Coyote Trails exists to move the few who will help move the many. 

Coyote Trails' Nature Center

Nature Center hours are 11am - 4pm M-F and during our weekend classes!

CTJNC_small_bright_copy     stream smart

Come join us for Project FeederWatch with the Rogue Valley Audubon Society! Check out the schedule in the link above. Every other week on Thursdays & Fridays from Noon-1pm, open to the public.     

About the Coyote Trails' Nature Center

In October of 2011, after being vetted and approved by both Medford Parks and Recreation and the City of Medford through a unanimous City Council vote, the 7 acres with 1,500 feet of Bear Creek frontage in the heart of the US Cellular Community Park known as the Jefferson Nature Center became Coyote Trails' Nature Center (CTNC)!

wisteria 1We are an independent Non-Profit (Coyote Trails School of Nature) that teaches traditional living skills. We offer 2-hour day classes just about every weekend from October through June which can be found in the Medford "Community Connections Guide" by Medford Parks & Recreation (MPR). We run a variety of summer day camps at CTNC in addition to week-long camps during the summer at The Coyote Trails Main Campus, located in Earth Teach Forest Park in Ashland. Locally, we work with schools throughout the Rogue River valley as well as ScienceWorks, North Mountain Park, other nature based non-profits, and MPR to offer joint classes. Not only are we grateful to be hired to teach these same skills across the country, but in August of 2012 we led our first trip to South Africa where students learned the art and science of tracking animals. 

bike racksUpon signing our long-term lease from the City, we immediately set to work on improving the land. We currently have 8 different volunteer groups working with us and this past summer we had a herd of 29 goats, through Hungry Goats for Hire, who did great work on the blackberry, hemlock, star thistle and general weed problem. We are currently working toward reintroducing the historic side channel to our portion of Bear Creek so that the salmon have hospitable spawning habitat. With the help of the Job Council we have opened up whole new areas and trails have been added. The Bee Tree Project of the Ford Family Foundation has added a beautiful pollinator garden. Lithia Boys School continually works to keep the weed population in check. A group from Rogue River High School has been coming once a week to help us. We have Eagle Scouts who have added permanent bike racks, installed bird and bat houses, and will be constructing new picnic benches. The West Family Foundation helped us put a new metal roof of the building (for use with a future rain catchment system). And the list goes on. It is worth noting that this is all done at no cost to the taxpayer, but through direct donation, grants and volunteers. 

Lending libraryWe are located in the heart of the US Cellular Community Park on Bear Creek at 2931 S. Pacific Hwy, Medford, OR 97501. For more information, you can call us at 541.772.1390 or click here for directions.

The urban areas of southern Oregon continue to develop rapidly. Much of our open space is unprotected. CTNC's presence is an excellent opportunity to provide a place for access to a natural area within the urban environment. CTNC is a place for interpretation of not only natural history, but also of surface water management and habitat restoration in a large riparian zone. 

Bee Tree Garden welcomeBecause CTNC has fostered unique collaborations with partner groups, the site is well used for education and research opportunities, as well as service learning projects. We are adding to, and reinvigorating, a strong base of volunteers. We are centrally located between Medford and Phoenix and between I-5 and Hwy 99 and are accessible and visible from both roads. Our location is within reach of many of our schools, and students are able to get to our location on public transportation lines. We are also on the Bear Creek Greenway for bikiing, hiking, and other forms of human powered transportation. 



History of the Nature Center:

The Nature Center concept came into being in the year 2000 when a small group of people began a conversation in the Rogue Valley about nature education. This group saw a need for education about the many unique aspects of our region and also saw a great deal of latent potential for a successful Nature Center in the rapidly growing urban area in and around Medford.

This group formed a Board and Jefferson Nature Center (JNC) was founded in 2003 as a 501(c)3 non-profit. Since those early years JNC has made tremendous strides.

Since 2004 JNC has provided high quality nature and science inquiry programming for approximately 1,200 Title I students per year in the Medford and Phoenix/Talent School districts. These programs educate under-served youth about local natural history, expose them to science inquiry processes using our local riparian parks, and support teachers in their goals around science education.

JNC has also coordinated a series of unique arts and nature projects in the community for adults. JNC believes that the arts are often inspired by the natural world around us. Since 2004, JNC has provided over 20 venues for local artists and writers to share their work with the larger community.

At the same time that we have been working on our programming successes, JNC has been coordinating with the City of Medford. In October of 2005 we secured a 10 year lease on a building within the new US Cellular Sports and Community Park. Since signing the lease agreement, JNC has raised the funds for renovation of the farmhouse into offices for JNC and its partner groups. Renovation of the building is now complete (July 2008). The US Cellular Sports and Community Park location is ideal for the Nature Center. The farm house site has lovely old mature trees and is in the middle of the 70 acre riparian zone along Bear Creek in the park. The Bear Creek Greenway trail goes right by our yard. The park is between I-5 and HWY 99 and is accessible and visible from both roads.

