Why Kalmiopsis?

In our forest of Oregon green lies a red-dusted land like a desert, a wilderness so rich in magnesium-laded serpentine rock that it’s shooed away all but the hardiest of species. Those that survive, however, thrive. This is their place. And while walking these wild lands back in the 1930s, botanist Lilla Leach dropped to her knees in front of a small shrub with purple flowers and exclaimed, “I have never seen anything like it before! Isn’t it beautiful? I believe it is new.”

Thus began the modern scientific life of Kalmiopsis leachiana.

Kalmiopsis photo - from Kalmiopsis Wild

[photo credit: Kalmiopsis Wild]

Kalmiopsis is the flower, and Kalmiopsis became the name of this wilderness edging the Illinois River as its two forks converge in Cave Junction and then, together at last, flow northward towards the Rogue River and, finally, the sea.

We believe the people of the Illinois Valley are like the Kalmiopsis Wilderness: resilient, intrepid, and unique. We thrive in difficult environments, creatively confronting our challenges.

We want the Illinois Valley spirit distilled in our school, and for that reason we have chosen to call our school Kalmiopsis Community Arts High School. (Or KCA for short).

But, then why “Community Arts”?

That is a question … for next time!