Montana State Parks Honors--Friends of Makoshika State Park--Founding Members
(Helena, MT) – Montana State Parks (stateparks.mt.gov) announced today that Jim and Carol Swanson of Glendive have been honored for their exceptional contributions as founding members of the “Friends of Makoshika State Park.”
“The Swansons’ commitment to Makoshika State Park the past 26 years has been extraordinary,” said Chas Van Genderen, Administrator of Montana State Parks. “Their leadership has helped build partnerships with the Glendive community, which has helped the park flourish and the local economy grow.”
Friends of Makoshika State Park sponsor events that bring thousands of visitors to the park. One of their key events is “Buzzard Days,” a popular annual event that has been held for more than 20 years.
“How do you estimate the value of a nearly 30 year commitment to the park,” said Ryan Sokoloski, Makoshika State Park Manager. “The vitality of today’s Makoshika State Park’s friends group is due in large part to the Swansons’ investment of time and energy over decades.”
“At the beginning we had about six friends group members, gradually we grew to what I think is more than 100 members today,” said Carol Swanson.
Among the activities the Friends of Makoshika State Park have sponsored at the park are sunset dinners, theater productions in the amphitheater, and unusual draws like the “pitch fork fondue” dinner featuring steaks on pitch forks cooked in a cauldron of oil.
“Our purpose as friends is to encourage people to come out and enjoy the park,” said Jim Swanson.
“It is a wonderful relationship between the park and the community,” Carol Swanson said.
Makoshika State Parks’ 11,531-acres are studded with the fossil remains of dinosaurs including the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops. The park offers an archery site, scenic drives, nature trials, a 16 site campground, group picnic area and outdoor amphitheatre. The newly remodeled visitor center houses a Triceratops skull and badland interpretive displays. In the 2012 season (May- August) more than 36,000 people visited this state park.
Visit Montana State Parks (stateparks.mt.gov) and enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, boating and more and discover some of the greatest natural and cultural treasures on earth.