By Amanda Eggert EBS Staff Writer
BIG SKY – After 18 years under the name Big Sky Community Corp., one of the area’s most recognizable groups is changing its name to more closely reflect its nonprofit status.
As of April 29, BSCC will officially be renamed the Big Sky Community Organization. Executive Director Ciara Wolfe said the name change will help clear up confusion about the organization’s role in the community.
“We’re really just recognizing how this organization has changed and what this community needs,” Wolfe said. “[We’re] building off the success and growth that our organization has had over the years.”
BSCO’s revised mission statement is “To connect people to recreation opportunities by acquiring, preserving and promoting sustainable places and programs for all.” Wolfe said the new mission statement is intended to clarify BSCO’s scope; the old statement placed greater emphasis on land resources and focused less upon the human component of BSCO’s mission.
“These places and programs are all here for the community,” Wolfe said. “All ages, all ability levels, all different kinds of recreation.”
The name change will be accompanied by a new logo, a website re-launch and an open house slated for 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10 at their new location, 32 Town Center Avenue, Unit B1.
People interested in the programs and resources BSCO offers – trail conditions, park pavilion reservations, the softball league, kids’ camps, and volunteer opportunities – can stop by their office or visit their website.
BSCO’s website, formerly bsccmt.org, will be changed to bscomt.org effective April 29. To make for a smooth transition, users who type in the old address will be rerouted to the new website for a period of time.
BSCO started out as a volunteer-run extension of the Big Sky Owners Association in 1998. In 2008, BSCO developed its own board of directors, and two years later the group’s first paid staff signed on. Now the organization employs three full-time staffers, one part-time worker during the winter, and the equivalent of five full-time employees in the summer.
Since 2010, the organization has acquired and currently manages 83 acres of public parkland and more than 16 miles of trails. It has also supported the development and growth of the Big Sky Tennis Association, Camp Big Sky, Crail Ranch Conservators and the Big Sky Softball League.
Several committees staffed by volunteers – including the Natural Resource Council, Crail Ranch Committee, and Parks and Trails committees – fall under the BSCO umbrella as well.
Wolfe said 50-55 percent of BSCO’s annual operating budget is funded by the Big Sky Area Resort Tax Board; donors, local foundations and grants provide the remainder of the organization’s funding. Wolfe said BSCO raised $320,000 to maintain and keep the community’s programs and land resources in good condition.
Recently, BSCO has been working to revive recycling in Big Sky, develop safe pedestrian crossings between Meadow Village and Town Center, install a bike and pedestrian path along Little Coyote Trail to the Community Park, and expand connectivity between the Ousel Falls and Uplands trails with an additional two miles of trail.