Projects

  • Sperry Action Fund

    On August 31, 2017, the Sprague Fire burned the dormitory building at the Sperry Chalet Complex. The Sperry Action Fund was established by the Glacier Conservancy to cover the cost of both immediate known needs and possible future needs specifically related to work at the chalet.

    Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, we are pleased to announce that the initial request for the Sperry Action Fund has been fully funded.

    In the weeks after the fund was announced, a structural assessment of the burned dormitory building was completed, all materials were purchased for winter stabilization, and those materials and a crew were transported to the site to complete the work before the onset of winter weather.

    The crew will stabilize the walls, sandwich the gables with plywood and surround the chimneys with collars of wood, protecting the stone structures from wind and snow loads.

    Looking into 2018, we anticipate additional requests from the park as site restoration continues and we'll be ready to answer the call.

    Click here for more information and to donate to the fund.

  • Replace Fluorescent Light Bulbs at Park Headquarters with LED Bulbs

    The goal of this project is to remove all 861 4-foot fluorescent bulbs in the headquarters building and the most used bulbs throughout buildings in the headquarters and Apgar areas and replace them with 4-foot LED bulbs that are compatible with fluorescent fixture ballasts requiring no rewiring of fixtures. These 4-foot fluorescent bulbs use over twice the power of replacement LED bulbs, and the storage and disposal of fluorescent bulbs is more costly than LED bulbs. This simple update will reduce annual operational costs of basic park administrative operations, freeing up the funds typically spent on electricity to be spent on other projects throughout the park.

  • Rebuild St. Mary Falls Bridge

    This project is fully funded thanks to Mark and Mary Ann Miller.

    Due to its close proximity to the Going-to-the-Sun Road, St. Mary Falls is one of the most highly visited day use sites in Glacier National Park. Currently, the walking surface and handrail are beginning to age and show sign of rot. This project would rebuild the existing bridge at St. Mary Falls to alleviate safety and aesthetic concerns at this extremely popular site. If not addressed within the next two years, the bridge could become a safety concern.

  • Half the Park Happens After Dark

    This project is fully funded thanks to donors at Backpacker's Ball.

    Glacier National Park is now the first transboundary dark sky park in conjunction with Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada. This designation  demands  cooperation  as  well as a commitment to protecting and improving the night sky in these two parks. Educating visitors about the importance of the dark sky is also a required element of dark sky park status, and a key to spreading the word about Glacier’s special night skies and why they are important to protect for future generations.

    Visitors and wildlife both benefit from a truly dark sky and to be able to experience the kind of darkness under which humans evolved as a species. While this program has focused on telescopic observations of deep sky objects and planets, there is now also education covering a bigger-picture view of the night sky, the important emotional connections it provides, and the need to protect the dark sky experience as a cultural activity enjoyed by humans since we began asking questions about the world around us. Glacier’s very dark sky provides a huge impact for visitors from more polluted environments and encourages them to care about the sky where they live.

    This project  will provide  support  for  one  of  the  most popular interpretive programs at Glacier National Park – an opportunity to look through a telescope at the wonders of the night sky (and our sun during the day) and to learn about why dark nights are important – not only to view wonderful celestial objects, but as critical periods for many animal and plant species, and directly connected to human health and well-being.

    Programs are provided five days per week at Apgar and St. Mary. The park also hosts star parties at Logan Pass with the help of the Big Sky Astronomy Club. This request also provides support for the first full season of operation for a new observatory at St. Mary, funded through the Glacier Conservancy in 2016. More advanced programming as well as educational outreach will be provided at this new facility.

    Programming at St. Mary will also provide a bridge between a western scientific perspective and Blackfeet cultural interpretations of the night sky. This part of the program will be coordinated with the Conservancy-funded Tribal Outreach Program. A stronger focus will be placed on the value of the recent designation as Waterton-Glacier International Dark Sky Park and the many values associated with preserving pristine dark skies.

    Photo: Harun Mehmedinovic & Gavin Heffernan

  • Glacier Trail Crew Intern

    This project would fund a paid intern position in the trails division and would focus on recruiting qualified candidates from the local community who would not otherwise qualify for any of the regular federal hiring authorities due to a lack of experience, or may otherwise be eliminated from consideration due to limited availability. This position would serve as a stepping stone to a potential position with NPS, and provide the skills necessary to compete for those jobs successfully. The main objective would be to provide entry level job skills and experience on a professional trail crew.

  • Glacier in Focus

    The “Parks in Focus” program created by the Udall Foundation  brings  youth  from  Boys  &  Girls  Clubs across Western Montana, a region rich in public lands and resources, to Glacier National Park for a week of camping, hiking and environmental education, anchored by a thematic focus on photography techniques and its application as a tool for conservation.

