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Park Host

Park Host site at Illinois River Forks State Park, Oregon. Click image to see enlarged view.

Park Host site at Illinois River Forks State Park, Oregon. Click image to see enlarged view.

Illinois River Forks State Park has a pull-through RV site with hook ups located about a mile walking distance to the town of Cave Junction, the gateway to Oregon Caves National Monument.

Duties include emptying trash, picking up litter, checking trails, stocking restrooms, opening the park gate at dawn and closing it at dusk, and providing general information about the park and surrounding area.

Information and links for Park Host applications can be found at: http://www.oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=getinvolved.dsp_volunteerApply

A flyer providing basic information about Park Host duties and obligations can be found at: http://www.oregonstateparks.org/ckFiles/files/2013_ParkHostPrgmBASICS.pdf

Volunteer positions are subject to a background check and volunteers may be required to wear a uniform.

Looking north over the East Fork Bridge toward Cave Junction seen in the background. The access ramp to Illinois River Forks can be seen on left. Click image to see enlargement.

Looking north over the East Fork Bridge toward Cave Junction seen in the background. The access ramp to Illinois River Forks can be seen on left. Click image to see enlargement.

Cave Junction has a grocery store, pharmacy, library, several restaurants, coffee stands, banks, churches, gas stations, auto repair shops, and a post office. The valley’s public schools are located in this town with about 1,000 students in attendance from grades K-12. The Illinois Valley Golf Course is a short walk north of town. Social activities and events happen throughout the year and include Art Walks, concerts in the city park, baseball games, and much more. Some of the restaurants have music on Friday and Saturdays or open mic on Wednesdays. There is a Senior Center in town with regular activities and there are several service organizations including the Lions, Rotary, Masons, E Clampus Vitus, and others. Several events and youth activities take place at Jubilee Park in Cave Junction.

Skateboarding at Jubilee Park, Cave Junction, Oregon

Skateboarding at Jubilee Park. Click image to see enlargement.

Playground at Jubilee Park. Click image to see enlargement.

Playground at Jubilee Park, Cave Junction, Oregon

The wild and scenic Illinois River corridor begins about five miles to the north of the park where the Thomas Jefferson Howell Botanical Drive (Eight Dollar Mountain Road) takes you to the Kalmiopsis Wilderness and Babyfoot Botanical Area, located about 20 miles driving distance from Forks Park.

The historic Siskiyou Smokejumper Museum, airport, and Rough & Ready Forest State Park are located about five miles to the south. Great Cats World Park and Rusk Ranch Nature Center butterfly pavilion are less than a mile away to the south and the beginning of the Jefferson State Scenic Byway to the Klamath River and Yreka, California is about seven miles away. Trails leading into the Siskiyou Wilderness are about 25 miles from Forks Park and Oregon Caves National Monument and the Red Buttes Wilderness are about 20 miles to the east.

Apollo 14 Moon Tree Run and Firefighter Fair, Illinois Valley Airport, Cave Junction, Oregon

Apollo 14 Moon Tree Run and Firefighter Fair at the historic Siskiyou Smokejumper Museum, Illinois Valley Airport. Woodcock Mountain is in the middle background and Eight Dollar Mountain is in the distant background on the right.

Photo of Black Butte Trail above the East Fork of the Illinois River with Siskiyou Wilderness in background, Oregon California.

The Black Butte Trail follows the East Fork of the Illinois River into the Siskiyou Wilderness.

To the north are the larger communities of Grants Pass (30 miles), Medford (largest town in this region – 50 miles) and about 75 miles to Ashland, home of Southern Oregon University and best known for its Shakespeare Festival. Crater Lake National Park and wilderness areas along the crest of the Cascade Mountains are a short distance from the Medford-Ashland area.

Sky Lakes Wilderness an hour drive from Medford, Oregon on the crest of the Cascade Mountains. The rugged mountains of Crater Lake National Park are seen on the far left.

Sky Lakes Wilderness an hour drive from Medford, Oregon on the crest of the Cascade Mountains. The rugged mountains of Crater Lake National Park are seen on the far left.

The California border is 15 miles to the south where you enter the Smith River National Recreation Area and follow the scenic Smith River to Redwood National Park and the coastal community of Crescent City. The coastal town of Brookings and the scenic Oregon coast is located about 20 miles north of Crescent City on Highway 101. Winter months are the best time to visit the redwood forest and winter storms create spectacular wave activity. Steelhead fishing and salmon runs are among the things volunteers can enjoy in the fall months.

Summer climate at Illinois Valley Forks State Park is generally warm with day temperatures in the 90s and night temperatures in the mid 50s. Late summer may be smoky due to wildfires. Winter climate includes a mix of rainy and sunny days. Cold fog can be persistent on the

Oregon Caves National Monument entrance sign (elevation 4,000ft) after snow storm, Cave Junction, Oregon

Oregon Caves National Monument entrance sign (elevation 4,000ft) after snow storm, Cave Junction, Oregon

valley floor during some days beginning in December and continuing through February and March. Ice may occur on some days but generally isn’t persistent. Snow may fall on the valley floor one or two days during the winter. An unusual amount of snow fell in December of 2013 and persisted for about a week along with icy conditions. Elevations above 3,000 feet may be closed by snow for most of the winter months.

The community will be working on park improvement projects in the fall of 2014 and include installation of a nine basket disc golf course and wheelchair accessibility improvements.

The community also organizes an annual River Festival (also called Hathkapasuta, a local Native American word meaning gathering by the river). The photos below will give you an idea of the organizations and residents who participated in the event. All of these photos are from the 2001-2003 events. Photos from more recent events will be posted when available.

The Park Host position is directly supervised by Oregon State Park staff. Local support for the park is also organized by the community’s Adopt-a-Park program that recruits volunteers from the local area. The Adopt-a-Park program is managed separately from the Park Host position but members of the community may be at the park helping on days the host is off duty.

If you are new to the Oregon state parks system and are interested in finding a summer position in the Oregon State Park system, please be aware that a willingness to work during the “shoulder” seasons (March – May and/or September – October) may help you obtain your first placement and assignment.

For more information about the Park Host position at Illinois River Forks State Park:
Perry Salvestrin, Park Manager: 541 582-1118 (Valley of the Rogue State Park, Oregon)

For more information about the community and local region:
Roger Brandt 541 592-4316 rpbrandt [at] frontier.com

 

 

 

 

 

 
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