Field Guide Awards Announced
Centennial Campaign Funds Twenty-One Projects with Over $1.4 Million for the 2020 Season
The Forever Project is working with a host of partners to help tackle some of the national park’s most pressing issues. The role is not taken lightly, and it requires a collaborative partnership including federal agencies, non-profits, local and state governments, and private partners and supporters. This formula has proven successful, providing funds for critical park programs, and maintaining a margin of excellence visitors expect.
“As Zion moves into its next century as a National Park, the work being done by the Zion Forever Project is even more crucial. Their voice in the community is curating a base of support across the state and the country, ” said Zion National Park Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh. “I am confident that through this partnership Zion will continue to adapt to solve challenges while remaining focused on our primary mission of conserving these lands and visitor experiences for the future.”
Funding for the Centennial 2020 Field Guide Projects is reflected in the Forever Project’s three mission pillars: Improving Today, Informing Tomorrow, and Protecting Forever. These pillars represent a vision for the park focusing on specific projects that respond to Zion’s immediate needs, as well as the future, by leading the discussion on creating a next generation of park solutions and stewards.
Zion National Park remained one of the most heavily visited national parks in the country continuing to climb beyond Yellowstone and Yosemite. Visitation this past year totaled over 4.5 million, but this continuing surge in visitation comes at a time when the national park is still burdened with decreased budgets and limited resources.
“The park’s 100 year anniversary provided us an opportunity to share our mission with supporters inside and outside of the park gates,” said Lyman Hafen, Executive Director of the Forever Project. “The Forever Project has created a meaningful way for local communities to voice their support for the park. The Project is moved by donors of all size, from dollar donations in the park stores to generous gifts from long time benefactors; each donation is a vote towards Zion’s future.”
Field Guide Grant Awards by Mission Area –
Improving Today –
responding to the immediate needs of the park
6 Projects = $892,000
Building a Visitor Center at Cedar Breaks-
High above Zion, at over 10,000 feet, sits Cedar Breaks National Monument. This alpine treasure welcomes over half a million people each year; yet all of its critical visitor services are located in a beautiful, but aging CCC cabin that is only 650 square feet. This gift to the National Monument will lay the foundation for the construction of a next-generation park visitor center providing a permanent home for park operations, programs, and visitor experiences.
Answering a Call from Zion’s First Responders –
Zion’s Search and Rescue Team dedicates hundreds of hours to advance their expertise as first responders. This gift to the park allows the Zion SAR Team to fulfill the long-term vision of building two climbing/rappel towers, connected by a catwalk, near their Emergency Operations Center. This gift provides a controlled work environment for some of Zion’s most tenacious rangers as they train to deliver an essential visitor service for the park.
Informing Tomorrow –
focusing on the next generation of park stewards and park solutions
8 Projects = $343,000
Sensing Real-Time Park Data –
At the entry gates, a constant flow of guests approach by car, bus, bike, and on foot. These guests are anxious for a Zion experience and seek advice. Zion, like other National Parks, has struggled to provide real-time information on use levels to visitors who are in or on their way to the park. Zion is partnering with Dixie State University, Dixie Technical College, and Southern Utah University to document the next-level understanding of visitor behavior and use patterns. The Park Data project brings the skills of Utah’s technology-centered workforce to make a unique gift of increased and applied data as well as the development of a responsive mobile app.
Preparing Utah’s College Students for Public Lands Careers –
For over a decade, passionate students from across Utah have been connected with internship opportunities in public lands in Utah, Arizona, and Nevada through the IIC (Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative). The Zion Forever Project works to fund those operations in Zion National Park, as well as in Cedar Breaks and Pipe Spring National Monuments. Students work alongside rangers behind the desk and out in the field. Their combined efforts contribute more than 29,000 hours to the National Park Service. Since 2013, the IIC reports 47% of its participants maintain working roles and relations with public lands. Funding this year ensures another season of dedicated students seeking to enrich public lands.
Protecting Forever –
preserving the park’s heritage, biodiversity, and natural wonders forever
7 Projects = $244,900
Caring For Zion’s Centennial Condor Chick –
The successful fledging of Zion’s condor chick (K1 as the chick has come to be known) has captivated enthusiasts. It is the first ever inside of park boundaries. These funds will rebuild condor trap pens needed to facilitate health checkups. It will also allow for the purchasing of additional GPS transmitters to track individual birds and allow Zion biologists to monitor breeding behavior, locate undiscovered nest sites, and observe bird movement and health over the long-term.
You are Going to be Our Elders One Day –
Preserving the history and culture of some of Zion’s earliest people means funding programs like the Southern Paiute tribal youth camps that allow tribal leaders and elders to share their knowledge with their younger generation. Welcoming Southern Paiute youth, Camp Kwiyamuntsi is an opportunity for Paiute youth to gather and connect. Circled around evening campfires, youth learn traditional songs, share personal struggles, and absorb lessons centered in Southern Paiute understanding of geology, plants, wildlife, and water. Concurrently, agency leaders from the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management conduct hands-on activities offering meaningful mentorship for Paiute youth interested in public lands careers.
In addition to these funded projects, Zion Forever is proud of another project moving forward in 2020. The new in-park visitor film, replacing the twenty year old park orientation film, will debut this spring in the Zion Human History Museum. The new movie tells the story of Zion through the many voices of its characters and keepers. This film would not have been possible without the support of Greater Zion (Washington County Tourism), Mystery Ranch Backpacks, and a generous gift from the Donnell Family in memory of John Donnell.
“We are so grateful for the support that has been shown across the State and the country. From Salt Lake City to the park gates, our partners and donors truly understand the importance of this amazing mission. It’s a project everyone can get behind as we work to ensure this landscape’s national heritage for generations to come.” – Mark Preiss, Director of the Forever Project
The leadership of Zion Forever invites anyone who is not yet participating to consider being a part of the Zion Forever Project. Join the growing community of people who have said yes to protecting this unmatched cultural and natural resource.
Among many others, the Zion Forever Project humbly thanks the following for their continued support during Zion’s centennial year: Scott Anderson, President and CEO of Zions Bank; Kem Gardner, Chairman of Gardner Companies; Dave Peterson, President and CEO of O.C. Tanner; Jay Francis, President and CEO of Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation; and Stephen Wade, owner of Stephen Wade Auto Center. As members of the Forever Project Founders Circle, they continue to inspire others to a call for practical solutions to pressing issues in the parks.