The newly formed Zion National Park Foundation is ready to embark on its first fundraising project. At the August 11, 2007 Zion Natural History Association board meeting, the Foundation Committee presented a proposal to raise funds for the rehabilitation of the historic Grotto Museum structure in Zion National Park. The project had been presented by Superintendent Jock Whitworth as a high park priority, and as a worthy undertaking for the Foundation. The board voted unanimously to support the proposal and plans are underway to begin raising money with a goal of completing the project in time for rededication of the structure during the Zion National Park Centennial celebration on July 31, 2009.
Funds raised will be used to repair and rehabilitate the stone building at the Grotto, midway up Zion Canyon, which was built in 1924 and was used as the park’s first museum. The handsome structure, which is currently in disrepair, will be used for Zion’s proposed Artist in Residence program for up to three months per year, and as volunteer and research housing for the remainder of the year.
The project, based on the Foundation’s commitment to raise matching funds, has been selected as one of 200 projects nationally that are eligible for National Park Service Centennial Initiative funding. The money raised by the Zion National Park Foundation will be matched by money from the Centennial Initiative if that initiative is passed by Congress.
ZNHA’s Foundation Committee Chairman David Clove said the Foundation is very excited to begin this new era of fundraising and especially pleased to start out on such an important project. “We will begin to contact friends of Zion National Park across the country and around the world and invite them to contribute to the rehabilitation of this beautiful and historic building.” He said, “We believe the members of ZNHA will be among the most gracious donors to this project.”
Superintendent Whitworth said the Grotto Museum was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987, and is the oldest structure still in use in the park. “It’s an excellent example of ‘NPS Rusti’ style architecture, which dominated park construction design throughout the 1920's and 1930's,” he said. “The intent of this style was to design buildings that would not intrude upon the natural scenic beauty and would blend with the specific terrain by using materials similar to the surrounding landscape.”
The Zion National Park Foundation will soon contact you by letter to let your know how you and others who love Zion National Park can contribute to this important project.