Truckee Donner Land Trust announces purchase of Truckee Springs
26-acre downtown site to be preserved as open space
For roughly two decades, the Truckee Donner Land Trust has sought to acquire and protect Truckee Springs, a 26-acre section of open space along the Truckee River, from development.
This week, the land trust announced it has acquired the piece of land — a stretch of area along the river in downtown Truckee that developers have long eyed — turning years of work into reality.
“The Land Trusts acquisition of this property is a total game changer for Truckee,” said Tony Lashbrook, former Truckee Town Manager, in a statement. “Since the creation of the Downtown Specific Plan more than 20 years ago, a riverfront park has been envisioned to serve as an anchor for the town.”
Truckee Springs, formerly known as the Bright Property, has a history that dates back to the Northern Washoe people. The acquisition of the site, which sits within the Truckee River corridor on the south bank west of South River Street, will help protect the watershed from development said Truckee Donner Land Trust Board Member Ted Owens during a 2019 interview with the Sierra Sun.
Called Truckee’s “golden spike” by members of the Truckee Donner Land Trust, Truckee Springs will form an important hub in linking Truckee with the Sawtooth Trail, Big Chief Trail, Tahoe Rim Trail, and others.
Starting next year, the Truckee Donner Land Trust and Town of Truckee will begin work to extend the Truckee River Legacy Trail across the property where it will eventually connect to Donner Lake. There will also be construction of a pedestrian bridge, which will cross the river to West River Street, connecting the town’s commercial core with Truckee Springs.
The Truckee Donner Land Trust raised $10.3 million to purchase the property, construct the bridge, create a small parking area, and for other work to be done on the site.
Truckee residents, according to the land trust, donated more than $3 million toward acquiring the property. Other major contributions came from California Wildlife Conservation Board, California Natural Resources Agency, the Town of Truckee, Truckee Tahoe Airport, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, Vail Resorts, the Manitou Fund, Truckee River Legacy Foundation, and the Martis Camp Foundation. Ralph Eschenbach and Carol Provan provided a million dollar matching gift to private donations.
The property is currently open to the public, but the land trust is asking visitors to walk or bike from downtown as there’s limited parking on South River Street.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-550-2643
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