Interpretive staffing support for the busiest season on record

GTA Associate Luxianna Watkins joined Grand Teton National Park full time in 2021 as a media associate.In this role, she works on a variety of print and digital projects to create engaging, informative, and enjoyable media for the park and help visitors memories for a lifetime.

The communications she produces are also important to help communicate safety messaging, especially during fluctuations in COVID protocol, high fire danger, and migration seasons. In her work, she also draws from her experiences as a NPS Academy intern in Grand Teton National Park in 2017 and previous experiences at Craters of the Moon, Canyonlands, and the National Capital Region. Grand Teton Association and Grand Teton National Park are excited to have Luxianna as part of the team!

NER: $46,500

Supporting the education and interpretive needs of increased visitation

GTA supports the publication of educational and interpretive materials for all our partner agencies as they meet the changing needs of visitors.

During the COVID pandemic, visitation to public lands dramatically increased. Often this was a first time visitor to public lands. In response, Grand Teton Association developed this resource to deepen visitors understanding of the differences in land use regulations with our three agency partners.

2021 Interpretive Materials Support
NPS: $40,288
BTNF: $131
NER: $1,411

GTA Mobile Interpretive Van meets the needs of visitors where they are

In response to increased visitation during a second summer of COVID and changes in visitor use patterns, GTA collaborated with agency partners to pilot a mobile unit to provide essential information and interpretive producta at high use public land sites.

Staffed with enthusiastic GTA volunteers, this van spent most of the summer at Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park. Settled there, thousands of visitors could learn the history of the Mormon settlers and gain essential information to support their visit.

During the month of August, the van was located at the base of the clock tower at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort where Bridger-Teton National Forest volunteers joined GTA to volunteers supported visitors with information and interpretive products.

The van was a huge success meeting visitors in where they were. Grand Teton Association looks forward to providing another year of support in 2022.

Spreading Teton Creativity Throughout the World

Mountain towns often have a way of attracting fiercely independent creatives, and Jackson Hole is no exception. Grand Teton Association began to take note of the many local artists in the area, and to envision what it would look like to bring their creativity into their retail locations. Not only would this be more environmentally friendly, it would also support and help boost the local “makers” economy.

GTA decided to launch the Grand Teton Art Project, an initiative to begin featuring this local artwork in goods that could be purchased by many of the 2.6 million visitors the area receives every year. The first featured artist was illustrator and muralist Haley Badenhop. Haley had begun making a name for herself through a number of murals that had graced a few blank walls on the streets of Jackson. She was excited to work on the assignment, which was to create an educational illustration of the Teton Range to help visitors learn the names of each peak. The beautiful resulting illustration was placed on a number of eco-friendly items, including organic cotton shirts, hats, and reusable drinkware, which were placed in a number of retail locations including the Jackson Hole airport. Not only did the pieces sell very well (748 products sold so far as of June, 2020), GTA was able to further environmental practices within the area, as well as put some money back into the pocket of a local artist. A win on all fronts!

GTA’s Sustainability Efforts

Part of the privilege of supporting the vibrant future of this incredible landscape means that GTA’s daily decisions have a great impact on the long term health of the area. GTA takes their stewardship role of this place very seriously. Partner Grand Teton National Park, has long advanced environmental stewardship through programs such as the Zero Landfill Initiative, recycling education and outreach programs, and Green Your Visit promotion. Park partners such as the Grand Teton Lodge Company, Signal Mountain Lodge, and the Jackson Hole Airport have joined this effort by developing their own highly impactful sustainability programs. These innovators are now industry leaders and form a collective that prioritizes the stewardship of Grand Teton National Park and the region’s iconic landscapes and waterways. GTA is proud to be a part of this team advancing sustainability and stewardship in all they do.

While these efforts post daily challenges, GTA strives to incorporate sustainability into everything they do; by choosing retail partners who share our same values, products that educate and amplify sustainability messages, and organizational operations that tread lightly on the land.

Grand Teton Association Brand

Telling our Story Through the GTA Brand

For over 80 years, Grand Teton Association (GTA) has supported the educational initiatives of its agency partners by contributing 100% of sales profits from its retail locations. In 2019, GTA began working with local marketing and creative agency, Cultivate. These efforts identified an opportunity to increase organization impact by clarifying GTA’s mission and strengthening its organizational brand. GTA firmly believes that when visitors better understand the positive impact their purchase has in support of public lands, they would choose a GTA retail location over other businesses.

Cultivate and GTA together began a large audit of all of GTA’s marketing and communication efforts, as well as the current brand. After much research, a key component that emerged was that most of GTA’s marketing talked about the projects they supported and the partnerships they had. While these stories were important, they were leaving out a key component of how their audience could enter their story, which was their retail stores. Together they set forth a vision that shifted their organizational brand and marketing to optimize the support of public lands through retail operations. Once this shift occurred, it opened up a tremendous amount of growth and success potential by asking their public land visitors to join this effort by shopping at GTA retail locations. With this new awareness, visitors are becoming more inspired to support and shop!

Throughout the past year, marketing, signage, and countless other organizational pieces were updated to reflect this change, just in time for a new busy summer season.

Grand Teton Association Brand

Grand Teton Association Brand