Heart of the Valley Campaign Case Statement

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Bald Hill Farm

Right now we have an opportunity like never before. 33 years ago a bold vision of connecting trails and open spaces was launched. Today our community has the chance to make good on this promise of connectivity ... for people, for wildlife, our planet and our future. Jessica McDonald Executive Director

WHAT DO YOU HEART ABOUT THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY? A refuge of nature just beyond our doorstep. Shaded forests. Clean wild rivers. Prairies and trails beckoning us. Whatever it is that you love most about the Willamette Valley, the outdoors offers respite and inspiration. We have so much more than acres to protect. We have a way of life to preserve. We have children’s futures to steward. We have trails to connect. Never before have each of us been more called upon to be land and water keepers, trail tenders, and climate visionaries. This place needs us. If it remains healthy, continuously renewing the bountiful resources needed to sustain life, then so shall we. Together, we are creating a future that stands strong for people and for nature - a legacy that will live forever.

What if the trails kept going?

Western Meadowlark

Together, We Can Create A Resilient Future

Greenbelt Land Trust started with a vision. It was a vision of connected green spaces, parks, natural areas, and trails. A vision of a community strengthened by the healing power of nature. Today Greenbelt protects 4000 acres across the heart of the valley. We believe that conserving land and water strengthens our community for today and for the future. The heart of the valley is in the forests and rivers and wetlands. It’s in the abundant fish and wildlife. It’s in the places we can go for peace and exercise and joy. What if we could double the acres we preserve in the heart of the valley? What if we could connect more trails in our community? What if we could keep going?

Greenbelt properties are everything to us. Places where we can be inspired by nature and have these outdoor experiences with our family. Jonny Armstrong, Greenbelt supporter

OUR HOME in the HEART OF THE VALLEY From the crest of the Coastal and Cascade ranges, nestled among foothills and floodplains, lies the Willamette Valley. Dotted with prairies, wetlands, fir forests and oak savanna - the Valley is a place where our lives are enriched through the bounty of beauty and access to nature just outside our doorstep. Children grow up knowing wild places, toes squishing in the mud on a forest trail and the magic of cool, clean rivers. This is a place of wonder and magic. It is our home, and it is in peril. We see a landscape where 99% of our prairies have been lost, where communities face record-setting droughts and unprecedented wildfire. Tending to our lands, waters and trails is more important than ever before.

Today we have an opportunity to do more. Properties protected by Greenbelt Land Trust GLT’s Conservation Focus Areas

We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to permanently protect Oak Creek Preserve for our community and realize a vision of connected trails and habitat that launched Greenbelt Land Trust over three decades ago.

Oak Creek Preserve now.

OAK CREEK PRESERVE The missing puzzle piece.

Transforming a grass seed field into trails weaving through prairies, vernal pools and oak woodlands. This is the future of Oak Creek Preserve.

By protecting these 144 acres we will bring together:

14,000 ACRES 100+ MILES OF TRAIL CRITICAL HABITAT Imagine walking from Adair to Wren on a single trail. Imagine connecting Bald Hill to MLK Park and Mac Forest.

This opportunity is at our fingertips. Greenbelt has an agreement to purchase Oak Creek Preserve and we are actively soliciting donations to acquire and steward this property for our comunity, forever. Oak Creek Preserve of the future.

The protection of Oak Creek Preserve is one of the most important conservation efforts in the Land Trust’s history.

Future trail connections


Spring prairies awash in the blue of camas and pink checkermallow.

Imperiled Oregon Vesper Sparrows expand their nesting habitat.

Legacy oaks stand guard over the sweeping hillside, providing refuge for wildlife.

Colonies of acorn woodpeckers are busy with winter food storage among the oaks.

