By approving bond measures in 1995 and 2006, voters asked Metro to invest a total of $360 million in protecting water quality, wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation.
As a result, Metro has protected 13,000 acres and counting, from the Chehalem Mountains on the west to the Sandy River Gorge on the east. Hundreds of community nature projects have also received a boost through grants and allocations to local cities, counties and park providers.
The Natural Areas Program Performance Oversight Committee gives the Metro Council and the region an outside review of how Metro invests the region’s 2006 bond measure.
Metro continues to invest the 2006 bond measure in three major areas:
Regional land acquisition, $168 million: Metro buys land in 27 "target areas" selected for their high-quality habitat and ability to make a difference, from Wapato Lake on the west to the Sandy River Gorge on the east. Several areas focus on closing trail gaps, and many have the potential to improve water quality for fish, other wildlife and the humans who rely on clean drinking water. Metro buys land only from willing sellers, at market value.
Community projects, $44 million: About 100 community projects are taking shape through a “local share” program that distributes money to cities, counties and park providers. Metro’s local partners have purchased land, improved parks, built trails and more with support from the regional bond measure.
Nature grants, $15 million: Each year, community nature projects receive Metro Nature in Neighborhoods grants, supporting innovative ways to nurture nature in an urban region. Natural areas are being preserved, new trails and playgrounds are opening, and stream banks are being restored.