Gift aids bid to preserve space on Badger Mountain
By John Trumbo, Herald staff writer
The Pasco-Kennewick Rotary Club has donated $2,000 to the Friends of Badger Mountain for preserving open spaces and hiking trails on Little Badger Mountain.
The donation brings the total raised so far by the 60-day campaign of the Friends of Badger Mountain to $105,000, said Sharon Grant, the group’s president.
Grant said they also have several pledges and matching donations that she hopes will meet the goal to purchase as much as 50 acres on the small mountain overlooking the Tri-Cities.
The group hopes to convince property owner Milo Bauder of Richland to sell the land to become part of a trail system along the area’s ridgetops.
The group is trying to raise $1 million by June 30 so it can apply for a matching $1 million State Recreation and Conservation Office grant.
Grant said she and others in the group have been speaking to homeowner associations, the Benton County Parks Commission Board, Richland Department of Parks and Recreation Commission, Lower Columbia Basin Audubon Society, service clubs and outdoors gear retailer REI.
“Wherever we go and present, … it is really capturing people’s interest,” Grant said.
One recent $25,000 pledge came from a Tri-City business owner, she noted.
Patty Heasler said her Rotary Club chose the project as its community project, in part because the Friends group recently received the “Tourism of the Year Award” from the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau.
“This is a significant project for our club that we support wholeheartedly, between willing buyers and sellers. The ridgelines and the rivers are some of our most significant assets in attracting and retaining business,” said Heasler, the club president.
Information about the campaign is available at www.friendsofbadger.org.