PHOENIX ― Phoenix-Talent superintendent Brent Barry, assistant superintendent Tiffanie Lambert, executive assistant of special programs Lucy Brossard and five students presented manzanita sculptures to two other fire-impacted school districts Monday in a symbolic gesture designed to tie together the resiliency shared by the three communities following the devastating 2020 wildfire season.
Phoenix-Talent Schools has been working with partners to commemorate the resiliency of its community, students, staff, and families through the Manzanita Project. The manzanita was chosen as a symbol of resilience because in order for new manzanita plants to grow, it needs fire to awaken dormant seeds in the soil. Some native American cultures associate Manzanita branches with rebirth.
Over the summer of 2021, PTS students worked with artist Rick Evans and Talent Maker City to create manzanita sculptures. Two sculptures were placed on the Bear Creek Greenway, one was placed at each school, another was placed in front of the Jackson County Fire District 5 firehouse and the final two were handed over to McKenzie and Santiam Canyon School Districts (districts that were also severely impacted by fire on September 8, 2020) on Monday.
In addition, middle school students in Sandra Tringolo's summer class created interpretive signs for the Greenway, and high school students with teacher Jessica Rollins created watercolor artwork for the sign backgrounds.
District partners on the project include Jackson County Parks, Ashland Community Hospital Foundation (ACHF donated $14,700 for signs, T-shirts and metal, plus more money to pay for nurses to staff summer school) and Talent Maker City.