Friends of the Bear Paw, Big Hole & Canyon Creek Battlefields is a brand new non-profit organization formed as a support group to these battle sites. Since we are new we felt it wise to select a realistic project that helped the National Park Service yet ensured we stay within budget.
The Friends’ board met with Superintendent Tami DeGrosky and park ranger Robert West to discuss possible projects. We felt it important that the undertaking also bring attention to this new organization so the visitor could learn that we exist.
Any of you fortunate to visit any of these battle sites understand that they cover vast distances. When one hikes into the Big Hole valley one has to travel a long distance to reach the site of the Nez Perce village, and walk back. What would a visitor appreciate more? A place to sit, relax, and soak in the surroundings – a bench.
A bench may sound simple, but it will be appreciated. We are donating three benches – two for the Big Hole Battlefield and one for Bear Paw. Each bench is made from cast iron and ash hardwood, so they’ll be sturdy yet comfortable. We will place a plaque on each bench, which includes a quote from an important figure of the Nez Perce War.
We want to thank our first time members who joined our organization – your donations and dues provided us the funds that enabled the Friends to succeed in its first endeavor.