The Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center Fund, Inc. was created in 1991 by several of Montana's leading citizens in partnership with the US Forest Service, the federal agency entrusted with management of the Center. This non-profit organization was incorporated to provide the resources and leadership necessary to generate funds needed to build the original facility in the 1990s. By 1995, Fund, Inc. had successfully raised $3 million to match a federal appropriation of an additional $3 million, which funded construction of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center.

The new Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center opened to the public on May 5, 1998. Within a year, board members began exploring a long term role for the organization, and the name was changed to the Lewis & Clark Foundation. Since that time, the Foundation has assisted the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center with a number of projects including:

  • $177,000 toward relocation of the access road and parking lot
  • $10,000 for production of a four-color marketing brochure distributed nationally
  • $5,000 for the cost of distributing travel brochures
  • $15,000 for the Scholar-in-residence program
  • $6,700 for the fabrication of exhibits and display cases
  • $10,000 for the publication of books for the Center's gift shop
  • $10,000 for equipment for the Center's audio tour
  • $65,000 for design of the Interpretive Center's facility expansion.
  • $300,000 to provide remodeled space for the national headquarters for the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation and Library
  • Purchase of properties on the north shore of the Missouri River across from the Center, and valued at $665,000
  • $330,000 for remodel of the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, to make room for new Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation office and library and expanded Portage Cache store
  • $90,000 in partnership with the National Park Service, for the Field Investigations program with 1700 middle school children
  • $14,000 in partnership with Montana Historical Society and the OPI, for Indian Education for All project

On October 1, 2010 the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center Foundation merged with the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Association, and began operating under a new name: the Lewis & Clark Foundation. The Portage Cache Store became a part of Foundation operations.

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