Community Effort to Preserve the Peshastin Mill Waterfront Succeeds

The community campaign to Save the Peshastin Mill Waterfront has succeeded, thanks to the financial support of over 350 donors and a last-minute major gift from the grandson of Cy Sawyer who built the mill in 1928.

The campaign was about $35,000 short on June 30th, the deadline to fulfill its real estate contract. Sellers Bill and Jenny Goebel of Leavenworth offered a 60 day extension, and less than two weeks later Peter Bevis of Chelan Falls – the grandson of Cy Sawyer – made a major gift to close the gap.

“It’s been an wonderful community effort,” said Bob Parlette of the trail advocacy group Complete the Loop Coalition, who over two years ago put down the earnest money to purchase the 14-acre Peshastin Mill riverfront from the Port of Chelan County. “When I signed that earnest money agreement tying up the property, I had no idea how we would raise the $453,000 purchase price, but I had confidence we could do it. It has been an amazing joining of diverse interest groups. Had we not purchased the waterfront, public access would have been lost forever.” Parlette said.

Major contributions to the campaign came from: retired Drs. Tina & Eliot Scull; the Goebels (who are also purchasing the upland 50 acres), and most recently from Bevis, who wanted to ensure that families could always use the property as he did as a child, floating the waterfront on an inner tube. An anonymous donor also made a significant gift.

“A huge thank you is owed to the ‘fish folks’ that took this project really seriously,” noted Rollie Schmitten of Lake Wenatchee, a leader in the campaign. “The Icicle Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Plain Fly Tyers, the Wenatchee Valley Fly Fishers, the Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board, the Wenatchee Sportsmen’s Association, the Washington Fly Fishing Club Foundation, the Washington Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers, the International Federation of Fly Fishers itself, and of course, Trout Unlimited’s local and national teams – the collective support was incredible.”

The volunteer campaign team will now proceed to transfer the property to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife for management and maintenance and reserve an easement for a trail.

“As a community we’ve just done something incredible for our children, grandchildren and their children,” said Bob Stroup of Leavenworth, Past President of the Icicle Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited and also a campaign leader. “I’m so proud to be a part of this community.”

More Information: Bob Parlette, Complete the Loop Coalition: 509-860-9638

Lisa Pelly, Trout Unlimited: 509-888-0970

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