Oregon Town Seeks Funding for Ambitious Resilience Plan

Like other rural communities, Grants Pass is eager to access federal funding aimed at sustainability initiatives, but faces challenges when it comes to meeting grant requirements.

1 minute read

February 18, 2024, 11:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


"It's The Climate" sign over street in Grants Pass, Oregon.

Grants Pass, Oregon became famous for its warm, dry summers and mild winters. | Oregon State Archives, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons / Grants Pass, Oregon sign

The small town of Grants Pass, Oregon is embarking on an ambitious sustainability plan “that, if implemented, would transition publicly owned buildings and vehicles to renewable energy, diversifying their power sources in case of natural disaster.”

Writing in The Daily Yonder, Claire Carlson outlines the plan, which faces financial challenges and other hurdles to achieving its goals. But adapting to climate change is an urgent need in the region: “In Roseburg, Oregon, about 70 miles north of Grants Pass, a 6.3°F increase would mean the city’s yearly average of 36 days of below-freezing temperatures would decrease to few or none, according to the analysis. Grants Pass would suffer a similar fate, drastically changing the climate it’s so famous for.”

The sustainability plan takes aim at building resilience in the remote region that could easily become isolated or cut off in an emergency situation.

Carlson points out that small, rural communities like Grants Pass often get passed over for funding opportunities due to their small staffs and lack of dedicated grant writers, as well as the inability to meet matching requirements. “This is despite the approximately $87 billion of Inflation Reduction Act money classified as rural-relevant, rural-stipulated, or rural-exclusive funding, according to an analysis from the Brookings Institute.”

Wednesday, February 14, 2024 in The Daily Yonder

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