Watch for updates as we take this wonderful venue into the years ahead!


  • Thank you for sharing your skills on how to make ash cakes and pine needle tea. The ash cakes were delicious and the tea tasted citrusy.

    - Mrs. Packard's Class

  • If anybody were to ask what Coyote Trails was like I would run away for fear that I could not tell the greatness of the adventure. Thank you from every corner of my body, thank you.

    - Noah (Age 14)

  • Thank you for the gift of such a generous scholarship. Our son will treasure the memory of his three incredible weeks with you at camp for...

    - Sherrill (Mother)

  • Thanks for coming in and helping with Cooking with Gusto! I got a lot of positive response on the show, come back soon.

    - Julia (Radio Show Host)

  • I got to spend a week without time up in the woods with a lot of people who are interested in some of the same things as I am!

    - Kaya (Age 11)
    2008 Fox Trail

  • Aside from giving unmatched joy, tranquility, hope and peace of mind, my Coyote Trails experience has left me as enlightened as an ape in the fields of Africa...

    - Connor (Age 17)
    2008 Fox Trail & Fox Naturalist

  • Coyote Trails has brought to my life a relationship with nature that is truly meaningful. I look at the natural world now with a deeper understanding and humility towards all things. Learning the skills of our ancestors, and living the philosophy of the natural world, Coyote Trails has helped me to realize what truly matters in my life.

    - Johann (Age 14)
    2008 Fox Trail & Bear Trails

  • The important thing about Coyote Trails is that they are fun. I liked all the games.

    - Victoria (Age 11)

  • The best thing about Coyote Trails is it is free and open hearted, you have changed my life.

    - Rashelle (Age 10)

  • Coyote Trails helps you become free, to have determination, to never give up and to think good things. Fight until the world shatters.

    - Emily (Age 11)

  • I want to thank you again for I am a different person after this summer. Most kids my age only care about drugs and alcohol, I now have so much more to be happy about, thanks.

    - Darren (Age 24)

  • My relationship with my grandson has deepened...He is a lot more accessible to me. It was a wonderful bonding experience for us. He has really come to appreciate me a lot more, which is a great gift to me. He is also a lot more connected with the natural world.

    - Kaia (Grandmother)
    2008 Fox Trail

  • I remember the beautiful stories and the laughter and I know I want to come again.

    - Althea (Age 17)
    2008 Bear Skills

  • I am constantly busy practicing skills and activities from silent movement, to making natural cordage, to making primitive tools.

    - Ariana (Age 15)
    2008 Bear Skills

  • We have been coming to CTSN for 6 years. My boys are now 13 and 17 and the positive impact this program has had on them, I can truly say, has been life changing and one of the most important things I have ever done for them and for myself.

    - K. Daniels

  • I just plain loved being out in nature, learning and laughing 24-7.

    - Sarah (Age 14)

  • I had fun because we got to learn so many things and see footprints from animals.

    - Tori (Age 12)

  • The food was great! I want to eat like that all the time.

    - Alexa

  • I miss waking up and not knowing what time it is or what we are doing today.

    - Alexa

  • Thank you for the confident, funny, talkative, interested, and interesting young man you returned to me after 5 weeks at Coyote Trails.

    - Wendy (Mother)

  • There aren't many sites or programs that give thanks and appreciation for the Earth this openly. It makes me feel empowered to be my self always!

    - Maddee

  • One of my dreams is to travel to Africa, and to go with my Coyote Trails family would be incredible! Coyote Trails Belize was a life changing trip.

    - Ben Daniels

  • Our trip to Belize with Coyote Trails was truly UNBELIZABLE! It was a chance of a lifetime and a life changing experience.

    - Pam & Eric Fitch

  • The online mentoring did a lot for me. I was, and still am, so thankful to have a person with so much knowledge and experience guiding me along my journey.

    - Dave

  • I want to express to you how thankful I am for ALL you have done for my son. We were discussing Coyote Trails the other day as one of the primary influences on his life. He needed exactly what you and the program provided.

    - Kelley

  • I am so proud of my son that he is empowered to live in the wild without fear and the need to bring "things" with him.

    - Kelley

  • Recently our son toured on bicycle. Because he had your training and your personal example of integrity, I did not worry about him (mostly!). Thank you and please know how important your work is in this world of technological "sophistication."

    - Mother

  • This is Crazy FUN, I say Crazy Fun!

    - Sierra (Age 8)

Please Donate to the 

Wolfgang Franzen Scholarship Fund