Another big thank you to Friends of the Columbia Gorge! They kicked off the crowdfund with a $10,000 contribution from their members and today they've contirbuted another $20,000 to support Be There for The Gorge. Check out the live announcement from Friends' Executive Director Kevin Gorman on their Facebook page, and make sure you join with Friends to help restore the Gorge trails! So far, we've been able to raise enough to restore Angel's Rest - but there's so much more work to be done, especially around Multnomah Falls. And we have just 3 days left to get it done to re-open access in 2018.
In the last week of the crowdfund, Portland's REI is donating buffs - the multifunctional accessory for any adventure! - to anyone who contirbutes $25 or more to the crowdfund (limit 300). You've only got a few days left to go until March 15th, so give now.
We have until March 15 to raise the funding needed to reopen those 3 trails in 2018 - and to put our money where our mouths are (and where we want our feet to be!), joining those who already have stepped up with their resources. Thanks to them, we know we’ve raised enough money now to restore Angel’s Rest. But 460 people shouldn’t have to carry the weight for all of us, and it still isn’t enough to fully re-open access to Multnomah Falls, one of the crown jewels of Oregon.
We know there are many more of you who love the Gorge and would put whatever resources you have into restoring it. Now is the time to do that. And every contribution counts. Let’s give back to this wonderful place and rebuild around it. It’s been there for us. Let’s be there for the Gorge.
Danner Boots has made a generous contribution to offer the next 25 $1,000+ donors a pair of boots! Danner made their mark creating logging boots, work boots, and hiking boots from Portland starting in the 1930s. And you may have seen Reese Witherspoon - as Cheryl Strayed - chucking her Danner boot off the side of Mt. Hood in the movie Wild. Since Strayed’s book and the movie came out, it’s hard not to think of Danner and the beauty of this part of the world. These boots retail for as high as $380 and are known for their exceptional quality.
Donate $1,000 today to get your pair of Danner boots!
Referral Raffle! Invite your friends to join you in giving to the crowdfund and you'll be entered to win one of ten Full Sail Brewery $25 gift cards. Tell them to enter your name in the "How did you hear about the crowdfund?" section when they give. And then head out to the Gorge to visit Full Sail in Hood River. It's up to all of us to help restore the Gorge trails and support area businesses that continue to be impacted by the fire and trail closures.
With nearly 250 contributors, we made OCF's match of $25,000 - nice work, you all! So much more to come in the coming weeks - more events, more partnerships, and many more Gorge stories to share with one another.
We've just kicked off the crowdfunding campaign and Oregon Community Foundation has announced a major gift challenge of $25,000! Join OCF today by giving and help us reach their $25,000 match.
The trails around Multnomah Falls, Angel's Rest, and Wahkeena Falls are dear to Oregonians and to visitors from around the world. This past September, as the Eagle Creek fire grew, flames engulfed the surrounding areas and edged closer to the bridge and lodge at the falls. Firefighting crews worked around the clock to fight back and heroically managed to contain the fire, saving Multnomah Falls Lodge and many of the surrounding trees. Watching as fire threatened the area and the historic lodge, many Oregonians wanted to help but felt powerless to do so. And many of you gave to support the firefighters who heroically rescued the lodge and then gave again to support local businesses who lost so much during that time, too.
Fighting the fire at Multnomah Falls (US Forest Service)
And now, the Gorge trails need us. It’s been there for us to visit, explore, and admire. You can help - Be there for The Gorge.
Fighting the fire at Multnomah Falls Lodge (US Forest Service)
Rockfalls and debris - loosened by the fire - litter the trails alongside collapsed retention fences and walls. Those trails are closed off to the public as the US Forest Service assesses damage and watches for further impacts from winter weather. While the Forest Service doesn't know the full extent of the damage, they do know that extensive restoration work will need to be done, including tree and rock removal, retaining wall and fence reconstruction, bridge repairs, and regrading. Some of this work will take very expert crews while some of this work can also be accomplished by volunteer work crews coordinated and trained by local trail restoration groups.
Trails closed to the public at Multnomah Falls (Oregon's Kitchen Table)
If we can raise $525,000 now we could all enjoy the Falls and the surrounding area later this year. This is one of the first steps to help restore the Gorge and bring people back to one of the state’s most beautiful treasures. Your donation will go to a 501(c)3 and will be distributed to ensure restoration projects are completed.
View from Angel's Rest after fire (US Forest Service)
Multnomah Falls and the trails around - including Wahkeena Falls and up to Angels Rest - are among the most beloved trails in Oregon; be there for them now. It will take many of us coming together to help bring those trails back - it’s our responsibility to care for and restore this treasured landscape.
Our deep connection and love for this area is evident in the many stories, videos, and pictures people post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We're collecting them during the campaign through our #bethereforthegorge Tagboard!
Since the fire last fall, thousands of Oregonians and people from all over have expressed their love for the Gorge and expressed their desires to help. We know this is one way among many to be there for the Gorge, and we're grateful for all the actions to support and volunteers who work so hard to care for this land.
