GVLT presents Anne Banks with Lifetime Service Award
Image: Anne Banks receives GVLT’s Lifetime Service Award from Board Member Bill Cochran and Director of Development Justin Barth.
September 29, 2023
GVLT typically gives out a Trail Partner of the Year Award to a person or group that has had an outsized impact on our local trails in the past year. This year, however, we had to turn it up a notch for a very special individual—Anne Banks. In recognition of decades of commitment to our community’s open spaces and trails, we presented Anne with the GVLT Lifetime Service Award at our recent Field Day community picnic—a fitting occasion to honor a longtime member of the GVLT family.
For those who have hiked and skied throughout the Gallatin Valley with Anne or have worked by her side maintaining trails, fundraising for new projects, or advocating for trails and open spaces in new areas of development, you know this award is well-deserved.
When asked about her involvement with GVLT, Anne explains, “I guess I was part of GVLT before it even existed.”
Before GVLT was founded in 1990, Anne was a member of a trails advisory committee along with Chris Boyd, who looked for places to locate trails in the Gallatin Valley. When Chris later formed GVLT and played an instrumental role in negotiating the purchase of Burke Park/Peets Hill, Anne helped advocate for the park and gather funding.
“Anne was an early active outdoorswoman, always ready to put in the miles,” explains Russ Tuckerman, a fellow local outdoor enthusiast and parks advocate who also served on the trails advisory committee and is a former GVLT staff and board member.
Anne was an early member of the Bozeman Women’s Activities Group (BWAGs), with whom she has hiked and cross-country skied countless miles. She continues to meet longtime friends from the group each Tuesday.
“I like to get out and walk and do things outdoors,” explains Anne. “I walk on the trail near my house nearly every day. It’s an important part of my life to be outside.”
That passion has led her to dedicate much of her life to protecting open spaces and building trails in the Gallatin Valley.
Tuckerman remembers when Anne heard that N. 19th was being paved, she went to bat to ensure the surrounding regions would have parks and trails.
“We worked closely with GVLT to figure out how trails would be developed and could connect in these new developments,” explains Anne.
Anne was heavily engaged in the Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Trails (PROST) Plans, was on the City of Bozeman’s Recreation and Parks Advisory Board for 16 years, and served on GVLT’s trails committee for several years.
“Anne is tough, fair, and always a good listener,” shares Tuckerman. “She has a balanced opinion and never misses a beat.”
Looking to the future, Anne says, “I hope GVLT will keep doing the work they are doing. GVLT is a very effective local conservation organization—from the thousands of acres it protects with conservation easements to all of the physical work building and maintaining our trails.”
Our team at GVLT knows that community support and involvement from people like Anne is what enables us to be effective in our work.
GVLT Associate Director EJ Porth sums it up perfectly, “Great communities don’t happen by accident. They happen because of people like Anne Banks.”