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Interactive Almeda Fire commemorative walk begins

The 'Gratitude' station set up as part of the commemorative Almeda Fire walk that began today. (Kevin McNamara/KTVL)
The 'Gratitude' station set up as part of the commemorative Almeda Fire walk that began today. (Kevin McNamara/KTVL)
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A group of community organizers have created an interactive walk that commemorates the strength shown by the Rogue Valley community to mark the one-year anniversary of the Almeda Fire.

"It invites people to move through their different feelings and emotions they're carrying to really ground themselves in the important things. To remember some of the challenges but also the changes they have undergone this past year," said artist and community organizer Erica Ledesma, one of the creators of the project.

The walk is a self-guided, reflective set of activities placed at four different locations along eight miles of the Bear Creek Greenway. The four stations are at Wagner's Arena in Ashland, Lynn Newbry Park in Talent, Blue Heron Park in Phoenix and ending at Coyote Trails Nature Center in Medford.

Each station has a journal and a prompt for passersby to put down their thoughts and reflections a year out from the fire. Each station also has an accessible QR code that a smartphone can use to bring up special musical performances to mark the anniversary.

"They're based on what each station focuses on. There's gratitude, grief, growth and giving. Here, you can pick up and paint something that you're grateful for or means something to you, and take it the next station," said organizer Susannah Cole at the Ashland station, which represents gratitude.

Participants are invited to walk, bike or drive to the points of reflection designed to help local residents process the past year. The stations began on Wednesday and will be up to the end of the month.

"We wanted to imagine collective healing and what that could look like. We thought of people, the land, the water and the animals. It felt good for us to be able to leave prayers and intentions along the Greenway as a way to heal together," Ledesma said.

Those unable to visit the Greenway are encouraged to visit their website where meditative activities and performances are available online.

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