Challenge grant jells White Acres fund drive

       A challenge grant has been laid on the table in this year's volunteer fundraising campaign for White Acres.
       “With about $50,000 yet to be raised toward Friends of Red Rock Canyon's goal for White Acres, an anonymous donor has offered a $25,000 challenge to help reach the $75,000 goal,” explains a press release from the Friends group and the Palmer Land Trust. “When the next $25,000 has been raised, the challenge grant will match that $25,000 dollar for dollar.”
       The donor has asked to remain anonymous, but was quoted in the press release, “It's so very important that we preserve White Acres as public open space. We want everyone to understand that from this point forward, every dollar contributed is effectively doubled by this challenge grant.”
       The challenge is contingent on reaching the goal by Nov. 15, the press release adds.
       The city has asked for the $75,000 in donations to cover most of the $100,000 Phase 1 cost that takes in 15 acres of the roughly 50-acre White Acres property. The remaining $900,000 needed to purchase the rest of the property will be provided by TOPS open space sales tax revenues over the next three years.
       Contributions can be made online using the link at SaveWhiteAcres.org or by check. For more information, call Scott Campbell with the Palmer Land Trust at 632- 3236 or Don Ellis with the Friends of Red Rock Canyon at 719-447-0424.
       According to Ellis, Friends of Red Rock Canyon “has already started getting a response” on the challenge grant as a result of flyers put out at area trailheads starting Aug. 7.
       The effort to preserve White Acres as open space kicked in last year when plans were announced for a housing development on the scenic property off 26th Street and Gold Camp Road.
       After the fundraising ends for White Acres, the Palmer Land Trust plans to lead a second campaign, seeking $640,000 in donations to help the city buy the undeveloped, 640-acre Section 16, neighboring Red Rock Canyon and White Acres.

Westside Pioneer/press release