Open space, trails get bang out of bucks | SierraSun.com

Open space, trails get bang out of bucks

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Truckee businesses have helped raise nearly $100,000 for open space and trails, one dollar at a time.

Seven businesses and individuals have either given customers the option of adding a dollar onto their bill for open space and trails, or have given a dollar on behalf of each customer. That money has gone to the Truckee Donner Land Trust and the Truckee Trails Foundation.

Started in October 2004, the Buck for Open Space and Trails program has netted $99,353 since its inception.

“We think this is a great program ” it’s a tremendous display of support from the Truckee community,” said Perry Norris, executive director of the land trust.

The money comes to the land trust, and is then split evenly between the land trust and the trails foundation, said Kellie Wright, development director for the land trust.

“Building the capacity of the Truckee Trails Foundation is clearly in the best interest of the land trust,” Norris said. “Because what’s open space without trails?”

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The land trust uses the funding for a whole range of projects, but Norris said the funding has recently been key in paying for staff time on the Waddle Ranch acquisition in the Martis Valley.

“‘Buck for Open Space’ helped cover the thousands and thousands of staff hours it took to get that $23.5 million deal together,” Norris said.

The funding has also been used of conservation easement monitoring programs and the Donner Lake Rim Trail.

John Svahn, executive director of the trails foundation, said the funding is used on everything from trail building to trail advocacy and mapping.

“We’ve got a couple new people contributing, so it continues to be an excellent source of funding for us,” Svahn said.

Wright said a few businesses have stopped participating, while other new ones have started, so the dollar total has continued to grow at a steady rate.

The Sierra Sun reported funding from the program reaching over $50,000 in 2006.

“We’re still trying to expand the program,” she said.

Participating businesses add one, un-taxed dollar to their customers’ bill. Customers then have the choice of removing the charge, adding the dollar amount, or adding additional money to the bill.

Some businesses instead of adding to the bill, contribute a dollar on behalf of each customer, Wright said.

The Buck for Open Space and Trails program was inspired by similar successful programs in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and in Crested Butte, Colo.