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Asante RV Park gets a little greener, thanks to volunteers

Asante RV Park Community Day means fresh veggies for park residents, whose homes burned in the summer wildfires.

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Residents of Asante’s temporary RV Park in Medford will enjoy fresh tomatoes, eggplant, snap peas, spinach and more throughout the summer, thanks to a small army of volunteers who spent a recent Saturday building raised beds.

Leaders of Asante, Andersen Construction and Jacobs and others built 14 raised beds, filled them with soil, raked them smooth and planted dozens of vegetables and flowers for the two dozen families at the park. They also installed lighting and privacy fencing.

“We’re just out here having fun and helping the community. We love it,” said Chris Thorn, onsite project manager for Andersen Construction, the contractor for the pavilion build at Asante Rogue Regional. Thorn and his daughter helped install slats in the chain-link fence around the park to provide privacy for the residents.

“It’s mind blowing,” he said. “My dad was in health care his whole life. And he said he’d never heard of anybody in health care doing anything like this for the community. So, it’s really cool that Asante does stuff like this. We appreciate it.”

Asante opened the park in December for some of the 80 employees who lost their homes in the Almeda and Obenchain fires on Sept. 8. The park is to remain open until 2023 to give residents a chance to find new homes.

From left, Gary Adams of Jacobs, Mick Zdeblick, CEO of ARRMC, and Jeff Robbins, ARRMC facilities manager, rake one of the 14 large raised beds built April 24 at the Asante RV Park in Medford.

Mimi Carpenter, who works in the Heart Center at ARRMC, and her husband, Cal, lost their home in south Medford to the Almeda fire. The Carpenters stayed with a NICU nurse and then in a motorhome lent to them by Dr. Brad Personius, a cardiologist with Southern Oregon Cardiology, before buying their own RV and moving into the Asante park.

The Carpenters said they’re avid gardeners and are looking forward to tending one of the new beds.

“It’s fantastic,” Cal said, surveying the hubbub of activity at the park April 24. “And God bless all of them for their contribution to the good of humanity.”

Jim Mahar, EHS Regional Manager for the pavilion project, was one of many who helped arrange the Community Day and his wife, Sara, grew and helped replant the starts that now lie snug in their new homes. Andersen donated the fencing, and its Foundation contributed the material for the raised beds. Others donating to Community Day were Knife River, Pacific Electrical Contractors, Patterson Plumbing, TCM and Medford Fence.

“You just tell people what you need and they show up,” said Mike Pierce, Andersen project superintendent. “I think everybody on the team really steps up. … I’m real proud of these guys. They’re doing a good job.”

Yvonne Rios, a CNA in the Heart Center at ARRMC whose trailer in north Medford burned in the Almeda fire, said she didn’t know what she was going to do until Asante offered her a trailer in the RV park, where she lives with her dog Stella.

“I’m really grateful. I really appreciate everything we have gotten here,” she said. “I’m blessed to even be a part of Asante, because you know it’s family when they go above and beyond. They didn’t have to do this, but they did. I love my work. I’ve been there for 23 years and I really appreciate everything.”

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Arlene Villeneuve
    April 27, 2021 10:58 am

    Truly inspirational! What wonderful and heartwarming work. How does one volunteer for any upcoming projects?

    Reply
  • What an awesome community story and what Asante has done for it’s employees who lost their homes.
    I would hope that the RV park could stay when the new Cancer Center opens as people travel from the coast, Klamath and California to be seen here,

    Reply
  • What an amazing thing to do, thank you all for helping our fellow employees!

    Reply
  • I love this. You all are amazing! Thank you for all your hard work!

    Reply

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