(US Forest Service)
You can also help by sharing this crowdfund and posting on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to help spread the word! Share with your friends, coworkers, neighbors - and all your fellow Gorge lovers! We know the best ways to share important public projects is directly from the people they know. Invite your networks to join you in helping restore the Multnomah Falls trails with an email / post on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Thanks to partners who've generously contributed to this crowdfund in many different ways. To help kick off the campaign, Friends of the Columbia Gorge is making a $10,000 donation on behalf of its members.
We've also partnered with Patchmarks (you may know them already for their Oregon State Parks Foundation partnership and their collection of iconic Oregon stickers and patches) to create a special badge and rewards that show you're there for the Gorge, including gift certificates from Gorge breweries Double Mountain, Full Sail, and Thunder Island Brewing that pair well with the Be There for The Gorge growlers. Hydro Flask - an Oregon-based company that produces insulated beverage containers - is donating growlers through their Parks for All program.
SUPPORTER THANK YOUS
We've got a number of ways to thank you for supporting this crowdfunded project! For anyone who gives, we'll thank you here on the Be There for The Gorge crowdfunding page.
Our mascot - the pileated woodpecker - loves large tracts of forest, especially alongside water, like the Gorge. And like those of us eager to help with restoration efforts, these "construction workers" of the forest are hard workers, one bit at a time.
Please note that international shipping costs are not factored in to your select reward. Contact Oregon's Kitchen Table to arrange for international shipping at an added cost. Go here for making international donations.
$25 Level: Patch
$25 and higher! Starting March 10 - anyone who gives $25 or more will get an REI buff (limit 300).
$100 Level: Hat + $5 Gift Card at Thunder Island (limit 1,000)
(hat color will vary)
$250 Level: Growler + gift card to Double Mountain (limit first 100) OR Full Sail (limit first 100)
(Growler color will vary)
$500 Level: Blanket + Carrying Bag
(brown on waterproof side / light tan on soft & fuzzy side)
$2,000 Level: Thank You Dinner at Multnomah Falls Lodge + Gorge Photograph (Limit 40)
We'll bring you and a guest together with other contributors at the $2,000 level for a special dinner at Multnomah Falls Lodge. Look out on the Falls as you enjoy the Lodge's classic Pacific NW cuisine. And, as an extra thank you, we'll send you home with a party favor - your choice of one of four of Oregon landscape photographer Hudson Henry's favorite Gorge images.
$5,000 Level: Gorge Photography Workshop (limit 45)
Join Oregon landscape photographer Hudson Henry for a one-day small group photography workshop in the Gorge! You'll start the day on the western end of the Gorge, talking about composition, and then move east to other locations as you hone your photographic skills and creative vision in the Gorge landscape.
What's the timeline for restoring these trails?
The US Forest Service has a detailed description of the steps and timeline for restoration around Multnomah Falls here. If we can raise these funds now, USFS anticipates people will be able to be back out on these trails sometime later this year.
Who are you working with on this project?
Oregon's Kitchen Table has been working in partnership with the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area office of the US Forest Service, the agency that manages these trails, as well as other partners that include Friends of the Gorge, Trailkeepers of Oregon, and the National Forest Foundation's Pacific Northwest Program. Many, many other folks have provided support in a variety of ways - from outreach to rewards to events to creating the crowdfunding video (thank you, Jill from Multnomah Falls Lodge, Dana from Pacific Crest Trail Association, Jessica from Hike It Baby, Gregory from Departure, Dr. Christopher from Cragrats, Lt. Dexter from Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, and Damon from Portland Fire and Rescue for that opening footage!) and other images and videos throughout the campaign! Other partners who've made significant contributions are listed above.
I want to help restore the trails - what can I do besides donate to the crowdfund?
The USFS works with local partner organizations and contractors to carry out restoration work. Organizations like Trailkeepers of Oregon and Pacific Crest Trail Association train and coordinate volunteers to carry out-on-the-ground work. These organizations are the best places to go if you're interested in being on the ground to help with restoration work.
What about the rest of the Gorge damaged by the Eagle Creek Fire?
This is one of the first steps in restoring parts of the Gorge damaged by the Eagle Creek Fire. If we can surpass our goal, additional funds will go towards other restoration projects, which will take years and millions of dollars. There are also other efforts to help support local businesses impacted in the Gorge, particularly in Cascade Locks. Make sure to visit businesses there and in Corbett, Hood River, Troutdale, and farther east in the Gorge! Several businesses in Cascade Locks have come together through Cascade Locks Strong to encourage even those from far away to purchase gift certificates to those businesses. You may not be able to hike on these trails now, but we strongly encourage you to go out and enjoy the Gorge and its fantastic communities!
What about other fires in the state this past year?
We're piloting using crowdfunding to help with restoration efforts in different ways with this crowdfund as a starting point. The area around Multnomah Falls that suffered from fire damage is one of the most highly visible and visted places in Oregon. Lots of communities have suffered this past year - and we hope that this crowdfund will help establish a way for those who want to help their fellow Oregonians now and in the future.
This crowdfund will help restore the trails outlined in yellow