The Yellowstone Association and Yellowstone Park Foundation are merging, after a unanimous vote by both organizations’ board of directors.
Both organizations serve Yellowstone National Park in different yet complimentary ways. The Yellowstone Association, for instance, serves as the Park’s education partner, while the Foundation is Yellowstone’s fundraising partner. Once consolidated, these two organizations will tackle those issues with a unified front.
“Our new organization,” said YA Executive Director Jeff Brown and YA Board Chair Claire Campbell in a YA press release, “will continue the tradition and contribution made by both YA and YPF by connecting people to Yellowstone through outstanding visitor experiences and educational programs, and translating those experiences into lifelong support and philanthropic investment that preserve and enhance the park for future generations. One organization with one mission will also help the public easily understand how to support Yellowstone.”
Combined, the new Yellowstone education and fundraising organization will comprise over 50,000 supporters and members.
Visitors can expect the YA and YPF to start working jointly by March 2016. By February 2017, the newly consolidated YA and YPF will roll out both a new website and a new name. Brown and Campbell added the organization will keep people abreast of the new organization’s development.
“We have a responsibility to the employees, members and donors of both organizations to continue our mission to serve one of our nation’s crown jewels, Yellowstone National Park,” said Karen Bates Kress, president of Yellowstone Park Foundation in a press release. “We believe combining both organizations will result in a more responsive organization that will better promote, protect and enhance the Park experience for the millions of visitors each year.”
The consolidation marks an interesting combination, considering the organizations’ respective histories. The Yellowstone Association began as a research library in 1933; today, they maintain exhibits around the Park’s visitor centers and publish magazines like Yellowstone Science. Since 1976, the Association has also run the Yellowstone Association Institute, offering programs to a variety of age groups in one-day to three week programs.
The Yellowstone Park Foundation officially began in 1996, although it had its roots in “a group of concerned citizens” who came together in 1995. Among its projects include funding the Wolf Project and Yellowstone Youth Conservation Corps, rolling out a Yellowstone License Plate, and securing funding to restore Artist Point in 2008. The organization has raised more than $92 million on behalf of Yellowstone National Park.