The Oregon Natural Resources Education Fund (ONREF) is a community field of interest fund administered through the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF). The fund was established in early 2001 to provide funds to establish, expand, improve, and maintain forest-related natural resources education opportunities in Oregon high schools. Specifically, the fund provides charitable distributions to Oregon public or private high schools that commit to provide educational opportunities in the field of forestry, which will integrate wood products, silviculture, harvesting, fisheries, wildlife, water, soils, recreation, and the management of other forest-related natural resources of Oregon and related career and leadership development.
The mission of is to improve life in Oregon and promote effective philanthropy. OCF works with individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create charitable funds to support the community causes they care about. Through these funds, OCF awards more than $60 million annually in grants and scholarships. Current assets under management exceed $1 billion.
Under the leadership of OSAF members Eric Kranzush and Foxie Proctor, OSAF established the ONREF sub-fund in 2005 to help create transitions from high school forestry education to Oregon State University’s forestry programs. These funds provide opportunities for high school students to learn about how forestry can help them reach their career goals through higher education. It also provides work and leadership learning situations that are of great value regardless of the career students ultimately pursue.
OSAF members serve as advisory members to the ONREF Board of Directors and provide input on selection of high school natural resource program grants. ONREF Board Members include Pete Sikora* (President), Jim Rombach* (Secretary), Julie Woodward, Jim James (Oregon Small Woodlands Association), and Reynold Gardner (Oregon Department of Education). *OSAF members
Anyone wishing to donate to ONREF, can donate through OSAF Treasurer, Steve Cafferata, or contact John Moriarty at the Oregon Community Foundation, (541) 431-7099. The donor needs to indicate which of the four sub-funds they want their donations placed. There are four ONREF sub-funds: ONREF, OSAF, Pleasant Hill, and the Terry Selby Memorial. All four sub-funds are managed by the Oregon Community Foundation.
If there are any questions about OSAF’s ONREF sub-fund or you would like to donate to the sub-fund, please contact Tim Keith or Dick Powell.