History and Mission

Bob & Virginia, July 1939

Our mission: Alder Creek Community Forest offers a safe place for exploring the outdoors, and for lifelong learning and dialogue to address challenges in sustaining forests, watersheds, and communities.

The story of Alder Creek Community Forest starts with Robert and Virginia Proctor of Canyonville, Oregon. Bob and Ginny were active in community and educational service in southern Douglas County for over fifty years. They also took a keen interest in their forest: Bob participated in the Oregon Small Woodlands Association, and Ginny took frequent wildflower walks. When Bob and Ginny passed away, their children devoted the land they inherited to carry on their parents’ spirit of serving educational and community needs in the region.

Starting in the late 1990s, son Jim met with community and government leaders, schools, natural resource management agencies, and representatives of a wide spectrum of organizations. The result was Alder Creek Children’s Forest, formed as an Oregon nonprofit corporation on October 25, 2002, and named after Alder Creek, a stream that runs through the Proctor forest. Over the years ACCF has been awarded grants to develop educational programs on the site, and has won national awards for its efforts, including a community collaboration award and website award via its participation in the Hands on the Land network.

In summer 2010, again with broad input, the organization’s name was changed to Alder Creek Community Forest to envision a wider circle of participants and possibilities for both formal and informal education. Alder Creek Community Forest (still ACCF!) continues to serve the youth of Douglas County and southern Oregon, while also responding to a wide range of community needs for forest-based education, recreation, and inspiration.

The forests, watersheds, and communities of southern Oregon are special, and face a host of opportunities as well as challenges and conflicts. We intend to address key educational needs of the region in this context, as a resource for lifelong learning.