The Hill County Park Board Monday heard an update on the activities of a new group formed to help fund activities and improvements at Beaver Creek County Park, and approved using park facilities for a fundraising event at Camp Kiwanis in the park May 12.
Dana Pyette, assistant to park Superintendant Chad Edgar and one of the organizers of Friends of Beaver Creek Park, said the funding foundation has organized, elected its board of directors, approved its articles of incorporation and bylaws, registered with the state as a nonprofit corporation, is filing as a nonprofit with the U. S. Internal Revenue Service, and is planning its first major fundraiser: an all-day party May 12 at Camp Kiwanis.
“We’re looking at kind of an all-day event; a lot of kids activities during the day along with silent auctions, dinner, maybe a band, ” Pyette said. “It’s kind of a jump-into-the-summer get outside (day) for the park.
“Save that date, ” she added. “We’d love to have everybody attend. ”
She said the group also would like to revive the Beaver Creek fun run that used to be sponsored by Montana State University-Northern.
“We’d like to do that under the new Friends of Beaver Creek Park and raise funds for the park that way (while people are exercising), ” she said.
Pyette read the purpose statement of the group from its bylaws, emphasizing that its sole purpose is to put on events to help fund and preserve the park.
“It is not our intention, and I just want to make this point again, it is not our intention to be a part of this whole management process, ” she said. “We’re just here to support that. ”
Board Chair Steve Mariani said seeing a group work to benefit the park, working with the board and superintendent, is “exciting. ”
The park has many needs, such as the roads washed out during the last two years of flooding, Mariani said. The new organization can help with projects like that.
“These guys want to work with Chad and repair the roads and do things like that, ” Mariani said. “These guys are here, raising money, working hard. How exciting is that? ”
The board unanimously approved reserving Camp Kiwanis for the May 12 fundraiser.
Jennifer Kenck, administrator of the Hill County Conservation District, said the conservation district also is looking to help out the park.
Kenck said that, during its December meeting, the area 3 conservation district noted that it had received few applications for grants for conservation efforts, and Hill County Conservation District member Con Nystrom said there are many roads that have been created and abandoned in the park that need to be eliminated or improved.
Kenck said Nystrom told the group that some of the roads could be filled in and seeded with grass, others would need to be graveled.
She said she would be working on grant applications this week and the start of next week, and asked for letters of support.
“What I’m asking for tonight is one part blessing and one part letter of support, because every little bit helps when putting in for state grant money, ” Kenck said.
Edgar, Mariani and Hill County Commissioner Kathy Bessette said they would write letters supporting the application.
Mission statement of Friends of Beaver Creek Park
“We are organized and shall be operated exclusively to engage in, advance, support, promote and administer charitable activities, causes and projects of every kind and nature that would be beneficial to the recreational facilities and preservation of Beaver Creek Park. ”
Friends of Beaver Creek Park fundraising party
When: May 12
Where: Camp Kiwanis, Beaver Creek Park
What: Planned all-day events, including children’s activities, silent auctions, dinner and a live band.