Through a combined effort to improve the historic town of Sunny Valley, the Four Way Community Foundation, Josephine County, and Friends of Country Living (FCL) recently completed a project to retrofit the Grave Creek Covered Bridge with ambient lighting in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of this familiar landmark in Josephine County. The Bridge, which was posted to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, is touted as the most viewed bridge in Oregon and the only one visible from the I-5 corridor.

Supported by the enthusiasm of local residents, the Bright New Century lighting project seemed the perfect gift to bestow upon the Bridge for its century of service. Encouraged by Kate Dwyer, Executive Director of the Four Way Community Foundation, Friends of Country Living moved the project forward by submitting a grant proposal to the Foundation. Four Way awarded a grant for the project thereby establishing a relationship between the two nonprofits. Additional funding was received through recommendation of Public Works Director, Rob Brandes, adding Josephine County’s support. Local residents and greater area businesses contributed through the BottleDrop Give recycling program.

Friends of Country Living was organized in 2016 to encourage and facilitate positive improvement and protection projects in Oregon’s rural residential communities. These efforts were launched in Sunny Valley with the vision of inspiring and advising others.

Persuaded by residents, in 2019 the group brought attention to the need for expanded broadband internet service. Necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, efforts were escalated when it became evident that many students could not access distance learning at home. This fall crews began the installation of additional equipment for improved broadband in Sunny Valley. Service is anticipated to be available by the end of 2020 or early 2021.

The lighting was recently installed by Pro Electric of Grants. Hosted by FCL, a lighting debut celebration and observance of Veterans Day will take place on Saturday, November 7, 2020. Limited outdoor seating on the Bridge will begin at 2:30 pm.
COVID-19 State mandates will be followed.

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