Centennial made possible with everyone’s help

Editor:

Park County, Yellowstone Park and an impressive group of individuals and organizations pulled off something extraordinary last week. Months in the making, the live event at Arch Park and the numerous events in Livingston that celebrated the centennial of the National Park Service and our role in the global National Park movement were complicated endeavors with a multitude of partners. Park County played host to thousands from near and far and engaged thousands more online, all while providing a Mighty Fine Time for ourselves.

It was a daunting task. We committed to it in Gardiner over four years ago when more than a dozen partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding under the Arch and vowed to work together to tackle some overdue infrastructure work across our complicated boundary in time to celebrate this milestone. We didn’t have a dime for the project at the time, much less for an event. We’re proud to have pulled that off and to have played host to world class musicians plus leaders from the White House and Congress, two governors, the secretary of the Interior, the director of the National Park Service and the spittin’ image of President Teddy Roosevelt.

None of it could have happened without a strong group of local, county, state, and Yellowstone leaders working together.

It is with gratitude and respect that we thank the Yellowstone Park, Park County, Gardiner School, U.S. Forest Service, and Gardiner and Livingston professionals who were deeply involved. Dozens of Gardiner citizens from the volunteer ranks of the Chamber, the Community Council, the Gateway Hose Company and Ambulance crew covered the bases. Law enforcement professionals with the Park County Sheriff’s Office and Yellowstone Park went above and beyond the call of duty during an already busy time. Yellowstone redirected a team of volunteers from GroundWork USA to do an impressive amount of physical labor. Medcor pitched in to provide aid to attendees and assist with contingency plans. Western Sustainability Exchange marshaled vendors who committed to minimize the waste from the event. Yellowstone Media Design set up a dedicated broadband connection that provided a virtual experience for tens of thousands. Generous sponsors from near and far picked up the tab so that the event could be free. And Livingston’s own Mighty Fine Time delivered the stage, the cameras, the sound, the lights — and the Stars.

Here’s to the next 100 years!

Bill Berg, President
Greater Gardiner Community Council
Schalene Darr, President
Gardiner Chamber of Commerce

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