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New foundation will raise funds for rails-to-trails project that has been in the works for many years

PMG FILE PHOTO - Unused railroad tracks run through the future trail.The Salmonberry Trail, a years-long plan to build a bicycle and walking path between the suburban Portland area and Tillamook, soon will have new support.

Plans are in the works to launch the Salmonberry Trail Foundation, a nonprofit focused on creating community development and fundraising opportunities for the future of the extensive rails-to-trails project. The eastern terminus of the path would be near Banks.

When completed, the trail project will link Washington and Tillamook counties and span more than 80 miles.

Alana Kambury is the project director for the foundation. The project began planning the foundation in 2018 and submitted its application for nonprofit status in May.

"We want to build the team and start planning capital campaigns to build sections and infrastructure," she said. "There are some potential donors and foundations we are keeping our eye on and keeping in communication (with) because they are excited. It requires a collaboration between local jurisdiction, the intergovernmental agency, the foundation and all the partners."

This past month, a free bike ride took place at the expanded Manning Trailhead in celebration of its extended space. It will become the easternmost terminus of the Salmonberry Trail.

The trail is in the development stage after the project was greenlit to move from planning stages last year.

Kambury said the project, which plans to convert old railroad lines into bicycle paths and trails, will be worth the wait when it opens years from now.

"It was necessary to spend the last five to seven years to build this network of partnerships to get to the point we are at now, where we can start building trails, with clear communication and standards that the Salmonberry Trail in Banks would have the same integrity out in Wheeler or Tillamook."


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