The Park County Community Foundation awarded 29 grants totaling $187,200 during their 2022 giving cycle.
Since 2007, the Park County Community Foundation has now provided 160 organizations with $1,121,156 through its annual grants program, the foundation reported in a recent news release.
The 2022 grant cycle saw an unprecedented number of grant requests, with 59 applications seeking a total investment of nearly $500,000, including 24 requests of $3,000 or less for the newly offered micro-grant opportunity.
Decisions on which projects to fund were determined in accordance with the topics identified through the We Will Park County community visioning process.
The WeWillParkCounty.org website captures the key data points to describe the current opportunities and challenges in Park County, and results from a collaborative process involving civic leaders, city and county government, educational leaders, and other key stakeholders, the release said. Incorporating feedback from over 600 survey respondents and numerous group discussions, We Will Park County identifies five areas of top priority for our community: Health, Safety, and Education; Economic Performance; Housing and Affordability; Small Town and Rural Lifestyle, and Landscapes and Natural Beauty.
2022 grant funding was allocated across all five priority areas and distributed geographically throughout Park County from Gardiner to Wilsall.
Funded projects emphasized key safety services such as early childhood education, school lunch programming, support for victims of human trafficking, and providing locally raised beef to the Livingston Food Resource Center. Two organizations received awards of $15,000 in recognition of their crucial contributions to our community well-being: the Livingston Warming Center and the Community School Collaborative.
“As costs of living continue to increase dramatically in Park County and add to the pressures of making ends meet, we are seeing significant increases in those needing emergency shelter,” explained Dean Williamson, HRDC’s Economic Development director in the release. Williamson also serves as Operations Director of the Livingston office. “We routinely saw 12-15 individuals seeking emergency shelter at the warming center every night during the winter, and these services are vital, not only to help our neighbors through difficult times, but to communicate our commitment to treating all our community members with the respect they deserve.”
The second grant of $15,000 was made to the Community School Collaborative, in acknowledgement of their continued efforts to provide enrichment opportunities for students at Sleeping Giant Middle School as well as their recent growth in hiring an executive director, former middle school science teacher Gina Morrison. “Middle school is a time when students are at high risk for disengaging from learning due to challenges in forming identify, coping with puberty and navigating new environments,” Morrison noted in the release. “The good news is that the Community School Collaborative programming demonstrates how classroom learning is applied in the real world. It strengthens the ties of students to school and introduces them to caring adults in the community who share their knowledge and experience in our educational workshops.”
Here is the complete list of 2022 grant recipients:
ASPEN - Human trafficking victim support and community education
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Big Sky Country – Providing one-to-one relationships for children facing adversity
CASA of Park and Sweet Grass Counties – Advocating for children who are victims of abuse and neglect
City of Livingston Recreation Department – “Parents Love Active Youth” Funding for Early Childhood Programming
Community Health Partners – “Learning Partners” programming to support parents from conception to graduation
Community School Collaborative – Enrichment Programs for Middle School Students
Electric Peak Arts Council - Season Support for Arts Programming in Gardiner
Elk River Arts & Lectures - Poetry in the Classroom & Storytelling Night
Farm to School of Park County - School Food Matters
Prospera Business Network - Annual Economic Profile Report for Gallatin and Park Counties
Human Resource Development Council - Livingston Warming Center
LINKS for Learning - Support for Summer LINKS
Little People’s Learning Center – Early-childhood education serving families in Gardiner and Yellowstone Park
LiveWell49 – Community coalition embracing a culture of health in Park County
Montana Outdoor Science School - School’s Out Education Program Partnership
Montana Wilderness Association - Park County Trail Stewardship and Education
Mountain Journal - Paradise Valley Journalism Project
North Yellowstone Education Foundation – Enhancing educational opportunities for Gardiner Public Schools
Park County - Windrider Transit Vehicle Fleet Automated External Defibrillator Project
Park County Environmental Council – Implementation of the Park County Housing Action Plan
Park County Health Department - Diaper Depot
Park County Rural Fire District 1 - Wildland Fire PPE
Producer Partnership - Processing costs to provide Livingston Food Resource Center with beef raised and processed in Park County
The Livingston Food Resource Center – “Healthy Child, Healthy Community” Initiative
The Shane Lalani Center for the Arts - Shane Center Education Programs
Upper Yellowstone Watershed Group (Park Conservation District) - Support for Paradise Valley Working Lands Group
Wilsall Foundation, Inc. - Annual “Festival of Trees”
Wilsall School – “Ripple Effect” Aquatic Learning for Shields Valley Elementary 5th Grade students
Yellowstone Ecological Research Center - RiverNET Education Initiative
This list is also available on the PCCF website at https:// find.pccf-montana.org/Community_Grants
In addition to funding these 29 programs in 2022, the Park County Community Foundation distributed $2.3 million to Park County nonprofits in 2021, including scholarships, donor advised fund allocations, and the 2021 GIVE A HOOT community giving challenge.
The 2023 community grant cycle will open in January 2023, with applications due in early March. Eligible organizations include 501(c)3 charitable organizations that provide services directly benefiting Park County residents.