Since the Siuslaw Vision project began, much progress has already been made by our community. Do you have a completed project to add to our list? Let us know!
Some of these projects were affected by COVID-19. Some in-person programs and opportunities were put on hold or moved to virtual formats.
- A new Beautification & Revitalization Team was established as a Florence Area Chamber of Commerce committee in 2019 to unite downtown and uptown revitalization efforts. Past projects include the popular Flower Basket program in downtown Florence, and the Welcome to Florence banners throughout town.
- Florence was selected as a Top 10 town by the Small Business Revolution program in the spring of 2018. Although we didn’t make it onto the show, the SBR helped incite excitement about economic development in the Siuslaw region.
- Florence joined the Oregon Main Street program and is working to bring resources to local businesses. The Waterfront Depot was awarded a Main Street grant in 2017!
- RAIN, the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network, supports entrepreneurs with meetups and training in the region and helped launch new entrepreneurial businesses. In the first six months of 2022, 36 Florence entrepreneurs participated in the RAINmaker 22 sales and marketing accelerator and RAIN served people from 21 industries.
- Local businesses and manufacturers are expanding operations and hiring employees.
- Lane Community College sponsors a Small Business Development Center course in Florence to support local businesses.
- Habitat for Humanity completed its 29th home in Florence in 2019.
- The Western Lane Healthcare Network opened centers offering behavioral and other health referral resources on the Mapleton and Siuslaw school campuses in 2019.
- DevNW (formerly NEDCO) completed construction of Keener Place, a Community Land Trust neighborhood off of Airport Road in Florence that added 12 new “cottage cluster” style homes in 2021.
- The Florence Farmers Market opened in Old Town Florence in 2018. During 2020, the Market Team quickly shifted to provide a drive-through Market to continue serving the needs of our community safely. In 2022, the Market continues to thrive with music and education programs back in person. Cooking Skills Education provides demos and tasting using Market products.
- Multiple volunteer groups are now collaborating to help address homelessness with plans for transitional housing, housing for students, and a program to involve the community in the construction of Accessible Dwelling Units to create additional affordable housing in the region.
- First Step Florence provides transitional housing in three trailers on church property. The organization continues to make plans for a larger First Step Village to add affordable housing to the area.
- Safe Shelter for Siuslaw Students formed in 2019 to address the housing needs of students. They partner with Safe Families to provide temporary foster homes. They also offer parenting education courses and resources.
- The Florence Emergency Cold Weather Shelter expanded services in 2020 with the addition of pallet shelters placed on First Step Florence land at the north end of town.
- PeaceHealth and Western Lane Ambulance District rolled out a Mobile Integrated Health Coalition (community paramedics program) to increase healthcare in the Siuslaw region.
- A Mobile Crisis Response Team was formed in 2019 to assist emergency first responders in Florence with mental health issues, grief counseling, crisis intervention, and disaster response. The program is through Western Lane Fire and EMS Authority. In 2020, the program expanded to the full Siuslaw region.
- A county-wide Community Health Improvement Plan was created and is being implemented, promoting better health throughout Lane County.
- PeaceHealth Peace Harbor Medical Center launched a regional Palliative Care program.
- Health care options have expanded with the opening of Siuslaw Medical Clinic, Oregon Integrated Health, and Nova Urgent Care.
- The Florence First Harvest Community Garden found a new home in spring 2020 at Rolling Dunes Park, at 35th Street and Siano Loop.
- Mapleton School District’s preschool opened in fall 2019, providing a new educational resource for families in the upriver communities of Mapleton, Swisshome, and Deadwood.
- Siuslaw Vision and a team of community members completed and published an evaluation of the impact of education in the region in 2019.
- Lane Community College began a Certified Nursing Assistant 2 program.
- The ReVision Florence streetscape project on Highways 101 and 126 has been largely completed. Public art installations are still to come.
- City of Florence has improved facilities with the opening of its new Public Works building on Kingwood Street and the remodeled City Hall building on Highway 101.
- Hyak (Siuslaw Broadband) began installation and connection of their fiber internet service in 2018. They continue to expand throughout the region.
- An accessible, free, region-wide community calendar, RiverCal.org, was developed and launched in 2017.
- Florence to Yachats public bus service began operations in 2018. Part of the Link Lane transportation network.
- Florence to Eugene public bus service began in February 2020 with grant funding by Lane Council of Governments and the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua & Siuslaw Indians. Part of the LinkLane transportation network.
- Florence to Coos Bay bus service began in 2020 through Coos County Area Transit.
- Around 200 community members helped paint the new “Stitching Time, Weaving Cultures Mural” by Marino-Heidel Studios on the Central Lincoln PUD building at Highways 101 and 126.
- Since 2015, the Public Arts Committee has installed nine pieces of art, including three donated pieces and four pieces of art as part of PAC’s Art Exposed outdoor art gallery.
- In 2022, the City of Florence Public Art Committee (PAC) partnered with local volunteers and Oregon Coast Quests to create a Florence Public Art Quest, a self-guided educational experience of art, local culture, and architecture in Old Town Florence.
- The Florence Events Center’s 2016 Dancing With Sea Lions public art project was an amazing success!
- Student art programs are underway in the Mapleton and Siuslaw School Districts.
- The Second Saturday Gallery Tours continue to be revitalized and reinvigorated.
- Siuslaw Family Connection was formed in 2021 and promotes low-cost, inclusive experiences for families with young children in the greater Siuslaw region.
- Exploding Whale Park (named by the community) opened on the riverfront in 2019, providing river access from Rhododendron Drive near Old Town.
- Siuslaw Regional Aquatic Center has received a commitment of $500,000 toward the reopening of the pool facility in Mapleton from Oregon Rep. Caddy McKeown’s office. Additional funding of $300,000 has been secured from a USDA grant. The project is seeking additional funding.
- A group of volunteers raised money and renovated the Singing Pines Dog Park on Kingwood Street in 2019.
- An enthusiastic group meets weekly at Rolling Dunes Park to play pickle ball, and the program hopes to provide additional opportunities in Mapleton.
- The Siuslaw Youth Soccer Association formed and had over 175 kids enrolled for the first season, and now has more than 200 kids involved each season!
These programs were developed before the pandemic, but are no longer active.
- Yoga for Pain Management is offered at no cost through a partnership between PeaceHarbor Peace Health Medical Center and Lane Community College.
- Volunteers with the Cooking Skills Education program with community cooking demonstrations offered at several locations in the area including Florence FoodShare. They continue to provide demos at the Florence Farmers Market.
- OSU Extension Services began offering the Cooking Matters program to teach basic cooking skills in 2019. OSU’s cooking programs have gone virtual.
- Florence Fest combines art, jazz, and wine each spring in a successful event that supports local artists and provides entertainment to the community.
- The VisionQuest Live Learn Explore outdoor education program presented workshops to overflow crowds in the spring and summer of 2018.