Nearly $1 million worth of projects, ranging from teen trail crews, bear boxes, and wildlife research, were underwritten at Grand Teton National Park during the past year by the Grand Teton National Park Foundation.
Through private support, the Foundation enabled an extensive list of visitor service, education, and improvement projects and assisted the park in offering high-quality interpretation, recreation, and education to visitors in an era when federal budgets are strained. The Foundation funded the work entirely through generous gifts from the organization’s national network of donors.
The projects spanned a wide range of enhancements and education that connect visitors to Grand Teton and improve resources:
* Construction of the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center auditorium.
* Discover Grand Teton, a new website that promotes the park's history, geology, and wild communities.
* A teen trail crew made up of 16 to 19-year-olds, a Latino outreach program for middle and high-school students, and leadership and internship programs for diverse high-school and college students.
* Seventy-one bear-resistant food storage boxes for park campsites.
* Critical funding for wildlife research that focuses on a wide variety of park species.
* An air quality monitoring station on the Kelly campus of Teton Science Schools that was a collaboration with Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, NPS, the Foundation, and Teton Sciences Schools.
* Water bottle refilling stations in eight locations in the park.
* Whitebark pine restoration.
“It’s been a terrific year and we are thrilled to fund work across many areas that are important to the park and to visitors,” Foundation President Leslie Mattson said. “It was a great achievement to put the finishing touch on the visitor center and to know that the park’s expanded programming will reach millions of people. I continue to be thankful for local as well as part-time residents who want to be involved in strengthening Grand Teton. We couldn’t be successful without each and every donor who cares about the park.”
At park headquarters, Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott said her staff "would be hard-pressed to accomplish some of our critical projects and programs without generous support from partners like the Grand Teton National Park Foundation.”
“We’re grateful for the Foundation’s remarkable work and commitment on key initiatives such as wildlife and air quality research, youth programs, trail maintenance, and construction of the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center," she added. "Together we’ll further Grand Teton’s core mission and protect park resources while providing valuable experiences and enjoyment for park visitors well into the future.”