OAKLAND — A group raising money to build a campground at a 1,100-acre Douglas County park says it’s more than two-thirds of the way to its goal.
If the fundraising campaign by the Friends of Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park succeeds, the county will cancel plans to log 20 acres in the park to finance the campground.
The group needs to raise $65,000 by the end of July and has collected $47,787 in the past two months, a board member, Landa Baily, said.
Money has been raised through events ranging from spay and neuter clinics to wine tastings.
A poster with a large thermometer at the end of Oak Street in Oakland has recorded the progress.
Baily said she is happy every time she passes the poster and sees the mercury has risen.
“It makes my heart sing. It really does,” she said. “We’re happy for every cent.”
The park northeast of Oakland was willed to the county by rancher Mildred Kanipe in 1983. With a dwindling of a trust fund to maintain the park, county park officials proposed logging the northern edge of the park to build a campground. Camping fees would aim to make the park self-supporting.
Parks board meetings were contentious as logging opponents pleaded for time to collect funds to build the campground another way. In January, county commissioners voted to give park supporters six months to raise half the cost of building a campground.
Yard sales, spay and neuter clinics, donations from businesses, wine tasting at the Triple Oak Wine Vault in Oakland and a St. Patrick’s Day party at Tolly’s Restaurant in Oakland have aided fundraising. The Friends group has collected donations online through crowdrise.com.
Baily said she used to lie awake at night wondering if the group could raise enough funds.
“Today, I am so optimistic that we will,” she said.
Baily said she believes the outpouring of support for Kanipe, including fundraisers and volunteer maintenance, can serve as a model for other county parks.
“The generosity from businesses and individuals, it just shows how engaged people are in making our community what it is,” she said.
• You can reach reporter Carisa Cegavske at 541-957-4213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.