The Eastern Oregon University REV Center partners with rural communities to create a resilient future and transform challenges into opportunities through applied research, public policy analysis, and community education and outreach programs.
Collaborating Across the Urban-Rural Divide
September 6 – September 15, 2018, Portland and La Grande
Eastern Oregon University (EOU) and Portland State University (PSU) are leading an effort, along with their community partners, to create an Urban-Rural Ambassadors Summer Institute, a two-week, six-credit residential summer institute for undergraduate students to explore urban and rural connections in Oregon, and to develop the collaborative skills to work across Oregon’s urban-rural divide.
The Joseph Branch Trail is a proposed 63-mile trail alongside the railroad tracks in Eastern Oregon from Joseph to Elgin. Citizens brought the Joseph Branch rail-with-trail vision forward from Union and Wallowa counties suggesting the formation of the Oregon Wallowa and Union Railway Company during discussions in 2000 and 2001. The “Save Wallowa & Union County’s Railway” committee’s primary goal was the preservation of the rail line between the towns of Elgin and Joseph.
Students and faculty collaborated with community partners and the Wallowa Union Railway Authority to develop and assess the feasibility of creating a 63-mile rail-with-trail along this historic track. This Concept Plan is the result of input from many sources, including neighbors; potential users; stakeholders; community members; elected officials; and local, state, and regional planners. This document provides a comprehensive vision for trail development, including multiple options for phasing, funding, trail types, and routing.