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June 4, 2012

Yellowstone Park Foundation Announces $200,000 In New Grants To Yellowstone National Park

Donations to the Foundation help fund Wildlife Research, Historic Preservation, and more

Bozeman, MT, June 4, 2012 — The Yellowstone Park Foundation, the official fundraising partner of Yellowstone National Park, recently announced more than $200,000in new grants to the Park. These funds will make possible a wide range of projects, including bat research, energy use reduction, and preservation of Yellowstone's rich heritage.

"While the Yellowstone Park Foundation funds more visible projects in the Park such as trail restoration and educational exhibits, much of their important work happens behind the scenes," explained Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk.

"The Foundation and its supporters fund critical research studies, meticulous preservation work, and improvements to help the Park reduce its environmental footprint. These activities are often outside the scope of government funding, but are so important to maintaining Yellowstone's status as a worldwide leader in conservation," said Wenk.

Each year, Yellowstone's superintendent submits proposals to the Yellowstone Park Foundation for priority projects that are beyond the financial capacity of the National Park Service. A few of the new grants approved last month by the Foundation's board of directors are:

$10,000 to enhance the Geothermal Research Network, a data-sharing collaboration among scientists who study Yellowstone's 10,000 geysers and other geothermal features.

$15,000 for a research study on little brown bats, a species that could become regionally extinct in the U.S. due to the spread of the disease White-Nose Syndrome.

$40,000 to replace outdated outdoor lighting fixtures in the Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District with energy-efficient LEDs that will decrease light pollution and significantly reduce energy costs.

$10,000 to expand Yellowstone's oral history collection by recording interviews with individuals who played key roles in wolf reintroduction 17 years ago.

$60,000 for historic documentation and preservation in the Old Faithful Lower Hamilton Store, built in 1897. Work will focus on the "Million Dollar Room," office of legendary Park concessioner Charles A. Hamilton, who papered the walls with hundreds of cancelled checks totaling $1,839,105.

$10,000 to update outdoor educational exhibits with QR tags. These coded graphics will provide links to in-depth content online so that visitors with smart phones can access more detailed information, including in foreign languages, on-the-spot.

$60,000 to continue the Stop Aquatic Invaders program, which addresses the serious problem of invasive species in the Park's waters, and provides visitor education as well as boat inspection and cleaning.

These new projects complement several ongoing, multi-year projects supported by the Yellowstone Park Foundation, such as the Native Fish Conservation Program,tracking collars for Yellowstone Wolf Project research, the Sponsor a Bear Box program, and the Yellowstone Youth Conservation Corps.

This new batch of grants follows closely on the heels of $1.45 million in grants announced by the Yellowstone Park Foundation in March of 2012.

"Our role as Yellowstone's fundraising partner is to follow the needs of the Park," said Yellowstone Park Foundation President Karen Bates Kress. "When Yellowstone has priority needs to meet, we aim to respond as quickly as we can. Citizen stewardship of the Park makes that possible."

The work of the nonprofit Yellowstone Park Foundationis funded by tax-deductible contributions. More than 15,000 individuals, foundations, and corporations donated to the Foundation in the past year.

The Bozeman, Montana-based Yellowstone Park Foundation has been the official fundraising partner of Yellowstone National Park since 1996. The mission of the Foundation is to fund projects and programs that protect, preserve, and enhance the natural and cultural resources and the visitor experience of Yellowstone National Park. Learn more at