Women Build; Mapleton School Board; Rhododendron Show; StoryBridge

Women Build

This Friday and Saturday the local Habitat for Humanity will be holding a special event.  The Florence Habitat for Humanity 2024 Women Build Event is a chance for women to get involved and gain new skills in construction and leadership.  Professionals will be on hand to teach skills in all areas of construction.  Whether you have experience or not the event is open to all.  Included in the training will be a lunch and a free Women Build t-shirt. Organizers are asking that interested parties register in advance at florencehabitat.org.  the event begins at 8:45 and ends at 2pm at the Florence Habitat restore Friday and Saturday.  You can register for either day.

Mapleton School Board

The Mapleton School Board will hold their regular monthly meeting tonight, six pm, at Mapleton High School.  There are a number of routine business items on the agenda.  But, for district residents who want to provide comments on district efforts to create a — quote– “safe, welcoming, and inclusive space for all students”, specifically those that are “gender diverse”.  Superintendent Sue Wilson has announced two facilitated listening sessions.  Both will be next Wednesday, April 24th at the Middle School building in the Watershed Conference Room.  One is set for ten AM, the other at six, and will be limited two hours each.  Written comments are welcome in advance and Wilson encourages attendees to RSVP.  Links for both Sessions below:


Rhododendron Show

This weekend’s “early season” Rhododendron Show at the Florence Events Center is more than just a one-day affair.

“The show is actually open on Sunday, and the plant sale also.” 

Day Farrald is the president of the Siuslaw Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society.  He says people tend to focus on just Saturday because that’s when they accept entries and do the judging. The show is also about helping others add Rhododendrons to their own yard.  Farrald says the accompanying plant sale runs Saturday and Sunday from ten to five.

“The nice thing about it is that they’re different from the general run-of-the-mill rhododendrons you‘re going to get.  And we have companion plants also, it’s not just Rhododendrons.” 

Azaleas are among those companion plants.  Entries can be submitted Saturday morning between 7 and 9.  Doors to the show won’t open until judging is completed, which could take more than two hours.


Another edition of Florence StoryBridge is coming later this month.  Co-founder Dr. Jennifer Yocum says the aim is to keep people connected.

“Story telling is low barrier way to help people understand those different points of view and build a sense of neighborhood and connection with each other.”  

Next week’s theme is “lucky”.  Yocum says they hope to hear stories about good luck, bad luck, lucky charms, or omens.  You should be able to tell your story without notes, in under five minutes.  Story tellers will be chosen at random.  She adds that she sees story telling as a way to build hope and empathy.

“To help people make connections with each other when they might be coming from different points of view.”  

Florence StoryBridge is Thursday, April 25th at the Laughing Crab Gallery and Tasting Room from 5:30 to 7.