The Projects Keep Coming
Some of the Independence Landing projects, like the new Independence Hotel, have been completed. Others are still under construction, including new apartments and town homes adjacent to the Willamette River.
After purchasing the property, the city announced their plans. The site, now christened Independence Landing, would include more than 100 apartments and townhomes, as well as a 75-room boutique hotel. The riverfront itself would be developed to extend the walkway that borders the adjacent Riverview Park and amphitheater.
By the time construction was underway, Oregon Lottery dollars had helped prep the site—foundational work like removing asbestos and building streets and utilities. Additional grants were awarded to help develop the riverfront facilities. Over $4 million in lottery funds have been provided in bonds and grants through Business Oregon to help with development and construction—not to mention another $415,000 lottery grant through Oregon Parks & Recreation to develop the scenic riverfront park portion of the project.
In addition to providing much needed additional housing, the project will pay off in other ways. Once development is finished, it’s predicted that it will spur between $3.5 million and $4 million worth of visitor spending each year, along with $2.5 million in yearly spending by residents. It’s also expected to create between 40 and 65 construction jobs a year, along with as many as 30 jobs at the hotel—a big project that, thanks in part to lottery dollars, is truly a win-win for Independence residents, present and future.
Willamette Scenic Bikeway
Established in 2010, the Willamette Scenic Bikeway is a 134-mile, moderate bike route that takes riders down the Willamette Valley between Champoeg State Park and Eugene’s Armitage County Park. Although the route technically follows in the opposite bank of the Willamette River, many riders cross the bridge to Independence for a tasty lunch or a winery tour, or even for an overnight stay at one of the city’s hotels or at the Biker/Boater Campground. Either way, bikers can ride a bit further south to the Buena Vista ferry—a great way to re-cross the river and return to the bikeway after bidding farewell to Independence.
Willamette River Water Trail
This 217-mile water route descends from the Willamette River headwaters in the Cascade and Coast Ranges to the confluence of the Columbia River near Portland. Distinguished as one of only 20 National Water Trails in the U.S., the Willamette River Water Trail treats paddlers to views of forests and parks, farms and cities. A stop in Independence is an opportunity for a picnic lunch or an overnight stay. Lucky travelers may even get a view of Independence’s resident ospreys wheeling on air currents overhead as they paddle downstream.
Albany’s Hebrew Cemetery Reclaimed
As frequently happens with our early cemeteries, the Albany Hebrew Cemetery had fallen into disrepair. Weeds and invasive vegetation had grown out of control. Many grave markers lay in ruined pieces. As sad as these conditions are at any burial ground, they were especially regrettable at this unique cemetery. The cemetery documents the lives and final resting sites of the Willamette Valley’s original Jewish settlers. As early as the 1870’s, a small community of Jewish families had settled in the Albany area. The tragic death of an infant death in one of these families was the catalyst that brought them together in an organized way. Together they founded the First Hebrew Congregation of Albany. In 1878, one of these families, the Senders, deeded the land that became the cemetery to the congregation.
A Park for Adventurers
Rugged and vast, Cottonwood Canyon is one of Oregon’s largest state parks at over 8,000 acres. Bordered by another 10,000 acres of federally-maintained public lands, this special place gives a new depth of meaning to the phrase “getting away from it all”. Before white settlers took hold of this land, the river was known as the Mah Hah to the Native Americans. In the 19th Century it was renamed the John Day River as part of a privately-owned cattle ranch. Between 1964 and 2008, the canyon and surrounding property were purchased by Oregon State Parks and the Western Rivers Conservancy. Seeking to protect the canyon while allowing the public to access the breathtaking area, Cottonwood Canyon became an Oregon State Park in 2013. With help from Oregon Lottery dollars, it’s been transformed into a unique wilderness and recreation experience for Oregonians and visitors alike. In 2019, more than $2 million in lottery dollars helped fund a learning center, cabins and restrooms, making it easier for visitors to set up a base camp from which to explore all Cottonwood Canyon has to offer. Plans are in the works to build a boat launch for easier access to the clear and open waters of the John Day, the largest free flowing river in the western United States. This undammed waterway is home to a year-round angler’s delight. Winter native steelhead, catfish and summer small-mouth bass mean the fish are constantly biting. Down the road, there’ll be even more ways to access the wild, back country of Cottonwood Canyon. Whether you choose to visit when spring turns the hills green or in winter when snow blankets the cliffs, just make sure you go to this unique and special place. It’s a perfect sample of the natural beauty of Oregon.
Peer-to-Peer Support for Veterans
At Project ABLE, veterans receive training to help fellow veterans with behavioral health. Thanks to a grant of lottery dollars, Salem-based Project ABLE will train veterans as peer support specialists for other veterans with behavioral health issues. In peer support, an individual provides support to another who shares similar life experiences. Fellow veterans will be trained as support specialists because those who’ve also taken the Oath of Enlistment best understand military related trauma. This sort of support, along with additional wellness classes and services, can provide veterans-in-need with a much brighter future. Thanks to Lottery support, Project ABLE’s training will benefit veterans in six northwest Oregon counties.
Legal Aid for Veterans
St. Andrew Legal Clinic (SALC), based in Portland, provides legal protections for some of the community’s most vulnerable people. Specializing in family law, SALC provides legal advocacy on matters like adoptions, divorce, child custody and support, and more. Thanks to a grant of lottery dollars, SALC will now be able to leverage their legal expertise for the benefit of Oregon veterans, with a focus on economic stability and housing security. With the support of lottery dollars, SALC will provide veterans in five Oregon counties with access to the legal services they might need as they return to civilian life.
Solving Veteran Homelessness in Southern Oregon
KLCAS, a Local agency, helps homeless veterans and those at risk for homelessness. Military veterans can be particularly vulnerable to a housing crisis for a variety of reasons. In southern Oregon, Klamath-Lake Community Action Services (KLCAS) is using a grant of lottery dollars to help prevent low-income veterans and their families from falling into homelessness—or to rapidly re-house already homeless veterans. Assistance might take the form of help finding and accessing a rental, childcare assistance, utility assistance, and other types of support services veterans need to obtain housing and stay housed. With the help of the ODVA, your lottery dollars are distributed to local organizations like KLCAS where they can do targeted good for Oregon veterans.
LOTTERY DOLLARS DOING GOOD THINGS IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Have you ever had a butterfly settle softly on your shoulder? It’s said to be a sign of good luck. What a great theme for this exciting Scratch-it, Butterfly Bingo! Match the caller’s numbers to the numbers on any of the five cards included on your ticket. A butterfly symbol means a free space—another step closer to completing that all important “Bingo!” Flit, float, or flutter down to your nearest store and look for the butterflies for your Bingo Scratch-it fun!
The Camo Crossword
Calling all word lovers! There’s a $15,000 top prize just waiting to be found with The Camo Crossword! You might need your compass as you search for the camouflaged letters, but it’s totally worth it. Imagine all the camo gear you can buy. And don’t forget the binocular bonuses for additional chances to win. Happy scratchin’!
You may be familiar with the story of a certain girl from Kansas who recites “no place like home” as she taps some Ruby Red slippers to skip security at the airport. While our Ruby Red Scratch-it can’t get you back to Oregon from a magical kingdom, it could whisk $10,000 into your bank account! If you uncover the word “red”, you’ll win an instant $25. So grab a couple of these shiny $2 tickets next time you stop by the store for a tasty treat. Saying “there’s no place like home” as you scratch is completely up to you.
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