Cultural Treasures Icon 2014

Cultural Treasures

The Yellowstone Park Foundation supports projects that protect, preserve, research, or share information about Yellowstone’s human past and cultural resources.

 

Artist Point Restoration

Artist Point Restoration

Artist Point is one of Yellowstone's most famous vistas: Its promontory juts above the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River with unobstructed views of the Lower Falls. This panorama inspired19th century landscape artist Thomas Moran, who painted images that convinced lawmakers to establish Yellowstone as the world's first national park in 1872. The overlook was developed to provide Park visitors with the same opportunity for inspiration, however it wasn’t designed to accommodate the volume of people that now uses the parking areas, trails, and overlooks. These crowds, combined with erosion, led to safety hazards. The Yellowstone Park Foundation raised $950,000 in private donations for the rehabilitation of Artist Point's historic elements, accessibility, and visitor safety and enjoyment.

 

Salvage 9,000-Year-Old Campsite

Salvage 9,000-Year-Old Campsite

In July 2000, artifacts from an ancient civilization were found at an eroding bank on the shore of Yellowstone Lake. From these clues, Park archeologists determined that Paleo-Indians of the Cody Complex camped on the lakeshore 9,300 years ago. Cody Complex sites are rare in western North America, and this was the first identified in Yellowstone. Unfortunately, this historic location called the Osprey Beach site, was being destroyed by wind and waves. Protection of artifacts from the Osprey Beach site was the highest archeological priority in Yellowstone. The Yellowstone Park Foundation raised funds to excavate and analyze the artifacts. The project has resulted in insights into the daily lives of the region’s earliest inhabitants.