In December 2016, Yellowstone Association and Yellowstone Park Foundation merged to form Yellowstone Forever, which is now the official nonprofit partner of Yellowstone National Park.
The organization aims to “connect people to Yellowstone National Park through outstanding visitor experiences and educational programs and translate those experiences into lifelong support and philanthropic investment to conserve and enhance the park for the future,” according to the Yellowstone Forever website.
“Yellowstone Forever is dedicated to conserving this crown jewel of our national park system,” said Heather White, president and CEO of Yellowstone Forever, who will oversee the newly created entity. “We will connect even more people to Yellowstone national park through outstanding visitor experiences and educational programs. Our work will spark a new era of stewardship and philanthropy to support the growing needs of the world’s first national park and to ensure that Yellowstone lasts for years to come.”
Through the organization, travelers to Yellowstone can participate on programs that range from one day to three weeks and focus on a wide range of topics that spotlight Yellowstone’s geothermal areas, trails, wildlife and beyond. Programs have included themes like “Spring Wolf and Bear Discovery” to “Yellowstone for Families.”
In addition to providing unique programmatic opportunities, the organization also aims to support the park financially in numerous ways. For instance, one of its projects is “Sponsor a Bear Box,” which enables people to donate money to help the park install more bear-proof food containers at roadside campgrounds. Having bear-proof food storage boxes at the park’s campgrounds helps protect visitors that stay at the campgrounds and prevent bears from getting accustomed to human food and associating campgrounds with food. According to the organization, more than 1,200 bear boxes are still needed as of December 2016 to meet the park’s goal to provide a box in every campground site.
Yellowstone Association was founded in 1933 and the Yellowstone Park Foundation was founded in 1996.
Learn more at www.yellowstone.org.