The Dedication occurred late last month for a whole new generation of Yellowstone enthusiasts.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Sept. 2, 2010
There are more geysers and hot springs in Yellowstone than in the rest of the world combined, yet most visitors used to leave the Park without a basic understanding of the rare and precious geysers they saw or the volcanic activity that was happening beneath their feet. That has now all changed.
A new Visitor Education Center near the heart of Yellowstone National Park – Old Faithful Geyser – is enhancing the experience of visitors and their appreciation for Yellowstone.
The state-of-the-art Old Faithful Visitor Education Center opened on August 25, 2010. It will serve nearly three million visitors per year, and is a model of sustainable building practices.
Hundreds of individuals, foundations, and corporations contributed to the Yellowstone Park Foundation’s successful $15-million capital campaign to build this new Center. These generous donations are matched by $12 million in federal funding for the project.
Fifteen million of the $27 million dollar cost of design and construction was provided by the Yellowstone Park Foundation with major donations to the Yellowstone Park Foundation for the new building made by the Corporations listed below.
- Canon U.S.A., Inc.
- The Coca-Cola Foundation
- GE Foundation
- The Kresge Foundation
- Lockheed Martin
- National Science Foundation
The new visitor education center will serve 2.6 million on-site visitors every year. It will feature new exhibits and host new programs to help visitors understand and appreciate geysers, hot springs, and other hydrothermal features in Yellowstone. The building will also contain an auditorium, research library, multi-purpose classroom, and educational bookstore. The building has been designed to be compatible with the rustic architectural style of the Old Faithful Historic District.
The National Park Service intends to seek certification of the facility as a high-performance, environmentally friendly "green" building. It has also been designed to set new standards for accessibility and for the interpretation of complex scientific information to the public.
On August 25, Toyota President and Chief Operating Officer Jim Lentz attended the grand opening of the all-new, Gold LEED Certified, Old Faithful Visitor Education Center at Yellowstone National Park. Toyota engineers partnered with Yellowstone to provide guidance on LEED building construction and design. The engineers shared the knowledge gained from the 2003 construction of Toyota's Gold LEED certified office complex at Toyota Headquarters in Torrance, Calif. At the time, it was the largest environmentally friendly commercial building in the country. Toyota also provided a one million dollar gift to the Yellowstone Park Foundation for OFVEC construction.