When Willamalane asked the community for funds to fight filbert blight, Springfield stepped up in a big way. In four weeks, $5,150 was raised online for the Fight the Blight campaign. These funds will be used to replant trees affected by the spread of a fungal infection in the orchards where Oregon’s hazelnut industry was born.
“I am very appreciative of the community’s support of Dorris Ranch, specifically the orchards,” said Bob Keefer, former Willamalane superintendent. “We have always known that people love the ranch, but the amount of support we have received thus far really shows us just how important it really is to them.”
Willamalane partnered with the National Recreation and Park Association to create a Fund Your Park crowdfunding campaign (similar to a Kickstarter campaign). Fight the Blight’s initial goal of $2,500 was met the day the campaign went live. A new goal of $5,000 was exceeded by the end of the campaign on April 28. Other larger donations from our community and abroad (including all the way from Japan; see photo on left) have been offered privately outside the Fund Your Park campaign.
“The outpouring of support from the community has far exceeded our expectations. It is inspiring to know that future generations will be able to enjoy the rich history of the orchards and Dorris Ranch,” said Michael Wargo, Willamalane deputy superintendent.
Fund Your Park was just the first phase of Fight the Blight fundraising campaign, said Kate Reid, resource development supervisor at Willamalane. Next, the district will host a community event at Dorris Ranch early this summer. The community can keep up with upcoming Fight the Blight efforts on Willamalane’s Facebook page.
Questions? Contact Kate Reid, resource development supervisor, at 541-736-4521 or firstname.lastname@example.org.