Reimaging Rural Grants Benefit 11 Montana Communities Grants

June 04, 2024

Supporting Thriving Communities in Montana

Eleven communities across Montana are receiving $19,600 for Reimagine What is Possible Grants to support community development projects. Reimagining Rural is a program spearheaded by MSU Extension in conjunction with the Montana Community Foundation and other partners. The program provides small towns with opportunities and resources to shape their future.

Tara Mastel, the program lead of MSU Extension’s community vitality program, describes Reimagining Rural as an initiative aimed at boosting volunteer involvement in rural areas. “As we mark 4 years since its inception, we witness remarkable collaboration between local organizations, residents and the rise of leadership within these communities, as they actively shape their collective future. It's impactful and inspiring work.”

The projects funded through this year’s Reimagine What is Possible Grants are a result of ideas learned during the Reimagining Rural Virtual Gathering held between January and February 2024. Over the course of three virtual sessions, each community heard from rural leaders, experts, and advocates about ideas to revitalize their small towns and how to put them into practice.

 “Participating in Reimagining Rural gave the residents of Choteau an opportunity to connect with one another, identify current needs of residents, and share a vision of the future” said Shelby Jones-Dozier, Teton County Extension Agent. Choteau was awarded a $2,000 grant for a community wide calendar for residents. “Using the inspirational stories of other rural small towns as a launching point, it was possible to develop a project that would be meaningful for our town and build on existing community partnerships. With the support of the Montana Community Foundation, the Choteau Community Events Calendar is becoming a reality.  Leveraging matching funds from partners, this grant made it possible to double our efforts for a robust virtual community calendar paired with engaging printed signage utilizing QR code technology.  It is our hope that by increasing the capacity for a shared event planning calendar, the community can grow into a more vibrant, connected community.”

Grants are provided through the support of the Montana Community Foundation. Since Reimaging Rural’s inception in 2020, $115,160 has been reinvested in small towns across the state through grants from the Montana Community Foundation and 53 communities have been through the program. This year’s grantees include:


  • Big Timber – $2,000 to Sweet Grass Community Foundation to draw visitors downtown through better signage. 
  • Boulder -$2,000 to Boulder Chamber of Commerce to purchase and install banners on Main Street. 
  • Choteau - $2,000 to MSU Extension – Teton County to create an online community-wide calendar for residents. 
  • Cut Bank - $2,000 for the Cut Bank Chamber of Commerce to create wayfinding signage in and around Cut Bank. 
  • Ekalaka - $2,000 to the Carter County Geological Society to enhance Veteran’s Park with a community garden and convertible benches for visitors. 
  • Forsyth - $2,000 for MSU Extension – Rosebud and Treasure County Office to create a disc golf course at Riverside Park in Forsyth. 
  • Lima - $2,000 to the Town of Lima to create a community foundation, install a kiosk, and host a community event.
  • Miles City - $2,000 to the Miles City Public Library for building revitalization in the form of a community mural. 
  • West Yellowstone - $1,600 to the West Yellowstone Foundation for town beautification initiatives and clean up challenges. 
  • Winnett - $2,000 to Winnett ACES, Inc to draw visitors downtown through better signage and the installation of banners on Main Street. 

“Reimagining Rural is making an impact across our state year after year,” noted MCF Program Officer, Taylor Crowl. “The Montana Community Foundation is honored to be a partner in supporting these organizations and communities as they implement projects that catalyze further community development and contribute to a bright future for their small town.”

For questions about the Reimagining Rural program, please contact Local Community Foundations Program Officer, Taylor Crowl at (406) 603-4913 or For more information about grant opportunities at the Montana Community Foundation, please visit