Yel­low­stone unveils new vis­i­tor cen­ter

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK,
Wyo., Aug. 25 PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Yel­low­stone Nation­al Park unveiled its new, state-of-the-art Vis­i­tor Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter at Old Faith­ful, cre­at­ing a focal point of inno­v­a­tive learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties in the heart of Yel­low­stone.

While there are more gey­sers and hot springs in Yel­low­stone than in the rest of the world com­bined, most vis­i­tors were leav­ing the park with­out a basic under­stand­ing of the amaz­ing hydrother­mal won­ders they had just encoun­tered,” explained Karen Bates Kress, Pres­i­dent of the non­prof­it Yel­low­stone Park Foun­da­tion. “Now, thanks to many gen­er­ous donors, we can open this Cen­ter — and the minds of near­ly 3 mil­lion vis­i­tors annu­al­ly — to the won­ders of the park.”

Mul­ti-media and inter­ac­tive exhibits will enable vis­i­tors of all ages to dis­cov­er what makes a geyser erupt, what crea­tures thrive in the scald­ing hot spring waters, and how the park’s fas­ci­nat­ing vol­canic past is vis­i­ble today.

The Cen­ter has already been rec­og­nized for its eco-friend­ly design with a Gold LEED des­ig­na­tion from the U.S. Green Build­ing Coun­cil. It is one of the first Nation­al Park Ser­vice vis­i­tor cen­ters to achieve this Gold rat­ing through its use of sus­tain­able ele­ments in build­ing con­struc­tion and mate­ri­als, ener­gy and water con­ser­va­tion, and indoor air qual­i­ty.

In 2000, the Yel­low­stone Park Foun­da­tion offi­cial­ly launched its cap­i­tal cam­paign to help fund the new Vis­i­tor Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter, and ulti­mate­ly con­tributed $15 mil­lion of the total cost of design, con­struc­tion, and exhibits. This was matched by $12 mil­lion in fed­er­al funds.

More than 400 indi­vid­u­als, foun­da­tions, and cor­po­ra­tions made dona­tions to the Yel­low­stone Park Foun­da­tion for the project. Cono­coPhillips, Unilever, Coca-Cola, and Toy­ota stepped up to help America’s Park with gifts of $1 mil­lion or more.

An under­sized and out­dat­ed vis­i­tor cen­ter built in the late 1960s was demol­ished to make way for the new two-sto­ry, 26,000-square-foot struc­ture. The new build­ing has been designed to be com­pat­i­ble with the rus­tic archi­tec­tur­al style of the Old Faith­ful His­toric Dis­trict.

The non­prof­it Yel­low­stone Park Foun­da­tion has been Yel­low­stone Nation­al Park’s offi­cial fundrais­ing part­ner orga­ni­za­tion since 1996. The Foun­da­tion works in coöper­a­tion with the Park to fund projects and pro­grams that pro­tect, pre­serve, and enhance the nat­ur­al and cul­tur­al resources and the vis­i­tor expe­ri­ence of Yel­low­stone.

For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it www.ypf.org.