The Friends of Tryon Creek has kicked off the group’s annual Gray Family Foundation matching challenge. Through this challenge, which runs through September, the Gray Family Foundation will match any education gift to the Friends of Tryon Creek two-to-one up to $12,500. This could generate an additional gift of $25,000 for children’s environmental programs.

In 2012, the Gray Family Foundation announced that the Friends group was one of two organizations selected by the family to support environmental education programs for children. Gray and his family contributed $500,000 to FOTC, which has the potential to generate $25,000 annually to support the continuing growth of those programs.

“The Gray family gift is a great boon for FOTC and sets the organization on a trajectory that will allow them to deliver these programs today and in the future,” said Jessica Sweeney, FOTC media relations coordinator. “Throughout his life John Gray supported causes he cared about, and environmental education for children was a special area of interest. He selected the Friends of Tryon Creek as a recipient because of the strength of the organization’s environmental programs. In 2012 alone the Friends served 8,548 people through field trips, workshops and the Nature Day Camp program, using Tryon Creek State Natural Area as a living classroom.”

To donate to the matching challenge, visit, or call the development office at 503-636-4398.

Tryon Creek State Natural Area is located at 11321 SW Terwillinger Blvd. in Portland.

The 670-acre park welcomes more than 385,000 visitors each year and is home to more than 200 species of birds, mammals and amphibians. Visitors enjoy miles of hiking trails, a paved bicycle path and equestrian trails.

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