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Janet Calvert

Janet Calvert
Janet Calvert

In November of 2016, the League of Women Voters of Lane County named Janet Calvert as recipient of its Annabel Kitzhaber Education and Advocacy Award, honoring her long commitment to the community. A third-generation Oregonian, Calvert grew up in Tigard. “I had a 4H home-ec project,” she says. “I raised five dairy cows in seventh grade.” She majored in home economics at Oregon State, then worked as an OSU Extension agent in Malheur County, where she taught moms to be 4H leaders, and where she met her husband, Leonard Calvert, at the time a reporter for the Ontario Observer. They spent a year in Tillamook and four years in Corvallis, then settled in Eugene in 1965 and raised two sons, Timothy and Douglas. Janet Calvert joined the board of the local League of Women voters in 1968. “They needed someone for the tax committee,” she says. “I got involved in state and local tax studies.” Later, she took part in the effort to build a new jail for the city and county, and she subsequently served on the state Jail Standards Committee. She spent ten years on the board of the Lane Transit District and fifteen years working in a food and nutrition program for limited-income families at the local OSU Extension office. An avid gardener at home and a member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Coburg Road, she was instrumental in transforming the church’s unused 2.5-acre back lot into the Grassroots Garden in 1990. Leased for a dollar a year to FOOD for Lane County and powered by volunteer labor, the garden currently produces 30 tons of organic produce a year for people in need.