National Wildlife Art Museum
National Wildlife Art Museum
National Wildlife Art Museum

The National Museum of Wildlife Art holds a unique collection of painting, sculpture, oral and written histories interpreting the history of wildlife and human interactions since the settlement of the country. A private institution with a long history, the museum desired a dramatic new site and home worthy of its reputation. Civitas was engaged to fit the building into the unique Teton Valley landscape in the most sensitive way possible.

The large site was on the hillside of North Gros Ventre Butte, a local landmark along the drive from Jackson to Yellowstone Park. For many years the site had been a KOA campground, terraced into the hillside with ugly and raw cuts and fills, broken asphalt parking areas and derelict buildings. Working with the building architects, Civitas led a lengthy community engagement process that defined a need to mitigate the scars of the past, blend the facility into the hillside, and to make an eyesore into a symbol of environmental stewardship for the community.

Civitas worked with ecologists and range managers from the Grand Teton National Park to review best practices in site re-vegetation and habitat restoration. Through a series of test plots a means was found to seed a native sage prairie mix into the reshaped ground. The unique building was sited by Civitas to lower its profile, capture stormwater into bio-swales, and to create a massive avalanche deflector berm that sits uphill from the building.

Client: National Museum of Wildlife Art
Partners: Fentress Architects
Completed: 1995
Budget: $30 million
Location: Jackson, WY