While the St. Tammany Parish Government will own, operate and maintain the Camp Salmen Nature Park, the Tammany Trace Foundation serves as the primary focal point for fundraising support for the project. The precursor to the Tammany Trace Foundation, the Tammany Trail Foundation, was St. Tammany Parish Logo incorporated in May 1993, shortly after the St. Tammany Parish Government purchased the abandoned Illinois Central Railroad corridor in December 1992.
It soon began construction of a multi-purpose trail system that would eventually include 31 miles of hard surface trails linking the cities of Covington, Abita Springs, Mandeville, Lacombe, and Slidell. Later, in July 1994, the foundation changed its name to the Tammany Trace Foundation and received its non-profit, 501(c)(3) designation from the Internal Revenue Service.
In addition to the recreational opportunities it offers, the Trace also serves as an important conservation corridor for nearly 300,000 visitors a year to observe an assortment of natural habitats and wildlife. This includes seeing bayous, streams, and rivers from the vantage point of 31 bridges built on the corridor’s original railroad trestles. In time, the Tammany Trace will assume even more importance when it connects with over six miles of interpretive trails within Camp Salmen Nature Park.
Through federal and state funding, St. Tammany Parish Government purchased the 130-acre Camp Salmen property in 2004, for $2.25 million, to preserve the historical, cultural, biological and archaeological legacies and to transform it into a public recreational park for all to enjoy its natural beauty.
Tammany Trace Foundation Board of Directors
Bruce Wainer, President
Ted Brandon, Secretary/Treasurer
Tony Le Mon