Friends of the Falls and Spokane River Forum to Merge Organizations, Vision for the Spokane River
(Spokane, WA) Two Spokane River focused non-profits, Friends of the Falls (FOF) and the Spokane River Forum (SRF), are merging their non-profit organizations. The merger, announced today by FOF board member Steve Faust and SRF board president Jeanna Hofmeister, will see the Spokane River Forum carrying on the work of Friends of the Falls. "From the time we began work on the Conceptual Plan for the Great Spokane River Gorge in 2002, the overarching goal of the Friends of the Falls has been to bring people together around the value of the Spokane River and the hundreds of acres of public park land along its banks, not merely as a great public amenity to be preserved and treasured, but as a key differentiator in our region's strategy for economic development. That goal has largely been achieved, and the Spokane River Forum has become a key partner in carrying forward that message and in advocating for greater public access to the full reach of the river. By combining our resources, we will accelerate that effort," said Faust.
"The work of Friends of the Falls was transformative. They profoundly changed the community dialog and triggered millions of dollars in investment by reconnecting our community's thinking and souls to the river and what it can and should offer us and future generations," said Jeanna Hofmeister, President of the Spokane River Forum. "The Forum is fully committed to continuing and expanding their bold vision."
Friends of the Falls started in 1997 as a coalition spanning the political spectrum to oppose replacement of the historic Monroe Street Bridge along with development of the Lincoln Street Bridge. That success was followed by development of the Conceptual Plan and, in 2005, the seminal Great Spokane River Gorge Strategic Master Plan. The plan's vision proclaimed the goal to "... enhance and preserve the splendor of the Gorge and river as a central feature of the Spokane region for generations to come."