Voice of the River

Big Sky Businesses Step Up for Open Land

Big Sky knows our open land, trails, and rivers keep our economy vibrant.

The appeal of Big Sky is legendary. Celebrities, athletes, outdoor enthusiasts of every stripe find their way to Big Sky, drawn by the spectacular open lands, extensive trails and world-class waters.

Now, a growing network of local businesses has found a new way to help support the future of Big Sky. These businesses are making it simple for their customers to make small contributions, allowing anyone and everyone to contribute to the protection of this incredible place.

Montana-Open-Land-LogoStep Up for Open Land is an initiative benefiting three local non-profits: Big Sky Community Organization, Gallatin River Task Force, and Travelers for Open Land. Together, they work to protect what some consider the triumvirate of an outdoor mecca: fun trails, beautiful rivers, and spectacular open lands.

The way it works is simple: as you pay your bill, you add a dollar – or whatever you’re moved to contribute – to the cause. The mechanism varies, depending on the business model: some businesses invite you to add a donation to your ticket; some add a contribution line on your credit card receipt (similar to tipping); and some provide a donation box for customers to drop spare bills.

“Small gifts add up,” noted Kristin Gardner, Executive Director of the Gallatin River Task Force. “When customers contribute, their generosity makes an impact.”  In 2015, the effort raised over $11,000, and each non-profit received a check for $3,620.

“We deeply appreciate the initiative, leadership and vision of the businesses that participated last year,” said Mike Scholz. “It’s exciting to see support grow.” Participating businesses include Big Sky Resort, Lone Mountain Ranch, Roxy’s, and Buck’s T-4. Businesses interested in joining Step Up can contact Mike Scholz, #406-539-1882.

Launched in July 2015 as part of Montana Open Land Month, this year Step Up for Open Land (formerly known as “Round Up for Open Land”) will run from National Trails Day 6/4 through Public Lands Day 9/24.

Ciara Wolfe, Executive Director of the Big Sky Community Organization, is excited to see Step Up for Open Land grow. “While people are here recreating, they get the opportunity to experience this special place and quickly recognize how incredible this community is.  Dropping a dollar or two towards protecting this experience for future generations is meaningful – and costs less than a cup of coffee.”

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