Land Trust raised $150,000 for 'Greenways' purchase

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
Escrow papers signed for the Siskiyou Land Trust’s purchase 
of the land across from Mt. Shasta Library and Sisson School: Left to right, Siskiyou Land Trust 
conservation director Kathleen Hitt, seller David Rees, seller Jonathan Rees, Land Trust 
president Sam Baxter and Land Trust volunteer and GardenShare participant Raven Stevens.

Less than one year after Siskiyou Land Trust launched its Garden Greenways Campaign to purchase land across from Mt. Shasta Library and Sisson School, escrow has closed.

Originally planned as a six week campaign, it took about six months to reach the final goal of raising $150,000.

Soon after the Land Trust announced its intention for the project, an anonymous challenge grant was received for half of the goal.

Campaign support, according to a press release, came from local business owners and individuals from near and far.

The Land Trust thanks Jane Riggs for a $22,000 donation that put the campaign within $3,000 of its goal.

With about $50,000 left to raise, the Land Trust completed drafting the purchase agreement with landowners David and Jonathan Rees in December, according to the release. They agreed to carry the mortgage until the Land Trust could raise matching grant funds.

Needing to come up with $150,000, about half the appraised value, to buy the land and begin to enhance the property, the Land Trust at that point had 45 days to raise about $25,000 that would be matched by the anonymous donor.

The Land Trust Board agreed to sign the Purchase Agreement and, according to past Land Trust president Susie Boyd, “A few weeks later I talked to an old friend who inquired about supporting the Land Trust. My friend had walked through Sisson Meadow on several occasions when visiting town and expressed interest in supporting the Land Trust and conservation in Mt. Shasta.”

Boyd said she followed up with an e-mail to her friend, sharing a summary of the Garden Greenway Campaign status. A few days later in late December, Boyd said she received a call from her friend who had decided to donate to the campaign.

When she first heard her friend say the amount of the donation over the phone, Boyd said she heard the number 2, and thought, “$200, that is so thoughtful and generous.”

Actually, her friend, Jane Riggs, had said $22,000. Boyd said she exclaimed, “Oh MY!….” Riggs responded, “Do you think you can raise another $3,000 to reach your final goal?”

The Land Trust says it hopes to continue engaging the entire community in the effort as its moves on to Phase 2, planning and implementing community pathways, irrigation infrastructure, and spaces for children to garden, learn and grow.

Grants are currently being prepared for the balance of the money due

to complete purchase financing.

Updates about this and other conservation projects will be presented at the annual Land Trust presentation April 30 at Mt. Shasta Resort starting at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Other fundraising

campaign highlights

The following earlier highlights of the Garden Greenways Campaign were recounted in a Siskiyou Land Trust press release:

• During the Land Trust’s annual meeting, about $8,000 was raised in pledges in about 10 minutes when the project vision, goals, importance, and timeframe were

introduced.

• New board president Sam Baxter and Berryvale’s Sean Doyle introduced the “quadruple your donation” event. With the help of students, parents, and community volunteers the combined community cash and pledges and matching dollars raised $50,000 in four hours at a table outside Berryvale.

• A second “quadruple your donation” at a downtown July 4th booth added another $20,000 thanks to a matching gift from Ellen Coleman and Wholesale Solar and another matching gift from the anonymous donor. Some community members supported the project again, some volunteered for the recycling crew, and others who had missed the Berryvale event showed up at the booth in the summer heat.