Bouldering Project Tops Out at Fundraising Goal

Nonprofit raises $100,000 to build bouldering park near downtown Kalispell

By Tristan Scott

One year ago, the Kalispell Boulder Project took aim at achieving a lofty goal – to raise $100,000 for a brand new bouldering park near downtown Kalispell.

This week, thanks to help from a familiar Flathead Valley philanthropist, the nonprofit organization reached its goal, and plans to break ground on the project in April.

The money will be used to manufacture and install a pair of concrete climbing boulders at Lawrence Park, said Jandy Cox, manager at Rocky Mountain Outfitter in Kalispell. Cox said the fundraising efforts have been met by strong community support.

Bouldering is a form of climbing that is performed without the use of ropes or harnesses. It can be done without any equipment, but many climbers use special climbing shoes to help secure footholds.

Spearheaded by a group of Flathead Valley climbers and outdoor enthusiasts, the bouldering project will offer climbers and non-climbers of all abilities the opportunity to scramble up artificial rock features designed to correspond with the natural setting, Cox said.

The nonprofit hopes to have the boulders installed by summer 2016.

Through the Kalispell Community Foundation, the Kalispell Boulder Project established a fund last January and worked with the Kalispell Parks and Recreation Department so secure space for the bouldering features, which will be constructed at the southern end of Lawrence Park in Kalispell. After the boulders are installed, the city of Kalispell will assume responsibility for the park.

Cox said the final funding boost came through a $25,000 donation from Flathead Valley philanthropist Michael Goguen.

The gift effectively completes the Kalispell Boulder Project’s fundraising endeavors to raise $100,000 for the purchase, installment and landscape finishing of two synthetic climbing boulders. Project volunteers are also working with Montana Conservation Corps to break ground in April.

“We are ecstatic,” Cox said. “Fundraising for KBP was a grass roots effort.”

Cox said he was optimistic from the beginning that the project would be well received, but he didn’t anticipate the degree to which individuals and organizations stepped up.

The Daybreak Rotary Club offered to put up a $20,000 matching grant, which gave the project an enormous boost, while local businesses also helped out.

“We appreciate how the community rallied around our project and helped make our ideas a reality,” Cox said. “We could not have reached our goal without the fiscal management and administrative support of the Flathead Community Foundation; and the generosity of Kalispell Daybreak Rotary Club, local businesses, private foundations, and every individual donation from $1 to $1,000.”

For more information about the Kalispell Boulder Project visit kalispellboulderproject.com.

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