Montana Public Radio

Nonprofits Donate $2 Million To Improve Gardiner's Yellowstone Entrance

Nov 6, 2019

Two nonprofits have raised $2 million for a Yellowstone National Park construction project, and managed to do so in a very short time.

Yellowstone Forever, the official nonprofit partner of Yellowstone National Park, announced Wednesday it raised $1 million in private funds over three days at the end of September.

Those funds have been matched dollar for dollar using federal funds appropriated for the National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service. The $2 million will be delivered directly to the Park’s North Entrance Project.

The current North Entrance Station in Gardiner, Montana, is not equipped to meet the challenges of increasing visitation and traffic. Last year, roughly 365,000 vehicles came through the entrance, up 22% from 2013.

The upcoming project redesigns the north entrance to handle a greater capacity. The construction will add an additional lane and kiosk to improve traffic flow and reduce queuing lines. It will also replace the existing two buildings, improve the flow of employee and delivery traffic from Robert Reamer Avenue and improve pedestrian safety by realigning parking along Robert Reamer Avenue. The project will also replace the water line along Robert Reamer Avenue

“This $2 million donation helps the park reach its funding goal for the North Entrance Project,” said John Walda, interim president and CEO of Yellowstone Forever. “We would have not been able to capitalize on this remarkable opportunity for Yellowstone if it wasn’t for the support of our generous partners and donors, and we thank them for the chance to provide a lasting impact on the park.”

Cameron Sholly, superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, agreed.

“We couldn’t accomplish all that we do without partners like Yellowstone Forever and the National Park Foundation,” she said. “These funds will help the National Park Service leverage the federal funding already allocated for this project.”

“This critically important project demonstrates the power of public-private partnerships to accelerate investments that improve park visitor experiences in a very tangible way,” added Will Shafroth, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation.