Education

Each fall and spring, buses deliver over 8,000 school children to Glacier National Park who are eager to develop new skills and experience the wonder of the natural world. Families arrive for multi-generational guided park adventures. Teachers arrive to attend workshops designed to provide hands-on standards-based curriculum training for classroom and park learning. In the summer, Glacier Youth Corps sets out to repair trails, paint buildings, give public programs, and learn about careers in public lands. The Conservancy facilitates strategic education initiatives designed to engage current and future park stewards of all ages by funding programming, transportation, and endowments that ensure our children and grandchildren all have the opportunity to become a part of Glacier’s scientific, historic and conservation story.

Projects That Need Your Support

Expand Citizen Science Opportunities 

Funding Needed: $ 75,000

Students looking through binoculars
Citizen Science at Bowman Lake / Jacob W. Frank

Since 2005 the Glacier National Park Citizen Science Program has used citizen scientists to collect population data on “species of interest,” or species thought to be in decline in the Park. Due to shrinking budgets NPS can no longer fund this critical research. This program is a double win: It uses adult and student volunteers to help gather valuable data for Park managers while creating an informed group of visitors who become actively involved in Park stewardship. The Glacier National Park Conservancy supports the Park’s Citizen Science programs at 100 percent. Without donations to the Conservancy, these research programs simply would not happen.

Summer Youth Engagement Initiative 

Funding Needed: $33,100

Taking the Junior Ranger Oath
Taking the Junior Ranger Oath / Jacob W. Frank

The National Park Service has identified the need to connect children with parks as one of the top five critical issues facing our national parks. This innovative program uses a multifaceted approach to engage youth, provide experiential opportunities and forge connections during the summer at Glacier. From staffing the Apgar Nature Center to supplying 24,000 Junior Ranger booklets, this grant provides multiple touchpoints with families and kids on their summer break. It also funds teacher rangers for formal children’s programs and activities, maintains a campground children’s lending library and provides professional development opportunities for local teachers.

21st Century Park Ranger

Funding Needed: $34,000

Ranger showing animal fur to visitor
Ranger Tour on the De Smet / Jacob W. Frank

Even John Muir split his time between being outdoors and dealing with the then-current publishing demand to sit and write in his journal about what he saw and experienced. And aren’t we glad he did? This grant recognizes that in the 21st century, technology is changing what being a “ranger” looks like, and funds two hybrid positions that provide half of the experience in the field and half in the office. The resulting combination of metrics, technology, management, visitor interaction and field work will benefit both the interns and the Park.

Backcountry Ranger Internship Program

Funding Needed: $19,850

Secretary Jewell and Rangers at Logan Pass
Secretary Jewell and Rangers at Logan Pass / Jacob W. Frank

This project will increase the number of backcountry intern positions supported by the Glacier Conservancy from one to three. This significant investment is based on the success of the current program (Glacier’s own Chief Ranger, Paul Austin, began as a Student Conservation Association intern) and increased pressure on the backcountry. Expanding the program and providing young leaders with an understanding and appreciation for the wilderness will have a meaningful, positive effect on long-term preservation of the Park’s backcountry.

Funding Transportation for School Field Trips

Funding Needed: $28,000

Kids hugging ranger in front of school bus
Winter field trip to Glacier / Sheperd Waldenberger

In the 2017 - 2018 school year, the Conservancy funded 65 travel grants to nearby schools. Increasingly, schools have no budget for field trips and the Conservancy must bridge the gap to help students get to the Park to connect classroom curriculum with in-Park programming. Most of the funding is awarded to schools in underserved communities where, on average, 45% of kids on the field trips have never been to Glacier National Park. Kids who experience the resource will become the next generation of stewards for the Park.

Deploy Live Webcams in the Park

Funding Needed: $22,000

Black Bear Open Mouth Yawn
Black Bear Open Mouth Yawn Screen Shot / NPS

In spring 2018 a bear hibernating in a tree in Glacier went viral, capturing the attention of the nation, and even the world. Webcams provide a wonderful opportunity for people to connect with Glacier and nature. This project would fund six cameras that the Park may use as needed for wildlife sightings, public meetings, Park programming, and even fires.

