Anonymous Donors Gift Yellowstone National Park $40 Million For Employee Housing

March 8, 2024

Today's good news comes from Yellowstone National Park.

In a groundbreaking development, the National Park Foundation (NPF) and the National Park Service (NPS) have joyously unveiled a monumental $40 million donation aimed at expanding and upgrading employee housing at Yellowstone National Park, the nation's inaugural national park.

yellowstone 40 million donation housing
Yellowstone National Park / NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Generously provided by anonymous donors, this transformative gift will pave the way for the construction of over 70 new state-of-the-art modular units, addressing the pressing shortage of affordable housing for park employees. This crucial investment comes at a time when national parks nationwide grapple with the challenge of providing quality housing for their dedicated workforce.

"I can count at least five critical positions where we've tried to recruit, but we got turned down by the applicant because of a lack of housing," Park Superintendent Cam Sholly told NPR.

The increasing unaffordability of nearby homes has become a significant challenge for staff seeking rental or purchase options in neighboring towns. Skyrocketing prices have rendered these housing choices prohibitively expensive, creating a formidable barrier for prospective employees.

This $40 million gift is set to fund entirely new housing units, countering the current shortage exacerbated by rising property values and heightened demand for vacation rentals near national parks.

"The housing challenges facing each park are unique, and so are the solutions," said Chuck Sams, Director of NPS. "The ability to recruit and retain a talented workforce remains essential to our ability to protect parks and to ensure a world-class visitor experience. NPS is committed to innovative solutions that contribute to meeting the demand for employee housing across the National Park System. I am incredibly grateful to the donors to the NPF whose tremendous generosity will help NPS address this critical need."

Construction of the new housing units is set to begin later this year.

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