An Invaluable Partner...
The Great Basin National Park Foundation was established and incorporated in 1998 under the laws of the State of Nevada. Its purpose is to raise funds for Great Basin National Park and the National Park Service in order to achieve the park's mission. Bonnie Bryan, wife of Senator Richard H. Bryan of Nevada, served as the Founding Chairperson. The Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. To date, the Foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and has been able to support the Park in several projects, including increasing access to park trails,recording and transcribing oral histories, and exhibits for the new Great Basin Visitor Center in Baker, Nevada.
The next big project of the Foundation is shooting for the stars, literally. The Great Basin Observatory, a research-class astronomical observatory, will be first of its kind in any national park. The Great Basin Observatory will open up the darkest night skies in the United States to scientists, and future scientists, by conducting world-class research and education. This project is funded completely through donations...if you'd like to contribute and be a part of this historical project please see www.greatbasinobservatory.org.
The Foundation has been instrumental in the development of the park's astronomy program. The park started these programs in 2010 without any equipment. In the ensuing years, the Foundation has provided the park with well over $10,000 to purchase multiple telescopes, both astronomical and solar, for the visitors to enjoy. In that time, over 50,000 park visitors have been able to reconnect with the night sky in one of the darkest places on earth.
In 2007, the Foundation developed a Strategic Plan that established the following vision:
- Every person who enters into the Great Basin and passes through the region will know where they have been and will understand conceptually what the Great Basin is.
- Future generations will enjoy wide open landscapes, cleanair, dark night skies, vigorous and diverse native ecosystems, and thriving local cultures. The Great Basin is enjoyed for its space, silence, and solitude, and given protection on par with its diverse and unique natural and cultural resources.
- Great Basin National Park will be a recognized jewel of the National Park system, with ample opportunities for volunteering and citizen involvement, healthy and sustainable native ecosystems, improved visitor facilities, and expanded access to more remote areas of the park and its spectacular backcountry.
- Knowledge and appreciation of the Great Basin's natural and cultural resources - including, but not limited to the park - will be integrated in a cross-disciplinary approach into Nevada and Utah's elementary and high school curriculums.
- Increased interest in the park and the region will support the tourism industry and tourism infrastructure will improve in Baker and other local communities, offering visitors more and better options and improving their overall Great Basin experience.
Visit the Great Basin National Park Foundation website to learn more about the Foundation, current projects, and opportunities for making financial or in-kind contributions.