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Friends of the Columbia Gorge Announces $250,000 Matching Gift Challenge

Friends of the Columbia Gorge Announces $250,000 Matching Gift Challenge
View from Lyle Peak, one of the seven Preserve the Wonder campaign properties. (photographer: Debbie Asakawa)

Monday, April 9, 2018

PORTLAND, OR – Friends of the Columbia Gorge announced today the launch of a $250,000 matching-gift challenge as part of the final phase of its Preserve the Wonder campaign. Two generous, local donors have offered to match all public donations, dollar-for-dollar, until Friends reaches its $250,000 goal–giving Friends the final $500,000 needed, in total, to complete its $5.5 million campaign.

Members of the public interested in making a gift to the Preserve the Wonder matching campaign can donate online via Friends' website.
One of its most ambitious land conservation efforts to date, the Preserve the Wonder campaign would allow Friends' land trust to purchase and permanently protect seven unique properties totaling more than 400 acres along the Washington side of the Gorge. At its April 8 annual meeting Friends announced that it had recently crossed the $5 million mark in its Preserve the Wonder campaign.
"This is an amazing opportunity to finish off one of our most ambitious land conservation endeavors in our 38-year history," said Friends Executive Director Kevin Gorman. "As the Eagle Creek fire demonstrated last year, the Gorge is a treasure we can't take for granted. Our Preserve the Wonder campaign will allow Friends to help permanently protect beautiful vistas, extend key trails and protect vital habitat for threatened species on the Washington side of the Gorge."
The Preserve the Wonder campaign is the culmination of over a decade of planning by Friends' land trust to evaluate hundreds of properties and identify those with the most scenic landscapes, crucial wildlife habitat and best recreational opportunities for potential conservation. Long-term benefits of the campaign include opportunities such as increasing salmon resting habitat in the Gorge near the Steigerwald refuge and building an extension of the popular Cape Horn trail.
The campaign has also served as an important public education tool -- providing Friends with the opportunity to engage local community leaders on the overall benefits of land conservation in the Gorge. At its recent annual meeting Friends also announced that outreach on the Preserve the Wonder campaign had inspired a local family to donate Good's Woods, 50 acres of beautiful Douglas-fir woodlands near the Duncan Creek area in SW Washington to Friends' land trust.
"The public's generosity and interest in overall Gorge protection inspired by Preserve the Wonder has surpassed our wildest expectations. This 50-acre gift from the Good family is the result of years of conversations and is an excellent example of how local land owners and conservation groups can work together to protect wild areas in the Gorge," Gorman added.
As part of its matching-gift campaign, Friends also has partnered with the crowdfunding start-up Conserve With Us and members of the public can also make contributions to the Preserve the Wonder campaign at conservewith.us/GorgeFriends.


Burt Edwards, Communications Director | burt@gorgefriends.org | 971-634-0595
Stan Hall, Digital Content Specialist | stan@gorgefriends.org | 971-634-2035
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