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Partnership program divies out $20,000 to area nonprofit organizations on Mount Hood

For many area nonprofit groups, grant funding is a lifeline. Fortunately for those organizations, the county extends an annual offer of tourism funds via the Community Partnership Program, which initially gives each community an opportunity to receive up to $20,000 for a project to promote tourism.

Community Partnership Program Grants are coordinated through Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory for "tourism-related projects in local communities," according to the program's website.

This year, the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum in Government Camp received a total of $5,000 to update the organization's website and for general promotion purposes. The Government Camp Marketing Council received $12,000 for various projects, including the promotion of the community's annual Christmas Tree Lighting event, grooming and maintenance of the nordic trails and the creation of streetscape banners. The Cascade Center for the Arts and crafts also received $2,000 for marketing materials.

"This funding is critical," said Diane Lokting, chairwoman of the Government Camp Marketing Council and development director for the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum. "We wouldn't be able to do these things without those funds. The museum is free and run by volunteers. The Christmas Tree Lighting is totally funded by this program."

The communities between Sandy and Government Camp — including Welches, Wemme, Zig Zag and Rhododendron — received funding for four different projects. The Mt. Hood Stewardship Council received $7,000 to create an entrance sign to Farlow Wayside Park at the Bureau of Land Management's new Sandy Ridge Trail System; the Mt. Hood Chamber of Commerce utilized $6,000 to create a local bird identification guide; $1,478.50 was used by Clackamas County in the stead of the communities to update and reprint the "Mountain Bike Trails in the Mt. Hood Area" map.

"We've been very fortunate," Lokting added. "These events are very well received by the community, and the money is very much appreciated by those who benefit from it."

The Community Partnership Program is accepting applications for the 2019 grant program cycle. The application can be found online at www.mthoodterritory.com/grant-programs. The application deadline is Feb. 28.

According to the Mt. Hood Territory website, "Qualifying projects are those that demonstrate an ability to: increase overnight stays in lodging facilities; bring visitors into a community from more than 50 miles away to recreate, shop, dine or take in the arts, cultural or historic offerings; and/or entice visitors to linger longer in a community within Clackamas County. The most competitive projects are those that offer the greatest potential to increase tourism activity within the communities they are seeking funding."

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