Success Stories: Truckee businesses, land trust partner to save open space | SierraSun.com

Success Stories: Truckee businesses, land trust partner to save open space

Keaven Van LomSpecial to the Sun
Sun file photo Tyler Sargeant navigates the Donner Lake Rim Trail on Tahoe National Forest property.
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TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; In todayandamp;#8217;s economy, a buck can still go a long way. Since the Truckee Donner Land Trust started the Buck for Open Space Program in 2004, $138,000 has been collected and deployed toward the protection of open space and trails in the Truckee Donner region.Half of the proceeds are shared with the Truckee Trails Foundation to expand and advocate for trails andamp;#8212; a hand-in-hand partnership keeping Truckee a great place to visit, live and play.andamp;#8220;We are truly grateful that the Land Trust has been willing to share these funds to help promote the development of trails, enabling enhanced enjoyment of our areaandamp;#8217;s open space,andamp;#8221; said Allison Pedley, executive director of the Truckee Trails Foundation.The program is meant to be simple: Customers who visit a participating local business are asked at the time of payment if they would like to add a dollar to their total bill.Mike Blide, owner of Cottonwood Restaurant and Bar, said heandamp;#8217;s grateful to participate.andamp;#8220;Positive responses outnumber dissenters about 900 to 1,andamp;#8221; Blide said.Variations of the program have since been employed by numerous land trusts to help fund land conservation throughout the nation.andamp;#8220;Open space protection and increasing opportunities to hike and bike are synonymous with our communityandamp;#8217;s economic well being. These forward-thinking businesses get it,andamp;#8221; said Perry Norris, the land trustandamp;#8217;s executive director. Currently participating merchants include: Dragonfly, Cottonwood, Robert Colpitts, DDS, Donner Truckee Veterinary Hospital, Heat-Tech of Truckee, Pacoandamp;#8217;s Bike and Ski, and The Lodge at Tahoe Donner.Businesses feel the program has been a successful and gratifying experience and one they are proud to be a part of. Just ask Billy McCullough, owner and chef at Dragonfly.andamp;#8220;I am proud to say we have made a difference in the landscape of our town, and people will enjoy our actions for years and years,andamp;#8221; he said. andamp;#8220;Every single member of our community and every person (who) visits are able to take advantage of the gift this program delivers: beautiful vistas, tall mountains, deep forests andamp;#8212; open space.andamp;#8221;Participating businesses are able to highlight their commitment to the community through attractive program materials provided at their place of business andrecognition in Truckee Donner Land Trust and Truckee Trails Foundation publications, websites, social media and periodic advertising.With the support of partners through the Buck for Open Space Program, the Land Trust can continue its mission to preserve and protect scenic, historic and recreational lands with high natural resource values in the Truckee Donner region.To learn more, contact the land trust at 530-582-4711, http://www.tdlandtrust.org; or Truckee Trails Foundation, 530-587-8214, http://www.truckeetrails.org.