by: , Jayne Cronlund

Meyer Memorial Trust had some very good news for Three Rivers Land Conservancy of Lake Oswego last week.

The trust announced that Three Rivers would receive $135,000 to expand its fundraising capacity in order to increase land conservation.

'It's 'Little Lake Oswego non-profit makes good,' ' said TRLC executive director Jayne Cronlund, who applied for the Meyer grant last April. 'We were very hopeful we would get it, but we were still really pleased when we heard about it.'

The large grant means Three Rivers can take major steps toward meeting its One Thousand Acre Challenge. After acquiring 300 acres and restoring two miles of trail, the conservancy last year raised its vision to 1,000 acres.

'We need to raise $500,000 to do that,' Cronlund said. 'That will more than double the acreage of conserved property by adding another 700 acres to our portfolio.'

The Meyer money will help Three Rivers greatly expand its fundraising operation in some key ways:

n Hiring an event planner for the organization's major event, the Wine and Land Benefit in September.

n Hiring more staff members for its headquarters in Lake Oswego.

n Bring in some professional marketing, media and public relations people so key tasks can be outsourced.

n Bolster funding for the organization's marketing, newsletter and Web site.

'Our board of directors has been really visionary in putting this plan together,' said Cronlund. 'Now we have the resources to accomplish this vision. It's a big reach. We couldn't do it without volunteers.'

Three Rivers plans to celebrate with its annual Conservancy Celebration on Feb. 20 at the city of Lake Oswego's West End Building, from 6 to 8 p.m.

'It will be a free, fun party,' Cronlund said. 'It will be a way for people to get involved.'

Cronlund has been executive director of the TRLC since 1997 and has seen the organization make tremendous strides. Her mood is very thankful, and it's not just because of the Meyer grant.

'We really enjoy our base and roots and the community here,' Cronlund said. 'Everyone has been supportive of our goal - the city council, parks, citizens. From the beginning they have really endorsed our vision.'

For more information about the Three Rivers Land Conservancy call 503-699-9825.

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