The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Medford Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Signs of Spring @ the Table Rocks continues to provide an educational and entertaining way for hikers to enjoy the Upper and Lower Table Rock during this time of social distancing. The sign project features rotating topics on temporary signs along the trails to highlight the variety and uniqueness of nature found at the Table Rocks.
Signs about bees and other pollinators will be displayed during May with material provided by Sarah Red-Laird, founder and executive director of the Bee Girl organization. The signs will include links to videos with more information about bees and pollination. Field biologist Frank Lospalluto will lend his expertise for another series of signs about Table Rocks birds and their habitats. Frank has led field trips for the Klamath Bird Observatory, Rogue Valley Audubon Society, and Southern Oregon Land Conservancy.
“We couldn’t have created Signs of Springs without our past volunteer hike leaders who generously modified their in-person hikes in this creative way,” said Molly Morison, TNC’s SW Oregon preserves manager. “The signs project also gave us the chance to involve new volunteers who let us use their poetry for the April signs.”
Additionally, the Agents of Discovery smartphone application for kids is yet another way young hikers can experience nature at the Table Rocks. The app contains missions and challenges to encourage them to engage and interact with their environment as they hike along the trails. Watch for the poster announcing the app’s launch on the bulletin boards at the trailheads. The app, which can be downloaded on the Apple App Store or Google Play, has several features that make exploring fun, easy, and educational. Users assume the exciting role of a secret agent on a mission as they gain new insights into the natural world.
Hikers should wear face masks when physical distance cannot be maintained. Please hike responsibly!
Did you know? A few facts about the Table Rocks
- The 4,864 acres of the Table Rocks are jointly owned, managed and protected by The Nature Conservancy and Bureau of Land Management.
- The area around the Table Rocks was inhabited by Native Americans from time immemorial before any European-American settlement.
- The Table Rocks are named for their location along the Rogue River: Upper Table Rock is upstream and Lower Table Rock is downstream.
- There is an airstrip on Lower Table Rock that was built in 1948.
- More than 50,000 visitors annually hike the Table Rocks, making it one of the most popular hiking locations in Southern Oregon.
- The Table Rocks are home to more than 70 species of animals and 340 species of plants including 200 species of wildflowers.
- The vernal pools at the top of the Table Rocks are one of the few places that are home to a federally threatened species of fairy shrimp, Branchinecta lynchi.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. To date, the Conservancy and its more than one million members have helped protect 130 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $111 billion in economic output across the country in fiscal year 2020—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 498,000 jobs.