We can either accept that the multiplying threats to the future of the Willamette Valley are too many, too complex, or too large for anyone to deal with successfully. Or Greenbelt Land Trust, with your help - and in collaboration with landowners, Tribes, governments, scientists and advocacy organizations - can ensure that our innovative, determined solutions will create a more resilient and livable future for generations to come. Threats we are currently dealing with include a population in the Valley that is set to double in the next twenty years and will put pressure on our remaining green spaces; an increased risk of catastrophic wildfire and flooding; and a profound climate crisis. This is our moment to pursue bold actions on behalf of nature and people. Greenbelt is ready. In the next decade we will double our acres protected. We will resolve gaps in our trail systems, creating vast trail networks across the community. And we will restore habitats that provide refuge for wildlife and endangered plants. WE CANNOT DO THIS ALONE. WE NEED YOUR HELP.

The land and trails have given so much to me and my family. Isn’t it time that we all gave back? I trust Greenbelt to make our world a better place. It is truly now or never. Russa Kittredge, Board Member

Mulkey Trail

WE STAND AT A CROSSROADS It is time to act.

THE HEART OF THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN Greenbelt Land Trust has launched a major fundraising initiative to raise $7 Million. Based on careful business planning, this goal enables the Land Trust to protect Oak Creek Preserve and to keep going.

$500,000 Trails

$4,500,000 Accelerating Our Mission

$500,000 Oak Creek Preserve Stewardship

$1,500,000 Oak Creek Preserve Acquisition

ACCELERATING OUR MISSION We have bold conservation goals for the next decade. We will double our acres protected, resolve gaps in our trail systems, and restore endangered habitats. Your support allows us to successfully accomplish our mission across the Willamette Valley and act swiftly to address a climate in peril.

OAK CREEK PRESERVE We have one opportunity, right now, to permanently protect and steward the 144-acre Oak Creek Preserve for our community, creating an expansive corridor for native habitats and recreational trails in Benton County. This ‘missing puzzle piece’ has been on the community’s wishlist for decades, and now is the time to act.

Contributions to The Heart of the Valley Campaign may be distributed across these needs as determined by Greenbelt Land Trust.

Oak Creek Preserve

WE NEED YOU What will your legacy be? Right now we need your support more than ever. 34 years ago, the Greenbelt vision was clear. It’s even more clear today: we need to do more to conserve land and water in the valley. We need to do more to combat climate change, improve our air and water quality, and keep the heart of the valley strong. We need to keep going. That’s why we’ve launched the Heart of the Valley Campaign - to do more for the people and nature and future of the Willamette Valley. Together, we can fulfill the Greenbelt vision and increase the pace and scale of conservation in the Willamette Valley just when we need it the most.

SHARE YOUR LOVE FOR THE VALLEY Greenbelt Land Trust is taking on the most ambitious work in its history. Connecting thousands of acres of habitat and hundreds of miles of trail, increasing the pace and scale of our conservation programs to ensure a livable future, and restoring ecosystems for the benefit of endangered fish and wildlife. This is a daunting endeavor. We can do it. We have momentum. We have the respect of partners. We have the confidence of our community of conservation heroes. Now, we need you. Success relies on generous donors - people willing to personally invest in this legacy. Your contributions now will resonate for generations to come.

DONATE Join those who have already invested in this unprecedented opportunity. This may be the greatest conservation moment of your lifetime. Your gift of cash or stock is the key to success.

PLEDGE Many who wish to make a meaningful contribution to the Heart of the Valley Campaign choose to spread the amount over several years. Your pledge of up to five years’ support will be invaluable to this epic initiative.

LEAVE A LEGACY Naming Greenbelt Land Trust in your estate plans ensures that we can continue to protect and steward the lands of the Willamette Valley for generations to come. Contact us to learn more about GLT’s legacy giving program.

Support the Heart of the Valley Campaign Make a Donation or Pledge Online: greenbeltlandtrust.org Jessica McDonald, Executive Director: jessica@greenbeltlandtrust.org or (541) 752-9609

Founded in 1989, Greenbelt Land Trust is a nationally-accredited nonprofit land trust, dedicated to conserving the land and water of the Willamette Valley for a more resilient future. Working strategically with a wide range of community partners, GLT identifies, acquires and stewards a broad array of protected lands in the Willamette Valley, pivotal to the long-term prosperity of people, plants and wildlife. Join our mission at greenbeltlandtrust.org