Part of what makes Park County special is how many people are working to make the community a better place, using their unique expertise to improve our overall quality of life.
At PCEC, we partner with those people to amplify those skills and help make Park County thrive, with a special focus on the environment.
Our community programs include:
The Boomerang Bags project is an initiative aimed at reducing the use of plastic bags by engaging community members in upcycling fiber from the community to make home-sewn reusable bags as a fun sustainable alternative. Launched in 2018, PCEC has hosted three community sewing bees and volunteers have made over 250 bags which are available at five different businesses: Town & Country Foods, Livingston Public Library, FoodWorks, PCEC table at Farmers Market and Glenn’s of Clyde Park.
In partnership with the Western Sustainability Exchange, we are working to reduce waste at the Farmers Market. The first phase is introducing composting at the market and helping ensure vendors have compostable products that will be turned into productive soil. PCEC is at the market every Wednesday to educate shoppers about waste and aid in the transition.
Sometimes a creative project just needs a little money to get off the ground. L-Town Soup is a community micro-granting dinner where local groups pitch project ideas that they need help funding and attendees vote on the winning pitch. At PCEC, we are proud to partner with Soundcolor Studios and AMB West Philanthropies to help put on the annual event. Past winners have included new cross-country skis for the Gardiner School, recycling programs at Shields Valley High School and Park High School and a tool-lending program at the Livingston-Park County Public Library.
Active Transportation Coalition
The Active Transportation Coalition is a group of citizens and county officials who are working to make Park County more walkable, bikeable and transit-friendly. At PCEC, we facilitate the coalition and help work to enhance safety and sustainability in local transportation. Past projects include the pedestrian flags at the corner of Park and Main streets and curb extensions at Fifth and Callender streets.
Yellowstone City 30K
The Yellowstone City 30K race brings runners through our public lands and showcases PCEC’s commitment to getting outside and sustainability. The 18+ mile race each September is from Sage Lodge to Chico Hot Springs cuts through some of the most beautiful scenery Park County has to offer, including the historic Yellowstone City gold settlement, where some of the first gold seekers came to Montana to find fortune.
To learn more and register visit: RunSignUp.com
To help foster the next generation of conservation leaders, we at PCEC believe in being available to mentor youth in our community and connect them to organizations working toward a more sustainable future. We do this through our high school internship program, a Patagonia internship program, work with the Community School Collaborative’s Cougar Fridays program, Watershed Warriors and the Park High Green Initiative and the poetry program.
The U.S. Highway 89 rail trail connects Livingston to Paradise Valley, and keeping it clean is a community job. The Park County Environmental Council has adopted the trail and hosts annual trail cleanups on the trail. We also frequently partner with other groups to maintain other trails in Park County.
Livingston and Park County are changing.
Housing prices have almost doubled in the past five years. The city is projecting thousands of new residents in the next decade. The county has had more houses constructed over the past four decades than people added.
Our neighbors in Bozeman live in the fastest growing micropolitan community in the United States, and it’s likely that growth will spill over.
At PCEC, we don’t have all the answers, but we know one thing: The community, not developers, should decide how Livingston and Park County grow. That’s why we have led the push for an updated growth policy for the city, which has not been substantially changed since 2004.
Making smart decisions that reflect the community’s desires means local governments need to operate with updated documents that reflect the community’s desires and use those documents to help accomplish community goals.
We admire the way the county has already taken steps to implement the public’s input received in the growth policy by establishing zoning for billboards in Paradise Valley and creating a draft decay ordinance.
With new growth expected, residents should weigh in on what they want the community to be.