A foundation has stepped up to offer a $20,000 matching challenge for the Glacier National Park Conservancy’s fundraising campaign.
All new donations to the Conservancy will be matched one to one up to $20,000 by the Windmill Foundation through Dec. 31 during the Glacier Champions campaign.
“This represents a significant opportunity for our community,” Conservancy President Mark Preiss said. “Trail improvements, activities for children and wildlife research are all possible with this matching challenge. In fact, just 400 people would need to donate $50 to help the Conservancy win the $20,000 matching challenge.”
Since announcing the Glacier Champions campaign in November, the Conservancy has brought in $65,000 that will be directed to high-priority projects that have not yet been funded, including popular visitor programs such as Native America Speaks and project supplies for upcoming trail rehabilitation.
The Conservancy last month announced an initial grant of $450,000 to Glacier National Park for the 2015 season. This represents an increase of $100,000 over 2013.
The National Park Service had submitted a request to the Conservancy for more than 50 projects totaling $1.7 million.
The Conservancy is now trying to fund as many additional projects as possible between now and the end of the year.
“In an era of flat public funding, private philanthropy provides for a margin of excellence beyond just the basics,” Glacier Superintendent Jeff Mow said. “Through Glacier Conservancy investment, the park is able to accomplish projects and launch new initiatives that benefit our visitors and park natural and cultural resources that would not otherwise be possible.”
Projects that still need funding include significant trail improvements to Avalanche Lake and Trail of the Cedars on the west side of the park and upgrades to the Iceberg Lake Trail and the trail system around St. Mary Lake on the east side. Each trail receives high visitation.
Other initiatives that still require support include an ambitious Crown of the Continent wildlife study that would stretch beyond Glacier into neighboring states and across the border to Canada. Also requested are studies on Glacier’s wolf, chipmunk and mountain goat populations.
For more on the Conservancy or to donate, go to glacierconservancy.org.