COVID-19 and keeping our community safe

Updated 3/27/2020 at 5:16 PM

Most of us have been impacted by the spread of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in the greater Seattle area and far beyond. We know that it’s a difficult time filled with many unknowns, and we greatly appreciate the collective efforts of health care professionals, businesses, and individuals to keep our communities healthy.

At Oxbow, we continue to closely monitor the rapidly-changing situation. On 3/23/20, Washington State governor Jay Inslee announced the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order to further protect our communities. What does this mean for Oxbow?

  • All volunteer opportunities have been cancelled through the first week of April, and possibly longer. Please contact us at volunteer@oxbow.org if you have questions.
  • For previously scheduled in-class programming and Spring field trips: Our education team is working with individual schools to meet their needs, with the goal to reschedule cancelled programs for a later date. If you’re an educator or registrant with questions about future programs, please contact us at education@oxbow.org.
  • Registrations for Summer Camp and Summer Farm Adventure field trips remain open
  • We are dedicated to providing food for our community; Oxbow’s farming operations continue as planned. We are currently growing produce for future wholesale orders and our upcoming 20-week CSA season, which begins in late June – see more info below.

We are committed to the health and safety of our staff, guests, and program participants, will provide additional updates to current program registrants and volunteers as it becomes necessary.

Oxbow is not currently open to the public, and we will provide updates on future scheduled public events on our website and on Facebook.

Below are the steps that Oxbow has taken/is currently taking to protect our staff, guests, and program participants, in line with the guidelines established by the CDC and King County Public Health.

  • On site, we have upped our cleaning efforts by encouraging increased handwashing, use of hand sanitizer, and disinfection of high-touch surfaces in Oxbow’s shared work spaces and vehicles twice a day. All staff have been briefed on the CDC’s recommendations for preventing the spread of illness and have been instructed to stay home if sick, and follow quarantine guidelines in case of suspected illness from or exposure to COVID-19. All staff who can have been instructed to work from home.
  • With schools closed for the next 4-6 weeks at a minimum, our in-class programming has been suspended and field trips scheduled for later this spring are being reassessed on an individual basis. Our goal is to reschedule programming whenever possible. If you have specific questions about our education programs and policies, please reach out to education@oxbow.org.
  • Oxbow’s farm staff continues to maintain strict protocol for sanitation and hygiene in an environment where food is handled, as is required for compliance with FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) rules. 

Our work in support of a healthy environment and food system is important now, more than ever. Oxbow is a special place that provides space for creatures of all kinds—humans included—to find respite in and nourishment from their natural world, and we hope that we will able to continue offering opportunities to connect with us in the months to come.

If you’re able to, consider supporting Oxbow by becoming a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Shareholder this year to get 20 weeks of certified organic veggies from June 24th-Nov. 4th. The program is built to connect you directly to the land where your food is grown and the small, passionate team of farmers who grow it. Bonus: a shorter supply chain compared to industrial farms, no crowded grocery stores, and an abundance of fresh air! Or show your support by becoming an Oxbow Member – benefits include discounts at our Farm Stand and on programs, all in support of Oxbow’s work and mission.

Be well,

Team Oxbow