Celebrate and protect Oregon’s heritage
The Oregon Historic Trails Fund awards grants to develop interpretive, educational, and economic projects to preserve and protect the cultural and natural resources of Oregon’s historic trails.
Oregon’s history is deeply tied to its trails. The routes followed by American explorers stretched across the Oregon Country a full 50 years before the Oregon Trial migrations of the mid-1800s. And before the explorers were the systems of trails used by the wide variety of tribal groups who populated the region.
Oregon’s historic trails represent the transformation of the American West and are essential to understanding Oregon’s history. Oregon’s historic trails combine to tell a story, beginning before Euro-Americans arrived and continuing through the Nez Perce War of 1877. Together they present an interwoven account of native peoples, explorers, and settlers. The outcomes of their travels and activities shaped the place where we live, for today we still travel many of the historic routes that are now the foundation of Oregon’s modern transportation system.
In 1998, the financial assets of the Oregon Trails Coordinating Council were transferred to The Oregon Community Foundation to establish the Oregon Historic Trails Fund, dedicated to projects related to Oregon historic trails as recognized by the state legislature in ORS 358.075.
The history of the Oregon Trails Coordinating Council and the creation of the Oregon Historic Trails Fund can be found in the project history of the 1998 Oregon Historic Trail Report.
Since 1998, the fund has awarded 36 grants totaling just under three quarters of a million dollars. The Oregon Historic Trails Fund accepts applications for grant funds each year.
Source of funds
In 1998, the financial assets of the Oregon Trails Coordinating Council were transferred to The Oregon Communtiy Foundation to establish the Oregon Historic Trails Fund, dedicated to projects related to Oregon historic trails as recognized by the state legislature in ORS 358.075.
Although the fund derived much of its revenue from the sale of Oregon Trail license plates, a long-term goal is to build a large and stable resource to support local citizen efforts that promote public awareness of and enjoyment of the historic trails.
As of June 30, 2004, the Fund had an ending market value of $821,975.28, held $87,100 in grants payable, and had $72,451 in money available for 2005 grants.