Jackson Hole Land Trust, Wyoming
A large pond at the new Rendezvous Park will provide family-friendly swimming and paddling opportunities for the community of Jackson Hole. Photo by Jonathan Selkowitz.
Wyoming’s Teton County is an outdoor paradise in the heart of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. It’s here, in the Snake River Valley, that the Jackson Hole Land Trust was created 33 years ago, to protect privately held agricultural, scenic, and natural resources at risk of being lost to development.
One prime example is the Rendezvous “R” Park, a 40-acre former gravel pit with one of the county’s only publicly accessible boat launch sites. The land trust wanted to protect the property, but it was sold in 2011 to a housing developer who offered the owners more for the land. When the developer said he was willing to sell the land to the land trust—but only if it could close on the deal in 90 days—the organization sprang into action, approaching The Conservation Fund for a $3 million bridge loan.
Now owned by a new organization, the Rendezvous Land Conservancy, the former gravel pit will soon be a public park with fishing, a bike path and a boat launch, as well as valuable wildlife habitat.
“The ability of The Conservation Fund to move quickly saved the deal. The Fund understood what we were doing, our conservation model,our donors, and how we work. That understanding makes for a unique and special partnership.” — Laurie Andrews, Executive Director, Jackson Hole Land Trust