Hike 734 Give Back 2017

UPDATE!

What a crazy, generous week! All in all, my amazing Hike 734 tribe (that’s all of you!) exceeded anything that I could have dreamed for this little match promotion. All in all, you guys gave more than $12,185 dollars to the parks… BEFORE my match! Including my match, we’ve raised a total of $16,185 that will go to build trails, preserve historic structures, fund science, and educate the next generation of park enthusiasts. I’m humbled, honored and super stoked! Thanks again from the bottom of my heart. (Totals that went to each park are below.)

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As many of you know, in 2011, my project was to hike all of Glacier National Park’s trails in one summer. In that summer, Glacier saw over 1.8 million visitors. Over the ensuing years, that number has continued to grow. Last year, it was over 2.9 million. That’s an increase of over 59%! Anyone who visited the park over these years (and longer) knows and feels that increased pressure related to the growing visitation rates.

Since 2011, I’ve walked thousands of miles over hundreds of hours in Glacier, Zion, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and most recently, Yosemite. The story is the same in all of these great parks, with most seeing growths close to or exceeding a million visitors over that same time frame (even the smaller park of Zion had and increase of almost 1.5 million visitors).

The crazy part is that there has been no increase to the operational budget of the National Park Service. All of them have had increased visitors as well as experiencing the havoc inherent to these wild places; rock/land slides, water washing out bridges, and forest forest to name a few.

While it would be amazing to get our federal government to increase the budgets, that process is slow and looks fairly bleak at this point. The easiest way to make a difference is through the non-profit partners of these parks.

Before my hiking project, I was unaware of these non-profits and what they even did. I partnered with the Glacier National Park Fund and learned about their efforts in raising money for everything from trail rebuilding/maintenance, scientific research, and getting children engaged in our parks. I even did a brief period of contract work when the Glacier National Park Fund merged with the Glacier Association back in 2012 to become the Glacier National Park Conservancy.

Through this process, I personally saw the amazing work that they did and the huge holes that they were/are attempting to fill. As I moved on to hike other national parks, I made it a priority to learn about and build a relationship with these great organizations in Zion, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Yosemite as well.

Sperry Chalet – Photo courtesy of NPS

When I got word that we lost Sperry Chalet in the Sprague Creek Fire this year, I knew that the park superintendent of Glacier, Jeff Mow, would be reaching out and chatting with Doug Mitchell, the new executive director of the Glacier Conservancy. They’ve since started a fund to help stabilize, then rebuild the chalet. These dialogues happen all of the time between the park service and the non-profit partners.

I saw many tweets, Facebook feeds and posts from people all over the world expressing their sadness during the fires this season and the grief of losing such a beautiful historical building; many of those folks stating that they wish there was something they could do to help rebuild, restore, and protect the parks they love…well there is!

To cut to the chase, I’m using this week (which coincides with Glacier Conservancy’s “Give Back to Glacier Week”) to rally all of you fellow park lovers to learn about and help me raise some money for these non-profit park organizations. They are doing so much work behind the scenes to help provide a wonderful park experience from the trails, to shuttle systems, to signage, to kids programs. Hike 734 is going to be matching what you give (up to varying amounts for each park) for the next week starting today, October 1st, 2017 until October 7th, 2017. Below are the instructions for doing your part. I would love to have you show these organizations the same amount of love that you show our parks (which is actually showing our parks love too)!

Glacier Conservancy

Match amount: $2,000

Donated by you guys: $9,665

Total donated: $11,665

Instructions for donating:

The match is over, but you can always go to the link below to learn more about the Glacier Conservancy and their work, as well as to donate.

https://glacier.org/

Zion National Park Forever Project

Match amount: $500

Donated by you guys: $525

Total donated: $1,025

Instructions for donating:

The match is over, but you can always go to the link below to learn more about the Zion National Park Forever Project and their work, as well as to donate.

https://zionpark.org/

Yellowstone Forever

Match amount: $500

Donated by you guys: $545

Total donated: $1,045

Instructions for donating:

The match is over, but you can always go to the link below to learn more about Yellowstone Forever and their work, as well as to donate.

https://www.yellowstone.org/

Grand Teton National Park Foundation

Match amount: $500

Donated by you guys: $600

Total donated: $1,100

Instructions for donating:

The match is over, but you can always go to the link below to learn more about the Grand Teton National Park Foundation and their work, as well as to donate.

https://www.gtnpf.org/

Yosemite Conservancy

Match amount: $500

Donated by you guys: $850

Total donated: $1,350

Instructions for donating:

The match is over, but you can always go to the link below to learn more about the Yosemite Conservancy and their work, as well as to donate.

https://www.yosemiteconservancy.org/

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7 Responses to Hike 734 Give Back 2017

  1. Kay Stone October 1, 2017 at 5:24 pm #

    Thank you Jake! I made my contribution to the Glacier Conservancy thanks to your prompting. Double matching will certainly help with a rebuilt Sperry Chalet.

    • Jacob Bramante October 3, 2017 at 11:30 am #

      Yes! That’s awesome! Thanks so much for your generosity. 😀

  2. Mike Kwasniak October 2, 2017 at 3:35 am #

    Thanks Jake – We’ve hiked in Zion for the past five years (from the UK) and are delighted to be able to give something back.

    • Jacob Bramante October 3, 2017 at 11:29 am #

      You’re amazing! Thank you so much. Zion is so wonderful. I’ve been there three times now and I always can’t wait to get back. 😀

  3. Rich Whiting October 2, 2017 at 10:24 am #

    Thanks Jake! We made contributions to all 4 organizations and will be happy to do so for the remaining one when info is available. Hike 734 rocks!

    Rich and Cheryl Whiting
    Elkridge, MD

    • Jacob Bramante October 3, 2017 at 11:30 am #

      Thanks so much Rich! That’s amazing! I’ve got the link up for the Grand Teton National Park Foundation now. Feel free to jump on that when you have time. 😀

  4. Diana Shoaf October 6, 2017 at 10:38 am #

    Jake, Thanks for the info to donate – I put my donation to Yellowstone – awesome of you to match. Glad to hear the campaign was successful. Keep up the great work.

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