Piecing Together a Central Park for the Entire United States

The American Prairie Foundation is piecing together 500,000 acres of privately owned land across the Great Plains to join with three million acres of public land in forming one of the world’s largest wildlife reserves.
June 5, 2013, 12pm PDT | Melody Wu
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The American Prairie Foundation (APF) is undertaking an unprecedented challenge: assembling one of America’s largest public parks using private donations. Unlike other national parks such as Yellowstone and Yosemite, which were created by acts of Congress, APF is seeking to raise $500 million to fund the American Prairie Reserve (APR), “a nearly unbroken expanse of pristine grasslands from Montana to Canada,” reports Michael J. Coren.

With the creation of the reserve, Sean Gerrity, president of the APF, hopes to restore “the ecological balance of the Great Plain’s wildlife,” says Coren. “Most people feel preserving nature at ecological scale is a losing battle. So to contribute to some [sic] where it looks like nature is going to win is exciting,” Gerrity adds.

Gerrity's main inspiration for transforming the Great Plains comes from New York's beloved Central Park; with the APR, he envisions "creat[ing] something so valued, and cherished, that it’s hard to mess with."

So far, APF has reached about a quarter of its $500 million fundraising goal.

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Published on Friday, May 31, 2013 in Fast Company Co.Exist
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