000 will be administered through the Oregon Wine Country Plates Matching Grants Program that awards up to $50,000 for wine and culinary tourism initiatives. Applicants must demonstrate a 1-to-1 match with at least 50 percent of matching funds being cash. Download the Wine Country Plates Matching Grants Guidelines for specific eligibility requirements and to view the application questions.

Important dates:

  • July 10, 2017 – Online application opens
  • Aug. 9, 2017 (5 p.m.) – Online application closes
  • Sept. 20, 2017 – Competitive Small Grants application status notification (work can officially begin)
  • Sept. 29, 2017 (5 p.m.) – Competitive Small Grants signed contract due to Travel Oregon
  • Oct. 4, 2017 – Oregon Wine Country Plates Grants application status notification (work can officially begin)
  • Oct. 13, 2017 (5 p.m.) – Oregon Wine Country Plates Grants signed and contract due to Travel Oregon

If grant funds remain, both programs may reopen in the fall.

Additional details can be found at

I am currently a 4th year Animal Science student with minors in Environmental Studies and Indigenous Studies at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. As an Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholar, I will be interning here with Oregon Sea Grant Tourism Program working from the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance to work on developing a tourism and outdoor recreation program for Oregon’s South Coast.

The long-term goals of this project are to raise the region’s profile as a tourist destination while prioritizing the triple bottom line of community, conservation, and economic development, and to later create a larger training program after which other coastal communities throughout the country can model in the future. I will be collecting, analyzing, and sharing data about tour operators – specifically whale watching, kayaking, and recreational fishing – in order to help inform business managers as they expand operations and effectively educate visitors of the region.

I am extremely interested in and excited about this project because it is both an opportunity to gain extensive knowledge of this beautiful region and an opportunity to study, experiment with, and apply the most effective methods of interpretation and science communication through the development of experiential, sustainable tourism. During this experience I hope to form valuable relationships between the WRCA, tourist entities, and other valuable stakeholders in order to help these organizations promote a vibrant, sustainable tourist economy while conserving the beautiful and resilient ecosystems of the southern Oregon coast.

Stay tuned for more posts in the future concerning the many things I will be learning and doing. I am very excited to be here!