Renewed effort to clean Bear Creek gets under way

Groups working to improve Bear Creek's water quality will come together under their own logo and a new slogan this week as part of a new campaign to solidify the efforts multiple government agencies and environmental groups working on creek problems — and give them a collective identity.

The catch phrase "Stream Smart" has been proposed, and several potential logos will be vetted Thursday by representatives of the five cities on the creek, as well as others who have toiled on the creek's myriad pollution, flow and temperature tumults.

It'll be the creek's first basin-wide logo campaign since "Mr. Yuck" stencils were designed in the 1980s to help steer people from dumping chemicals into storm drains that flow into the creek.

"We're trying to put all these individual efforts under one umbrella with one theme," said Bill Meyers, the state Department of Environmental Quality's Rogue Basin coordinator. "We're going to push to see if it can gain some legs."

The logo options and slogan were drafted by Laurel Briggs of Creative Marketing & Design in Medford.

The logo will be chosen Thursday during a meeting of the Bear Creek TMDL Group, which has worked for years on the creek's various pollution thresholds — often calculated and measured in what is called Total Maximum Daily Loads.

Other members of the group include the Bear Creek Watershed Council and various environmental groups interested in Bear Creek issues.

The campaign effort was funded with a $2,500 federal stimulus grant, Meyers said. It will cost no other money, he said. Instead, the various state, Jackson County and local government entities will continue to spend what they already do to help improve the creek's pollution and temperature problems, but under a unified umbrella, Meyers said.

"The idea is, can we all be more effective if we all pay into one campaign," Meyers said.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or email at

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