Glacier Centennial Legacy Projects

The creation of Glacier as a national park was only the first step in preserving and protecting this special wonder. It will take the work of each generation to ensure that it is protected for the generations that follow. The Glacier National Park Fund (GNPF) has launched a Centennial Legacy Campaign with both short and long term goals that will honor Glacier National Park’s 100th birthday. The campaign includes legacy projects and endowments established to commemorate this historic event and will set the stage for our beloved Park’s next 100 years.

The Legacy Projects represent the short term goals and were identified through listening sessions and feedback from our wonderful visitors. GNPF has undertaken these projects as a birthday gift for the Park in addition to help funding programs and events for the Centennial. GNPF invites you to help them reach their goal of $250,000 and make these projects a reality in 2010.

The longer term goals include projects and endowments for trails, research, historical and cultural preservation and Glacier National Park's free in-Park education program that reaches over 8,000 children each year. GNPF's goal is $2.5 million for these projects over the next five years.


Centennial Legacy Project List

Increase Number of Accessible Trails ($80,000)
Increasing the number of accessible trails will create opportunities for visitors regardless of age or ability to enjoy the grandeur of Glacier. The Many Glacier Valley has been chosen with two ideal locations in mind, a section adjacent to the Many Glacier Hotel granting access to the existing Swiftcurrent Lake trail and a segment of trail through the aspen trees to Swiftcurrent Creek from the Grinnell Glacier trailhead and picnic area.

Build Watchable Wildlife Viewing Platform at Many Glacier ($75,000)
Wildlife viewing in the Many Glacier Valley is plentiful and exciting but can be potentially harmful as well. This wheelchair-accessible raised viewing platform would improve visitor safety and overall experience by offering 360 degree views while protecting wildlife by limiting human interactions that induce negative stress effects.

Preserve Heavens Peak Fire Lookout ($35,700)
During World War II Glacier National Park hosted a Civilian Public Service (CPS) Camp where conscientious objectors from the “historic peace churches” could, according to Dave Walter in his book entitled Rather than War: The Story of Civilian Public Service Camp #55, Belton, Montana, perform work of national significance and “contribute to the welfare of the nation without bearing arms against another human being.” The most enduring legacy of the CPS in Glacier National Park is the Heavens Peak Lookout, which the men constructed in 1945. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1986, it is in critical need of immediate stabilization if it is to be preserved.

Upgrade Logan Pass Visitor Center Exterior Exhibits and Trail Information ($36,500)
Logan Pass is possibly the most visited spot in Glacier National Park and is ideally suited to introduce visitors to several park interpretive themes. This project will include exhibit panels focused on the geologic history of the spectacular mountain landscape, the fragile nature of alpine ecology in a changing climate and the park’s active revegetation program. The additions will also include a new “peak finder” and a combination of benches and large rocks to improve outdoor seating opportunities for interpretive talks and passive alpine scenery viewing. These upgrades will provide a more holistic look at the broad issue of global climate change and the effects that visitors to Glacier National Park will see now and for years to come.

Develop “People in Glacier” Education Materials ($20,000)
This project is broad in scope and would develop several different components that encompass human history, how the use of Glacier resources has changed over time and the affects of human impact. The project would include curriculum for teachers, interpretive ranger led programs, on-line activities and interactive galleries featuring artifact photos, educational travelling trunks and special outreach programs for local students during the 2010 school year. These human history lessons would highlight stories, photos, diaries, etc. about people in Glacier including Blackfeet, Salish/Kootenai, Prospectors, Homesteaders, Trappers, Businessmen, Tourists and Park Rangers in an effort to educate the public about the diverse cultural groups that have shaped this area.

Restore Dark Night Skies Initiative ($75,000)
Natural night skies have become rare and are threatened by light pollution -- the cumulative glow of poorly designed outdoor lighting. As the public loses the experience of a dark sky in their backyards, they are increasingly seeking it out in their national parks. Yet, even in relatively remote Glacier National Park there are places where lighting retrofits are needed to restore the natural “night lightscape” - the visual quality of the nighttime landscape that is dependent on natural light sources and darkness. For public enjoyment of the night and to safeguard nocturnal habitat, we need to take action to preserve Glacier's starry skies.

Continue "Citizen Science in Glacier High Country" Program in 2010 ($25,000)
The High Country Citizen Science project engages volunteers to collect data on the number and distribution of three high country wildlife species of management concern: mountain goats, Clark's nutcrackers, and pikas. Glacier National Park Fund supported the project in 2008 and 2009. Because of the dual success of acquiring valuable natural resource data for the park and engaging an interested public in scientific research, the program will be extended through the Centennial year. In addition, the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center will develop a web page highlighting results of Citizen Science, so the public can easily see the fruits of their labors and share it with others.

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