City of Ashland, Oregon / Commissions & Committees / Conservation Commission

Conservation Commission

The mission of Ashland’s Conservation Commission is to educate and advocate for the wise use of resources by the city government and the people of Ashland.  The commission meets at 6 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of every month.  Meetings are open to the public. 

The Conservation Commission consists of nine voting members including one representtive each from the solid waste franchisee for the city, Souther Oregon University, and the Ashland School District, and six other voting members.

The powers, duties and responsibilities of the Commission are to educate and advocate for the wise and efficient use of resources by the City of Ashland and Ashland citizens.
The Commission recomends to the City Council the adoption of policies, implementation strategies and funding related to:
  • Recycling, source reduction and solid waste/landfill issues;
  • Electric conservation issues;
  • Water conservation issues;
  • Resource conservation issues;
  • New power resource decisions, but not decisions involving wholesale power contracts;
  • Renewable Resource decisions;
  • Education of citizens about resource efficiency issues

Current Projects

Operational Sustainability Planning
The Conservation Commission is assisting the City Council in meeting a 2012 Council Goal of developing a sustainability plan for City operations.  Conservation Commission memebers worked with City Staff to develop an operating framework, benchmarking within major catagories, major targets of achievement by catagory and methodology for performance measurement and reporting.

The Council approved Plan Framework document can be found HERE

Background work by the Commision on this topic can be found at:

Water Conservation
The Conservation Commission has for many years been involved with the Public Works Dept and its water conservation efforts.  With the recent adoption of both rainwater harversting and graywater use regulations by the State of Oregon, the Commission held an educational outreach event targeted on understanding the regulations and process involved in constructing your own graywater system.

For more information on this recently completed and very successful event, please go to

Commission News & Events

All Schools Sustainability Competition
The Conservation Commission has presented awards for the Conservationists of the Year for the past three years to individuals, businesses, non-profits and students to recognize their work in the community. This year, the Commission decided to focus the awards efforts on Ashland's students at all levels (K-12) through an All Schools Sustainability Competition. 

For more information, including eligibility, criteria and ideas for submissions, go to


Commission Goals 2013-14

Sustainability Planning
·         Support the City Sustainability Plan
·         Begin Community Sustainability Plan

  • Storm Drain pilot program for improved filtration/water quality
  • Car Washing best practices guide and educational outreach/code requirements
  • Support Water Conservation Programs
  • Support 3-5 Year Plan for Community outreach
  • Support Water Master Plan
  • Community Outreach to support Greywater systems within the city

Energy Conservation

  • Signage for anti-idling
  • Review and make recommendations how to implement the State of Oregon 10-year energy plan
  • Review and make recommendations to the City for Energy Conservation Programs
  • Community outreach of energy conservation as an everyday practice

Civic Events

  • 4th of July
  • Compost classes
  • Leaf Bag Program
  • Earth Day
  • Garden Club
  • Conservation Awards
  • Energy summit
  • Further zero waste

Green Business

  • Review ICLEI Green Business Challenge
  • Review concept of Consortium/Regional participation

Climate Change

  • Review strategies for recommendations for the city
  • Conduct a Vulnerability assessment of climate change impacts to community
  • Educate City Council/Commissions/Staff

Waste Prevention

  • Incentivize greater participation in recycling
  • City commits to strive toward zero waste

2014  Urban Composting Classes 
The Commission and Recology Ashland Sanitary are ready for another successful season for their FREE Urban Composting Classes

Rhianna Simes, an Oregon State University Extension Services Instructor instructs participants on how to divert food scraps & organic yard debris from the landfill. In time, this material can become valuable soil for your garden & yard. Participants learn how to set up a compost system in an urban setting with recommendations for keeping critters out of their pile.  


Learn to compost food scraps and organic yard debris in one of the Urban Composting Classes. There will be two basic classes and one advanced class.

The basic class will be held on June 7th or July 5th (you pick your preferred date) from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. at the Recycle Center on Water Street in Ashland. You'll learn how to divert food scraps and organic yard debris from the landfill. You'll also learn and see examples of how to set up an enclosed compost system that deters critters. 

The advanced class will occur on August 2nd from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. at the Recycle Center on Water Street in Ashland. This class is for the urban composter who has taken the introduction class or who know Nitrogen from Carbon. This class offers more information, techniques and strategies. General knowledge of composting is required.

Classes are held from 10:00 to Noon at the Ashland Recycle Center, located at 220 Water St in Ashland.  Please park on Water Street rather than the Recycle Center parking lot to leave space for those using the Recycle Center.  You may also want to bring a light jacket.

Conservation Commission Annual Awards

The Conservation Commission instituted a community Conservation awards program in 2011, accepting nominations from the community for consideration in four award catagoies:

  • Individual Conservationist
  • Junior Individual Conservationist (under 18)
  • Non-profit Conservationist
  • Business Conservationist

The awards are announced at the Earth Day event each year providing community recognition to those doing outstanding work in many conservation areas. 

The 2011 Conservationists of the Year Award recipients were:

Individual - Dot and John Fisher-Smith
Junior - Sophie Javna
Business - Standing Stone Brewing Co
Non-Profit - Helman School Students

The 2012 Conservationists of the Year Award recipients were

Individual - Misty Munoz
Junior - Parker Massie
Non-profit - Rogue Riverkeeper - Maureen Page
Business - Albertsons

For more information on the work of these award winners, see the Commission's 2012 Awards press release

The 2013 Conservationists of the Year Award recipients were:

Individual - Eric Dittmer
Junior/Non-Profit - Camila Thorndike and Hannah Sohl
Business - Ashland Food Co-op

For more information on the work of these award winners, see the Commission's 2013 Awards press release

City Conservation Programs
The City of Ashland has a strong history in developing programs for its residents to conserve resources.  Goals and recommendations from the Conservation Commission to the City Council often make their way into specific conservation programs aimed at reducing consumption and becoming as efficiency as possible with the resources that are used.

For a complete list of the various conservation programs available to residents and businesses within Ashland, please go to



Length of Term
Meets 4th Wednesday, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., Community Development Building, 51 Winburn Way
Members (3 year terms expiring April 30)

Email Address
Term Begin
Term End
*VACANCY *   Commissioner     04/30/2017  
Thomas Beam   Commissioner   10/20/2010   04/30/2015  
Roxane Beigel-Coryell   SOU Representative      
Risa Buck   Recology Representative      
Adam Hanks   Staff Liaison      
Jim Hartman   School District Representative      
Marni Koopman   Commissioner   08/08/2012   04/30/2016  
James McGinnis   Commissioner   08/21/2007   04/30/2015  
Rich Rosenthal   Council Liaison      
Shel Silverberg   Commissioner - Vice Chair   04/01/2013   03/31/2017  
Mark Weir   Commissioner - Chair   11/15/2011   04/30/2015  

Calendar Events
Conservation Commission Meeting
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Meeting of the Conservation Commission  (Read more)
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Agendas And Minutes  
Conservation Commission Meeting - Jul 23
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