New innovative store in Yellowstone educates visitors about climate change in national parks

Cutting the dedication ribbon for the new For Future Generations: Yellowstone Gifts (photo by Shad Stites)At a special celebration yesterday in Yellowstone, Deputy Superintendent Chris Lehnertz andXanterra Parks & Resorts' General Manager Jim McCaleb cut the unique dedication ribbon—created from bison-dung based paper—for the new store “For Future Generations: Yellowstone Gifts.”

The store features an innovative approach to green retail: its sole purpose is to educate and inspire park guests to help protect national parks. Lehnertz commended Xanterra for the depth of the company’s environmental commitment and for helping to support the mission of the National Park Service with the store’s important interpretive displays on climate change.

Xanterra’s Director of Environmental Affairs in Yellowstone, Beth Pratt, spoke about the threats climate change presents to national parks and its wildlife such as the pika and grizzly bears. She also introduced what she believes is the most significant aspect of the store: the new sustainability scorecard Xanterra developed that rates all products offered in the gift shop on social and environmental attributes. “We believe this is the first retail store to extensively utilize a transparent and extensive environmental scorecard.”

The celebration also included a sustainable vendor fair with displays from businesses with products sold in the store and suppliers who assisted with the green remodel of the facility. After a dessert buffet that included locally made chocolate, Larry Schweiger, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, gave a presentation on climate change.

See below for a photo slideshow of the event:

And see below for a video of the dedication event: