Special News Update
Salmonberry Trail Receives National Attention and Funding
FOREST GROVE, OR—Oregon’s proposed Salmonberry Trail—connecting the Portland metro area and the Oregon Coast with an 86-mile long multiple-use trail—took a major step forward this week when it received national attention and funding from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), the nation's largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails. RTC awarded the Salmonberry Trail project $30,000 to fund an economic and health benefit study to gauge future contributions of the trail to surrounding communities.
This capacity comes at an important time as the project moves forward. Guided by advisory committees of local leaders, residents and property owners, planning has recently been completed on the coastal segment of trail and is underway on the segment in western Washington County.
To date, the non-profit Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust, joined with the Salmonberry Trail Intergovernmental Agency (STIA) has raised more than $2 million for the project. Trail planners suggest construction on the eastern portions of the trail could begin within the next five years. A top priority for the Trust and STIA has been creating capacity to do the necessary planning and community engagement work. Read more here about the latest from the Salmonberry Trail project.
“Every week, I hear from dozens of organizations that manage trails—all with common challenges when it comes to funding small projects that address specific maintenance or trail development needs,” said Eli Griffen, RTC’s manager of trail development resources and the manager of the Doppelt Fund grant program. “This year’s grants offer critical investment in projects that will close important gaps in trail systems, measure the economic impact of trails and support specific maintenance needs.”
In total, RTC received over $5 million in application requests for the 2017 grant cycle, a number that has increased by nearly $1 million in the past year, demonstrating the growing demand for trail funding in communities nationwide. The 2017 Doppelt Fund grants were awarded in support of six projects nationwide, totaling $102,500. Established in 2015, The Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund is a way to move forward critical projects that enhance health and transportation connectivity in their regions. A listing of all Doppelt Fund grant recipients can be found on RTC’s website.