Last month the Glacier National Park Conservancy announced an initial grant of $450,000 to be awarded to Glacier National Park for the 2015 season. This represents an increase of $100,000 over 2013 figures.
To help with the effort, the Windmill Foundation has stepped forward with a $20,000 matching challenge. All new donations to the Conservancy will be matched one to one up to $20,000, now through December 31, 2014.
“This represents a significant opportunity for our community to support projects and programs that are important for our families. Trail improvements, activities for children, and wildlife research are all possible with this matching challenge,” said Glacier National Park Conservancy President Mark Preiss.
In fact, just 400 people would need to donate $50 to help the Conservancy win the $20,000 matching challenge.
Since announcing the Glacier Champions campaign in the middle of November, the Conservancy has already brought in an additional $65,000, which will be directed to high priority projects that have not yet been funded, including popular visitor programs like Native America Speaks and project supplies for upcoming trail rehabilitation.
“In an era of flat public funding, private philanthropy provides for a margin of excellence beyond just the basics,” said Glacier Superintendent Jeff Mow. “Through Glacier Conservancy investment, the park is able to accomplish projects and launch new initiatives that benefit our visitors and park natural and cultural resources that would not otherwise be possible.”
Projects that still need funding include significant trail improvements to Avalanche Lakeshore and Trail Of The Cedars on the west side of the park, and upgrades to Iceberg Lake Trail and the trail system around St. Mary Lake on the east side. Each trail receives high visitation, and rehabilitation is necessary to make hiking experiences exceptional, and to restore areas that become damaged by increased foot traffic.
Other initiatives that still require support include an ambitious Crown of the Continent Wildlife study that would stretch beyond Glacier into neighboring states and across the border to Canada. Also requested are studies on Glacier’s wolf, chipmunk, and mountain goat populations.
For a full list of projects, and to donate, please click here.