Friends rummage for land conservation

MILLER BAY — The Friends of Miller Bay is so close to finishing Phase One of its fund-raising effort to preserve 18 acres of Cowling Creek lands that members are hoping next weekend’s rummage sale will actually wrap it up.

For the past year and a half, the group has been working to raise $157,000 to purchase 13 acres of the property and it is now only $3,800 short of its goal.

While the Friends still has another year and a half to finish fund-raising for this phase, member Nancy D’Archangel said the group doesn’t want to be asking for money for the rest of their lives.

So they hope the rummage sale, which will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 19-20 at 21391 Miller Bay Road NE, will finish it off. Donations for the sale are still being accepted, particularly tools, furniture and higher end items.

This is the group’s first attempt at a rummage sale, as it has primarily been raising money through private fund-raisers, individual donations and grants. D’Archangel said she got the idea for the rummage sale from her sister who conducted one for a historic building in Michigan, netting several thousand dollars.

“I thought, ‘Wow if they can do it there, it’s a piece of cake here,’” D’Archangel said.

Phase Two of the project consists of raising $115,000 to purchase the remaining 5 acres and the group has until 2007 to do it. Depending on the success of the rummage sale, a wine tasting/poetry reading planned for April or May will kick off Phase Two. The total cost of the project is $272,000.

The purpose of FOMB’s efforts is to keep the land from being developed, especially because it’s in an area that has new homes popping up everywhere.

“We are so thankful we started this project when we did because the area is just growing so fast,” D’Archangel said. “I think people really think open space is important because there has been such a wonderful outpouring in the community in different ways.”

For more information about the event, call D’Archangel at (360) 598-6564.

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