Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Glacier Conservancy Announces 2015 Glacier Champions Campaign

The Glacier National Park Conservancy has announced that it will give an initial $450,000 in grant support to Glacier National Park, beginning January 1, 2015. The funds were raised through a series of community and national engagements in 2014, including One Day for Glacier and Backpacker’s Ball.

“This represents an initial grant to the park of nearly $100,000 more than last year,” said Glacier Conservancy president Mark Preiss. “Our community has stepped forward in a significant way, placing Glacier at the center of our philanthropic giving and our way of life.”

The funds will be applied to a suite of projects from Native America Speaks to rehabilitating the Highline Trail to developing an improved native plant nursery facility to welcome school children and volunteers.

The park submitted a $1.7 million funding request to the Conservancy for 2015, highlighting ambitious project proposals in research, education, and preservation.

In response to this funding request, Glacier National Park Conservancy is kicking off a seven week Glacier Champions campaign to raise additional funds for 2015 projects that have not yet been funded.

This campaign will endeavor to support initiatives like a ground breaking research project to study wildlife connectivity across the Crown of the Continent, looking at Glacier’s role within this ecosystem and how animals use wild places across Montana, neighboring states, and up into Canada. Other projects include improvements to the popular Trail of the Cedars, launching an expanded GIS Field Study program with area high schools, and next fall’s education programming.

Visitors to Glacier next summer will feel Glacier National Park Conservancy donations in nearly every aspect of their visit.

When they arrive at the entrance station, they will be given a free park newsletter, made possible solely by Conservancy donors. Whether arriving at the west entrance and heading to the newly renovated Apgar Visitor Center, a Conservancy supported project, or the east entrance at St. Mary to enjoy an updated amphitheater in the campground area, donor dollars will be hard at work making the visitor experience exceptional.

School children will arrive on Conservancy grant funded buses, and will be greeted by National Park Service education rangers and interns funded by the Conservancy. Visitors to campgrounds and picnic areas will enjoy additional food storage boxes to help keep wildlife wild, and out of eating areas. Native America Speaks will continue in 2015, its 31st year, financially supported entirely by Conservancy donors.

Behind the scenes, scientists and citizen science volunteers will be busily monitoring mountain goats, pika, and loons in order to ensure that ecosystems remain healthy for the years to come. Grizzly bears will be studied in greater detail, including advanced DNA analysis tied to movement patterns. Up in the North Fork region of the park, a new fish barrier will be constructed at Akokala Lake to preserve native bull trout and keep out invasive species. Intrepid park visitors who make the journey to Belly River Ranger Station will notice that significant improvements made to that historic structure to preserve it for future generations.

The Glacier Champions campaign will run through December 31, 2014. “We invite everyone to give,” said Preiss. “Last year, over 65% of our donors gave under $100. These are folks who don’t have thousands to donate financially, but want to express their love of the park in a way that makes sense for them.” This year, those that want to be a Glacier Champion by participating in this campaign can choose to direct their gift to the program they find most compelling. For a full list of projects, and to donate, please click here.


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