We are very excited to tell you about the new Visitor Orientation Project designed to expand and improve the Visitor Center at Fort Clatsop, and we are asking for your financial support. Visitation to the park has grown by 40% in recent years and numbers are continuing to increase. This growth will ensure that your contribution to the project will impact more and more visitors for years to come.
This Visitor Orientation Project is part of a much larger effort by the National Park Service to improve the interpretative, educational, scientific, and historical projects at the park. The approximately $5 million-dollar upgrade to the structures and infrastructure at Fort Clatsop will fundamentally change a visitor’s experience as they start out their adventure in the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.
The GOAL of this Visitor Orientation Project is to better teach multiple perspectives for a richer cultural interpretation of the Lewis and Clark story. Specifically, your financial gift will support development of new visitor orientation exhibits that will be the first point of visitor interaction at the site. It will fund development and presentation of 7 outdoor interpretive panels under a shelter that will help the park begin visitor experience and understanding before they enter the door, and provide needed undercover space for the roughly 10,000 students who visit each year.
Within a newly designed building entrance paid for by park funds, your financial support will help pay for the design, fabrication, and installation of an exhibit that will incorporate tribal stories into the context of the Lewis and Clark story. The intent of the exhibit is to place modern visitors in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark as visitors to the lands of the Chinookan peoples. Its central exhibit will feature a 28’ Chinook cedar canoe. This is a fundamental shift in the context of the story from just looking at the epic journey through the perspectives of Lewis and Clark to a more inclusive story of the peoples who called this area home long before and after Lewis and Clark visited. The project will also provide visitor wayfinding at five of the park units and unify park messaging between these disparate units through design, fabrication, and installation of interpretive kiosks.
Our pledge to the Park is to raise $235,000, and as of August 1st we have raised $91,000.
The cost of this project will be helped by a matching grant from the Centennial Challenge Fund, a federal grant celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. So, every dollar you give will be matched dollar for dollar. The grant as well as your contribution will enable us to help refurbish the visitor center, upgrade and improve exhibits, and build a new entrance that will give the visitor an improved picture of the time and distance involved in accomplishing the epic journey of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Thank you for your consideration,
L&CNPA, Board President
L&CNPA, Board Member and Treasurer