NEWS

Garden Greenways fundraising has begun for property purchase

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
A conceptual plot plan for Siskiyou Land Trust’s Garden Greenways Project

Siskiyou Land Trust’s Garden Greenways Campaign is about to get underway in Mount Shasta to purchase land on Alma Street across from Sisson School, the Mt. Shasta Library, and the Rotary Trail that leads to Sisson Meadow.

Plans to purchase and enhance this 2.89-acre parcel for a permanent public space will be unveiled at the Land Trust’s annual meeting on May 23 at Sisson Museum at 7 p.m.

Land Trust President Susie Boyd says, “We’re really excited about our vision to set aside land in the heart of Mount Shasta for school and community garden areas, paths to link community neighborhoods and town with alternative transportation corridors and community resources, wetland and wildlife habitat that expands our greenways, and outdoor learning space.”

“Siskiyou Land Trust decided to launch a community campaign because this space is for all of us,” explained Kathleen Hitt, conservation director for the Land Trust. “We could have simply written grants and developed our own ideas for what we think this community could benefit from, but that would miss the point. We’re seeking input from land trust members, gardeners, landscape architects, children, parents, teachers, agencies, organizations, artists – you name it – because this space holds a special opportunity for our community today and for our community when we are all gone. We have a concept, and a drawing to match it, but that is simply the beginning of a much larger opportunity that awaits this land.”

According to Hitt, input and support is pouring in as the Land Trust prepares to launch the acquisition campaign.

Several Sisson School students are gathering to launch their own campaign efforts to acquire the land across the street from their school. Inspired by Annie Boyd, a 5th grade student at Sisson whose mom is co-chairing the Garden Greenways Campaign, several students will be taking the campaign door-to-door.

“The day after Annie heard us talk about the project campaign over dinner, she announced the project to her class and her intention to take a lead role in making it happen,” laughs Donna Boyd…. “that’s Annie.”

Land Trust board members and staff agree, Annie’s enthusiasm to garner student support for the project is remarkable and is just one example of the thoughtful, creative youth in our community who demonstrate how to make a positive difference for our world.

“Youth participation is key, and the level of commitment they’ve already shown is more than we ever imagined,” remarked campaign co-chair Sam Baxter. “They’ll be ready to run the Land Trust in no-time.”

Beginning May 23rd the Land Trust will launch the six-week fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $150,000 to assist with the purchase of the land.

Land Trust Treasurer John Brennan said, “The community is already showing enthusiastic support before our official campaign has even started! An anonymous community partner has pledged to match every dollar raised up to $75,000, doubling the value of every donation until the $75,000 goal is reached.”

Grant funding and financing are also underway for the remaining purchase price and expenses, estimated at $350,000.

“While the campaign goal is to raise money for the purchase of the land, another goal equally important is to provide a time and space to engage with community and open a dialogue about the project concept and vision,” said Hitt. “As we raise funds for the land purchase, we are also in the process of securing in-kind donations and grant funds for water infrastructure upgrades, garden, and pathway enhancements for the property to make the land accessible as soon as possible.”

Community members can contribute and participate in the Garden Greenways Campaign in a number of ways. The Land Trust says financial contributions are gratefully accepted and can be made via cash, check or credit card. Checks can be mailed to Siskiyou Land Trust at PO Box 183 Mount Shasta, CA 96067 or dropped off at the Land Trust office located at 522 E. Alma Street. Checks made payable to Siskiyou Land Trust should include a memo “Garden Greenways Acquisition.” Credit card contributions will be accepted through Paypal via the Land Trust website: www.siskiyoulandtrust.org.

A pledge program has been put in place to enable donations to be fulfilled over the course of a full year, making it possible for people to donate by a specific date or on a scheduled payment plan (such as quarterly or monthly). Let the Land Trust know if you are willing to be acknowledged for your donation or if you prefer anonymity.

Pledges of in-kind donations are also being accepted for additional project planning and implementation.

Individuals and businesses who would like to participate in the campaign in any capacity are encouraged to contact campaign co-chairs Donna Boyd or Sam Baxter at 530-926-2259.

The Land Trust encourages members of the public to attend the May 23 annual meeting at 7 p.m. at Sisson Museum to learn more about the project. Project site tours are scheduled for May 28, 29, and 30 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Members of the public are invited to register for a tour during the Land Trust’s annual meeting or by calling the 926-2259.

More information will also be available during the Sisson School Open House on May 23, where Annie and her friends will be setting up a Garden Greenways Campaign booth.