SOMERS — The Sliter family, owners of Sliters Lumber and Building Supply based out of Somers have started two challenge grants to raise funds toward the 106-acre Somers Beach State park project.
The funding will go towards the new park which was recently approved by the Montana Land Board.
The family is matching up to $100,000 in donations through the Montana State Parks Foundations and $25,000 through the Flathead Land Trust.
Sliter's Lumber and Building Supply Chief Financial Officer Andrea Sliter Goudge said the matching funds will go toward the parks’ operation and maintenance costs including staffing, proper restrooms and more.
“Just all of the things that it takes for a state park to really create an awesome experience for residents of our community and visitors from out-of-state," said Goudge.
Andrea said her family purchased the land now known as Somers Beach in the 1930’s.
She said her family approached Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks about selling the property, to help bring more public access to Flathead Lake.
“The ability to contribute back to that and formalize public access on a pretty special piece of property that we’ve held for a long time means a lot to our family and this something we’ve had an eye to do literally for generations," Goudge said.
Montana State Parks and Recreations Board Chairman Angie Grove says the next step for Somers Beach State Park is securing funding through legislative approval for the project.
Once secured, Grove said Montana State Parks will use the matching funds raised to begin managing the park.
“I think then we will feel comfortable moving forward with the rest of the transaction and get to the exciting part of planning what this should look like on the ground," said Grove.
Those who would like to donate to the two matching challenge grants can do so through the first quarter of 2021.
The Sliter family says the two matching challenge grants have already raised close to $50,000 for the Somers Beach project.