Glacier National Park Proposals Certified Eligible for Centennial Challenge Matching Funds
Contact: Melissa Wilson, 406 888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Four of Glacier National Park’s centennial proposals are among the 201 proposals National Park Service Director Mary Bomar and Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced at a press conference in Yosemite National Park yesterday.
“The National Park Service has, after a rigorous review, certified these proposals as eligible for centennial challenge matching funds,” Bomar said. “The centennial challenge is a critical element in the National Park Centennial Initiative put forward by President Bush and unveiled by Secretary Kempthorne one year ago. The full centennial initiative is a potential $3 billion investment in our national parks, two-thirds of it a public-private partnership of matching money.”
Glacier National Park Superintendent Mick Holm noted, “Glacier’s projects will enhance stewardship, promote environmental leadership, and increase the public’s understanding of the park and its history. We are grateful to our partners who support these and other projects.”
Among Glacier’s certified projects is Celebrate Glacier’s Centennial. This project will increase the public’s awareness of the park’s history through several efforts, including a museum exhibit at the Montana Historical Society and the development of an online interpretive museum exhibit. The total cost for this project is $350,000 and The Glacier National Park Fund (GNPF) has committed to providing half of the cost.
Another certified project receiving support from the GNPF is the Volunteer Stewardship Program- Training Development and Implementation of Citizen Supported Restoration. This $80,000 project will enhance the training and recruitment of plant restoration volunteers and prepare select volunteers to lead all aspects of site restoration at six campgrounds. The GNPF will provide $40,000.
GNPF Executive Director Jane Ratzlaff said, “We are so pleased that these important projects have been certified for Centennial Challenge Matching Funds. The matching funds make philanthropic donations even more valuable to preserving Glacier’s beauty and cultural heritage.”
The Handicapped Accessible and Environmental Education Support Facilities- Lake McDonald Lodge project will create an environmental education outreach space in the lodge, create a new employee recreation facility, make site improvements and improve site accessibility near the new structures. The concessioner Glacier Park, Inc. (GPI) will construct a handicapped accessible concession employee dormitory. GPI has pledge $2.5 million to this $5 million project.
“We are very excited about this joint project which will open up new interpretive space for visitors and will create new accessible and environmentally-friendly employee living conditions at Lake McDonald. This project will benefit park visitors, improve park conditions, and enhance the park experience for both guests and employees,” commented Cindy Ognjanov, President and General Manager, Glacier Park, Inc.
The Integrated Ecosystem Management in the Crown of the Continent project would enable the 22 members of the international Crown Manager’s partnership, which includes Glacier National Park, to more effectively carry out its mission to cooperate in managing the shared resources of the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem and engage the public in those activities. Contributing $150,000 to the three-year $300,000 project include four partners- Parks Canada, the Alberta Ministry of Environment, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and the British Columbia Ministry of Environment.
The full list of centennial challenge-eligible projects and programs is available on-line at the National Park Service centennial web site www.nps.gov/2016.
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Did You Know?
Did you know that eight inches of snow fell during one night in Glacier's high country in August, 2005? The weather forced hundreds of backpackers out of the backcountry.