Property Purchase Near Blue River Will Fund Scholarships

Thanks to the support of our members, 47 acres are preserved for conservation on the banks of the Blue River

On December 19th, we purchased a property next to the Blue River Park. The purchase was possible thanks to funding from a generous anonymous donor and other McKenzie River Trust supporters and partners.

In 1986, Fred and Dorothy Behm donated the property to McKenzie School District. The district serves 225 students in Finn Rock, OR. The land was intended for timber harvest, but the school did not have the resources to manage timberland. So they considered a sale for conservation as another option.

The proceeds from the sale of this property will help start a scholarship fund for the McKenzie River Community School. We’re so grateful that our members support community-minded projects like this one as we move into a new decade of growth in our organization.

Aerial view of the recently purchased property, adjacent to Blue River Park on the banks of the Blue River, located on Molalla land.

“We brought in the McKenzie River Trust as a potential broker to help facilitate a sale and conservation easement,” said Lane Tompkins, Superintendent/Principal of McKenzie River Community School. “Although this approach did not take shape, MRT took a more hands-on approach, buying the land to manage directly. We take pride in being a part of MRT investing in our community, our school, and most importantly our students.”

An old logging road makes a scenic trail at the new property acquired from McKenzie School District.

Protection for Blue River

This property is important for conservation in the community. It offers recreation and scenic views. It preserves a conifer forest on the banks of the river. An old logging road makes a trail along the Blue River that will remain public. McKenzie River Trust is partnering with Blue River Parks District to steward the land and keep access open.

McKenzie River Community School is using the funds from selling its property to start a scholarship with Oregon Community Foundation.

In addition, the property is next to the Blue River Parks District park. MRT will host a celebration with supporters like you in the spring to reveal the new property’s name. It also has conservation value for protecting the watershed. Wildlife will also benefit from habitat protection. The newly acquired property is also adjacent to other lands in conservation. The nearby lands include the Blue River conservation easement and Finn Rock Reach, both of which are in MRT’s protection.

A view of the forest on the Blue River conservation easement, next to the community of Blue River.

Executive Director Joe Moll said, “We are fortunate to have generous supporters who are willing to help us acquire this key parcel, with benefits to the students of McKenzie School and the larger community. “

Aerial video footage of the McKenzie School Property

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