Friends of Badger Mountain raises enough money to acquire land o - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Friends of Badger Mountain raises enough money to acquire land on Candy Mountain

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The volunteer group partnered with the county to get a $695,000.00 matching grant from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. They also received large donations from CH2M Hill, Bechtel National and 15 other local area businesses to fund The volunteer group partnered with the county to get a $695,000.00 matching grant from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. They also received large donations from CH2M Hill, Bechtel National and 15 other local area businesses to fund

BENTON COUNTY, WA- Those who hike Badger Mountain have something more to look forward to by the end of 2016. The Friends of Badger Mountain volunteer group announced this week they have raised enough money to acquire a large portion of Candy Mountain.

The group raised $1.5 million dollars to help Benton County buy nearly 200 acres on the ridge next door to Badger Mountain. "Candy was always a critical link between Badger and Red (mountain) so by having a good chunk of Candy, we still have more to get, but are going to now be looking at what the next steps are," explained Sharon Grant, Friends of Badger Mountain.

Grant just celebrated with other volunteers this past summer, 10 years of their organization to preserve the mountain, "In 2013 is when we negotiated the price with the land owners. Then, we knew how much money we need to raise and go forward," said Grant.

Bob Marguiles of Richland and Mark Ufkes of Seattle own that portion of Candy Mountain. Ufkes' wife told NBC Right Now he grew up in the area and is proud to give this land back to those who live in the Mid-Columbia. She says it is part of his legacy.

"Some people feel Badger is too crowded, you know, other people may just want a different kind of experience," Grant explained, "We have this incredible asset that is going to draw all the more events to the Tri-Cities and because the ridges exist."

The volunteer group partnered with the county to get a $695,000.00 matching grant from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. They also received large donations from CH2M Hill, Bechtel National and 15 other local area businesses to fund the preservation, trail head and trails themselves. 

Not only will you have two new miles of trails to look forward to, the grand plan reaches over to Red Mountain as well. Which happens to be host to many local wineries, "I have done a Hike, Wine and Dine with Kitzke and it was very successful. They were really pleased to welcome us and I think that we will set that up with Goose Ridge as well," said Grant.

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