Very exciting news! We received official word in October that the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board has fully funded our spring 2017 restoration grant proposal.
A total of $239,392 will cover a significant portion of our costs during our transition to fully sustainable operations in 2020, allowing us to get to the point where we have reached a stable steady state and operations are funded one year ahead. If you recall, the original OWEB technical assistance grant of ~$37,000 funded a coordinator for one year and all other contributions have come from partners between 2013-2017 (over $500,000!). On our review team site visit in July at Kenagy Family Farm, one of the team members told me that she considers the WVNPP to be one of the biggest returns on investment she has seen in her tenure with OWEB.
Strengths that the OWEB Review Team listed as part of their recommendation for funding:
* This project builds on previous OWEB Technical Assistance grant investment, the design is well though out with plans to make efforts self-sustaining by 2020, and the proposed work addresses a need for high quality native plants for Willamette restoration projects.
* Species identified for production are plants not currently produced by nurseries so that efforts will not be in competition with local nursery businesses.
* The project is supported by a diversity of partners and landowners, which is demonstrated by letters of support and match.
* The applicant has relevant experience; therefore, the project is likely to succeed.
Thank you to those that were able to attend the site visit to show support for our partnership and the proposal: Pat Johnston (BLM), Chris Seal (USFWS), and Karin Stutzman (PSWCD) from the steering committee, Tremaine and Gail Arkley (who have opened their beautiful farm near Independence for IAE to begin farming natives), Mike Wilson (CTGR), Peter Kenagy (Kenagy Family Farm), and Alana Kenagy (KFF).
A big thank you to all of you for your participation in this cooperative effort over the last six years – your contributions, big and small, of time, resources, and funding are really starting to pay off. Here’s to the next phase of the Willamette Valley Native Plant Partnership!