    Nature photography and a week-long immersion in the park invites this diverse cohort of young stewards to gain familiarity with ecological relationships and wilderness skills, acting as a ballast against the challenges and hardships they may be facing. Participants in these programs learn far more than photography skills and ecology; through experiential learning opportunities around Apgar campground, students become comfortable and accountable in the outdoors, a vital step in the continuity of public lands and national parks throughout their lifetimes.

    This special program will host 24 middle school youth for 50 hours of program knowledge, skills and engagement in partnership with the park, the Glacier Institute, and the Boys & Girls Clubs.

     

    Photo: Parks In Focus

  • Developing the 21st Century Park Ranger

    In a technology-dominated world, there is still a desire to visit wild places and reconnect to a simpler life. The Wilderness Act of 1964 preserved wild places and provided a management framework to maintain them, but ironically, increasing technological sophistication in the workforce has led away from careers utilizing traditional ranger skills and left a drying pool of wilderness champions to protect wilderness values and manage for the future.

    The challenge for 21st century wilderness advocates is to develop managers who embrace the benefits of technology to implement wilderness management ideals and who also possess the traditional skills necessary for monitoring and measuring the success of those plans in the wilderness setting.

    This will be the third year for this program. The position duties are split between field and office, developing future wilderness managers with a balance of technological and traditional skills. Skill in technology and tradition are necessary for creating reasonable wilderness management plans with measurable results. These positions produce immediate tactical benefits to Glacier National Park backcountry users resulting from added staffing in backcountry permit offices and increased ranger presence in the backcountry. The potential long-term benefits are significant as interns move on to future managerial roles and chart the course of wilderness protection for the rest of this century.

  • Investing in Teachers: A Forest for Every Classroom

    This project is fully funded thanks to the Thomas O. Brown Foundation and the Veverka Family Foundation.

    Forest for Every Classroom was established in 1999, a unique collaboration of partners comprised of Shelburne Farms, National Wildlife Federation, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service Conservation Study Institute and Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park who came together with a common vision: If students are immersed in the interdisciplinary study of their own “place,” they will be more eager to learn and become involved in the stewardship of their communities and public lands.

    Through this partnership, they developed “Forest for Every Classroom.” This is a collaboration of at least one non-profit natural history or environmental education organization, and at least one land management agency who are committed to bringing a one-year professional training experience to teachers focused on place-based education in and about local forest areas. Flathead National Forest proposes partnering with Glacier National Park to focus on the Flathead watershed.

    This program is aimed at changing the way educators perceive and practice their profession. In the course of the year-long program, educators are provided with the knowledge, skills and mentoring necessary to revitalize their curriculum with effective and engaging place-based learning opportunities using nearby public lands and forested landscapes as their classrooms. Participating educators have the opportunity to work with some of the very best resource professionals in their region. Educators develop  their own individualized curriculum, increasing student literacy skills while also enhancing student understanding and appreciation for public lands and forests in and near their own communities. This program encourages “hands-on”  study  of  community  resources,  both  natural  and cultural, integrating concepts of ecology, sense of place, land management and stewardship, service learning and civics.

  • Science and Resource Management Intern

    This program would recruit one intern from a local high school to work with various natural and cultural resources staff and crews. The student will experience firsthand a variety of activities that are conducted in the park for the sake of conservation. Activities would include working at the native plant nursery, including seed collection, out-planting with the revegetation crew, weed identification and hand-pulling, working with GPS and GIS participating in various fisheries and wildlife projects, and field experience with an archaeologist.

  • Young Scholar Research Fellowships

    Park managers have identified a long list of priority research needs, with far more needs than can ever be addressed with internal NPS funding sources. The park relies heavily on research scientists from universities and other research agencies to provide data to improve decision-making for the management of park resources.

    Fully funding new research projects is often a costly endeavor. This project is a creative solution to economically meet many of the park’s research needs by providing seed money in the form of student fellowships to attract graduate and superior upper division undergraduate students to conduct their research projects in Glacier, selecting their project ideas from the research needs list and developing them with the support of a park manager.

    With this funding a new fellowship opportunity, entitled The Glacier National Park Conservancy Research Fellowship, would support research by students from schools affiliated with the Rocky Mountains Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (RMCESU). Projects may address either natural or cultural resource issues or social science that informs resource management about park resources. Fellowships would be awarded in the range of $3,000-$5,000 per project, and up to five projects would be supported with this funding.

    Students are expected to provide a final project report and copies of any publications resulting from the research. In addition, they will prepare a one-page, illustrated project summary suitable for the general public, and an additional educational product to facilitate information transfer beyond the scientific audience.

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