The Glacier National Park Conservancy was recently awarded twice for its work with the Park.
It received two partnership awards from the Public Lands Alliance, which celebrates the best in public lands partnerships.
REI Missoula received the Corporate Stewardship Award in partnership with the conservancy for the reconstruction of St. Mary Lake Trail and the Hidden Lake Trail.
In 2015, REI funded the rehabilitation of the St. Mary Lake Trail.
Each spring a section of this trail, used to access three popular waterfalls, would flood for months. REI’s gift repaired 50 feet of trail, reconstructing a rock wall and elevating the trail above the high water line.
In 2016, as part of the 21st Century Conservation Corps grant, REI funded the first year of a two-year project at Logan Pass. The Hidden Lake Trail traverses some of the park’s most spectacular yet fragile alpine meadows.
Last summer, the trail was reconstructed, allowing for trail access earlier and later in the season. Also it rerouted the trail to avoid the outlet of the lake where grizzly bears feed on cutthroat trout.
In 2017, this project will also add 160 feet of boardwalk to the trail. The boardwalk will protect the area from additional damage to the delicate plants and provide a safe, durable and dry trail surface for increased visitor traffic.
Employees from the store have also volunteered their time in the park doing trail work and assisting in the native plant nursery.
The conservancy also received the Partners Choice Award for implementing a bark ranger at Logan Pass. The public voted through social media that it was the most inspiring.
The conservancy and the park started a pilot program to manage the wildlife at Logan Pass in a new way, with a border collie named Gracie.
Gracie was trained to safely move wild goats and sheep to the 25-yard distance required for safe viewing.
The program was well-received locally, and also Gracie became a local media celebrity.