The Parks and Open Space Division, in partnership with the Long Tom Watershed Council (LTWC), has been awarded a $123,500 grant from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) to reduce hazardous fuels and restore oak habitat in two Ridgeline parks –Wild Iris Ridge and Murray Hill. This grant provides an excellent opportunity to leverage existing City operating funds to bring
additional revenue to City parkland.
The grant will add $3 for every $1 invested by the City. The City has pledged approximately $41,000 in match money, which includes some donations from neighbors living near the natural areas. The LTWC will also provide about $3,000 in matching funds. The project will invest a total of $167,000 toward reducing fuel loads and improving habitat quality in the Ridgeline, identified as high-priority efforts in the City’s 2008 Wild Iris Ridge Management Plan and the 2008 Ridgeline Area Open Space Vision and Action Plan. The grant is officially awarded to, and will be administered by, the LTWC under a partnership agreement with the City.
OWEB’s watershed restoration grant program provides state funds to improve conditions in natural areas, rivers, and wetlands, to support its mission of protecting and restoring healthy watersheds and natural habitats that support thriving communities and strong economies. The public-private partnership between the City and the LTWC has successfully garnered three similar, prior grants from OWEB, bringing $147,000 to the City of Eugene’s Ridgeline parks since 2006. The award of a fourth grant by OWEB demonstrates the high regard OWEB has for the City and the LTWC, as well as the Rivers to Ridges Partnership. This project will make a significant, long-term contribution to the ecological health of the Ridgeline, and improve the public’s opportunities to recreate and experience nature close to home. Work is expected to begin in 2014.
For more information, please contact Restoration Ecologist Emily Steel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-682-4874.