Interpretive Youth Internship Program

Funding Needed: $30,000

Ranger showing bugs to children
Ranger showing bugs to children / NPS

Each of the eight interpretive interns employed through this historically successful program will have substantive interaction with an estimated 1,500 visitors to Glacier Park during the summer season. Funding for these stipend-based youth internships are not eligible for federal funding, and depend on partner support to provide this win-win experience for the interns and public they serve. Program alumni often go on to have enriching careers in the National Park Service.

Columbia Falls High School Cooperative Greenhouse Winter Internship 

Funding Needed: $3,060

Girl planting in Glacier National Park
Native plant restoration in Glacier / Jacob W. Frank

Glacier National Park and School District 6 in Columbia Falls have a cooperative greenhouse located on the campus of Columbia Falls High School. This program funds a winter intern who is responsible for greenhouse operations and will mentor students in the propagation and maintenance of up to 6,000 native plants for use in Glacier Park restoration projects.

Half the Park Happens After Dark

Funding Needed: $66,920

Hiker looking at stars
Under the stars in the mountains / © Travis Burke Photography

Designated the world’s first crossboundary Dark Sky Park in 2017, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park now enters a project expansion phase that includes installation of a state-of-the-art observatory in 2018. This grant will expand astronomy education with nightly programs at the St. Mary observatory and Apgar Visitor Center, the popular Star Parties at Logan Pass, and development of Dark Sky educational and promotional materials for local communities.

Native America Speaks

Funding Needed: $58,000

North American Indian Days, Browning, Blackfeet Indian Reservation
North American Indian Days, Browning, Blackfeet Indian Reservation / Donnie Sexton

This award-winning program, now in its 35th year at Glacier National Park, is the longest-running indigenous speaker series in the National Park Service. Our grant funds 100 events in the Park each year, attended by more than 7,500 visitors. This program provides a unique window into the meaning and history of the place we now call Glacier National Park from the different perspectives of the Blackfeet, Salish, Pend d’Oreille, and Kootenai peoples.

Tribal Outreach and Engagement

Funding Needed: $40,457

Blackfeet Tipis
Blackfeet Tipis / Bob Webster

Expanding and enhancing interactions with tribal communities is crucial to the long-term health of Glacier National Park. This grant provides the Park with resources to commit personnel to the important work of building trust and community with tribal stakeholders.

Glacier Youth Conservation Corps

Funding Needed: $101,800

Veterans Green Corps

Funding Needed: $30,200

Corps member working in Glacier
Corps member working in Glacier / MCC

Our slogan this year is The Corps is the Core. The Glacier Youth Corps, the Blackfeet Corps and the Veterans Corps are truly the “core” of both the work that takes place to preserve the place we so treasure, and of who we are as a people. They are – and we are – about hard work, community, commitment, service, personal growth and leaving a place better for our having been there.

Whether it’s young people getting a start in the Youth Corps or Veterans getting a new start, the Conservation Corps work changes lives in a way that few other investments can.

Archaeology Education Trunk

Funding Needed: $10,134

Ranger with Archaeology Education Trunk
Ranger with Archaeology Education Trunk / NPS

The Archeology Education Trunk is a mini-exhibit of archaeological objects used to engage with students and other groups during outreach events.

Ranger Pocket Reference

Funding Needed: $2,648

Park Ranger giving a Ranger Talk at Logan Pass.
Park Ranger giving a Ranger Talk at Logan Pass. / David Restivo

This small booklet fits in a Ranger’s uniform pocket and contains a vast breadth of critical reference materials, all available at a glance.

Science & Resources Management Intern

Funding Needed: $3,060

Surveying Vegetation on Pitamakan Peak
Surveying Vegetation on Pitamakan Peak / NPS

This paid internship will allow a local high school or college student to work with Science and Research staff.

Ranger-Led Field Trips, Distance Learning Classroom Visits

Funding Needed: $76,547

A park ranger using distance learning technology
A park ranger using distance learning technology / NPS

Provides education and training to enhance ranger-led field trips, classroom visits and distance learning programs.

Investing in Teachers: A Forest for Every Classroom

Funding Needed: $25,305

Park Ranger working with teachers
Teacher Workshop / Jacob W. Frank

Provides professional development opportunities for up to 30 educators from schools around the country.

Scholarships for NPS Staff

Funding Needed: $3,500

Professional development in Glacier
Professional development in Glacier / NPS

Provides training for a variety of on-the-job-related issues and topics for Glacier National Park staff.