Denali Education Center Merges with Northern Susitna Institute
The boards of directors of Denali Education Center (DEC) and Northern Susitna Institute (NSI) are excited to announce the merger of our two non-profit organizations, located in Denali Park and Talkeetna, AK, respectively. We believe that uniting during a time of social distancing is a sign for brighter days ahead for our communities and people who visit Denali. Through this merger of ideas and resources, our expanded organization will better serve the gateway communities of Denali National Park and Preserve. While the name Northern Susitna Institute will cease to exist, its values and history of service will continue through DEC.
Merging organizations in the time of COVID-19 brings a few challenges including the launching of programs and opening the Talkeetna Campus. Due to the pandemic’s effects on tourism and the uncertainty in mitigating risks, DEC made the challenging decision to keep the Talkeetna facilities closed and suspend programming in 2020. All 2020 programs on the Denali Campus were canceled as well. We are using this time to plan for summer 2021 programs in Talkeetna and the hopeful return of “regular” programming in Denali.
Northern Susitna Institute’s retiring board president Jim Graupmann stated, “The board members of NSI worked diligently to find a partner that will serve the communities of the Northern Susitna Valley. We have found that partner in the Denali Education Center. We have looked closely at their mission statement and their values and we trust that they will continue serving our communities in a similar, but more financially secure, fashion. The board members of NSI thank the community members, donors, and volunteers who have supported us through these many years and we hope that you will extend your support to Denali Education Center.”
According to Jodi Rodwell, executive director of Denali Education Center, “We intend to take the next year to develop a plan for youth and community outreach programming on our Talkeetna Campus. We are thrilled for this merger, and the trust placed in us by the former NSI board, as we have always felt that the Talkeetna community is an extension of Denali, a sister gateway community to the Park. Our partnership with the National Park Service is sure to grow and our mission of connecting people to Denali will flourish in the Talkeetna community. We have a lot to learn about Talkeetna and the Northern Susitna Valley and we can’t wait to dive in!”
Talkeetna Campus Location
The Talkeetna Campus is located at 22510 S Talkeetna Spur Rd.