Over two hundred people crowded the Kiona Winery on January 25 for the annual meeting of the Friends of Badger Mountain organization.
In early 2003, a group of local residents shared a common interest to preserve the Tri-Cities local ridges for their scenic view and as open space. They believed something must be done before the area’s beauty was permanently changed by irreversible development. When they learned that 574 acres was for sale on the crest and slopes of Badger Mountain, their goal became to acquire the land to preserve as open space.
Eleven years later, the 2014 iteration of this group is still going strong and they made an ambitious announcement for similar plans on Candy Mountain! The group unveiled an aggressive idea to link trails from the west end of Red Mountain to the Amon Creek area and Claybell Park.
205 Acres on Candy Mountain
The group has arranged certificates of understanding with two landowners on Candy Mountain. The commitment for 205 acres creates the opportunity for another ridge and summit preserve.
Fundraising Effort $1.5 Million Needed
Efforts now are focused on raising money to purchase the property. A few people stepped forward at Saturday’s annual meeting to kick start the effort by handing over a few thousand dollars. $1.5 million is needed to purchase the Candy Mountain land and build the trail. The money needs to be raised by the end of 2015. The group is counting on grassroots efforts to raise the money. The group prefers checks so they don’t have to pay a credit card fee but they’ll accept donations in any form. Go to the Friends of Badger Mountain web site to help!
During the annual meeting, the group honored Nellie Stott. Years ago, Nellie and her husband (now deceased), worked with the Friends of Badger Mountain in selling them property which grew into the Badger Mountain Trail System.