Each year, the Washington County Visitors Association awards grants to eligible organizations whose projects will attract visitors to Tualatin Valley who will stay overnight in lodging facilities throughout Washington County. The Capital Project Tourism Development Grants provides funding to government entities or 501(c) non-profit organization for development or redevelopment of a tourism-related product. The Small Tourism Grant Program is a pilot program that supports entities with projects and programs that the WCVA Board of Directors believes have extraordinary merit and will positively impact and increase overnight visitation to Washington County.
Friends of Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge: Awarded $30,000 to provide access to all at the new Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Wapato Lake was designated a National Wildlife Refuge in 2013 and is finally slated to open to the public in September 2020. Infrastructure is being build and planned to provide access to the refuge in three phases: 1) a pedestrian bridge over Wapato Creek 2) a parking lot and restrooms and 3) a five-mile-long hiking trail on the levees surrounding Wapato Lake. Funds from this grant would support the hiking trail, specifically the .9-mile portion of the trail between the two new bridges on the north end of the lake. This selection of the trail will be six-feet-wide with a hard rock surface.
Broadway Rose Theatre Company: Awarded $100,000 for building expansion. In 2018, Broadway Rose reached 90% capacity for its six main stage shows; the youth drama camps and teen workshops were at full capacity with long wait lists; and there has been a 42% increase in the last two years of community members using the facility. Broadway Rose Theatre Company is planning to expand and improve their current facility, known as The New Stage. This project will create a new studio space to support artistic development, education programs and community partnerships; a new on-site costume shop and enlarged scenic shop to bring their creative teams and resources under one roof; and additional administrative offices to support growing staff.
Tualatin Hills Park & Recreations District (THPRD): Awarded $2,575 for a new annual regional pickleball tournament. THPRD is partnering with Pickleball is Great Inc. to launch an annual regional pickleball tournament in Beaverton September 3-7, 2020. The June Crabb Memorial Pickleball Tournament is destined to become a signature event bringing upwards of 500 players to compete from 25 states and Canada. Pickleball is emerging as one of the fastest growing sports in America.
City of Forest Grove and Forest Grove/Cornelius Chamber of Commerce: Awarded $7,500 for an extended Harvest Weekend in Forest Grove. Forest Grove Harvest Weekend (September 18-20, 2020) is extending on three successful events and adding two new events to create a weekend in Forest Grove. The extended weekend will include a Friday brewfest, featuring 8-10 local breweries, with a barbecue dinner and concert. On Saturday, the original three events will take place: Chalk Art Festival, Corn Roast Festival and Harvest Dinner at McMenamins. The weekend will wrap on Sunday with a farm-to-table brunch on Main Street.
City of North Plains: Awarded $1,000 for a Cycle North Plains Map and itinerary development. The city is working with RideWithGPS (RWGPS) to create a more robust cycling experience in the city of North Plains. By creating a tourism account, nine new cycling routes will be developed with custom cues and points of interest. RWGPS will create routes that can be embedded on the city’s website to link to their tourism account on RWGPS.