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Join Us for the 2015 Moon Tree Run and Firefighter Fair!

Moon Tree Run 2015

This year's Moon Tree Run and Firefighter Fair will be one to remember, so don't forget to reserve your spot in the 5K or 10K race on Saturday June 6th!

The Apollo 14 Moon Tree Run commemorates one of the six moon landings made during the Apollo missions of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The pilot of the Apollo 14 command module was Stuart Roosa who worked as a smokejumper at the Siskiyou Smokejumper Base. He carried tree seeds to the moon in the lunar module. When the astronauts returned to earth the seeds were planted and the trees that grew from them became known as Moon Trees. Roosa returned to the historic base in 1976 and planted one of the trees. The first ever Moon Tree Run was organized in 1979 by Dale O’Keefe’s, postmaster in O’Brien, OR who enjoyed running and decided the valley needed a cross-country event of its own. At this time the Siskiyou Smokejumper Base was still in operation and it was decided that the course should follow the combination of road and trail route used by the Siskiyou Smokejumpers. The Moon Walk will cover approximately the same distance that Stuart Roosa and fellow astronauts traveled while on foot on the Apollo 14 moon landing. The first Moon Tree Run was held on June 3, 1979 with over 180 runners participating. Neil Branson took overall first place in the premiere run, with George Weinzetl taking the top spot on the 60+ bracket and Nancy Reynolds in the 14-18 category. The Moon Tree Run became a local tradition for the next 20 years. The largest number of participants to sign up for the event was during the June 6, 1981 Moon Tree Run with a turnout of over 400 people. The event has had contestants ranging in age from three to eighty one years old. The course record for men, set in 1982 by Bill Yeoman, still stands at 34:09. Sidney Morrison-Cataldo set the women’s record of 41:22 in 1988. The Siskiyou Smokejumper Base and the smokejumping experiences that inspired Roosa to carry tree seeds to the moon is why many consider the Siskiyou Smokejumper Base to be the home of the moon trees. The Apollo 14 Moon Trees may someday be the only living legacy of America’s missions to the moon during the Apollo space program.

The Firefighter Fair will feature local vendors, and the best part is entrance to the fair is absolutely free! Several educational presentations, aircraft displays, music, games, and museum tours will be offered throughout the day.

To register, volunteer, or if your nonprofit business would like to participate in the fair or run, please contact Lindsey Gillette at 541-592-4888 or email

Thanks for your continued support and we can't wait to see you at the race!

This event is brought to you by the Illinois Valley Fire District, Healthy U, and the Siskiyou Smokejumper Base Museum

Mick Swift climbs a giant ponderosa pine tree to retrieve his parachute

Mick Swift climbs a giant ponderosa pine tree to retrieve his parachute

grants pass courier article june 19 2010

Smokejumper uses propeller to crank-start Fairchild jump plane before jump

Smokejumper uses propeller to crank-start Fairchild jump plane before jump