Be Part of Your Park

Be Part of Your Park

A hiker heads up the Four Mile Trail in Yosemite. Photo: Yosemite Conservancy/Keith Walklet

Does this sound like you? You went to Yosemite — this year, last year, two decades ago — and fell in love with the park. You were smitten with the sweeping views of Sierra peaks, with the sounds of songbirds and streams, with feeling small under soaring sequoias. Maybe you've visited the park once, or twice, or 20 times. Maybe you've never been there in person, but you still feel a connection to Yosemite ... because your friends and family members have inspired you with their passion for the park, or you visit virtually through the webcams, or you care about Yosemite as protected landscape with rich natural and cultural history.

Donors enjoy a bird-watching walk during the Conservancy's Spring Gathering event. In addition to being invited to the annual celebration in the Valley, supporters that contribute at least $25 receive special discounts and a subscription to the Conservancy's magazine. Photo: Yosemite Conservancy/Al GolubWhether your relationship with Yosemite is lifelong or brand-new, we hope you'll take advantage of some of the many ways to deepen your connection to the park by getting involved with the Conservancy. When you do, you'll become even more a part of the park's present — and its future.



One of the quickest ways to get involved: Make a tax-deductible gift. We rely on the support of generous donors to fund dozens of projects in the park each year. Donors support restoration work on backcountry trails; efforts to revitalize meadow and forest habitat; research on diverse animals, such as black-headed grosbeaks, California red-legged frogs and Sierra Nevada red foxes; programs that help kids and young adults connect with the outdoors; and much more.

How you decide to donate is up to you: Give once a month, or once a year; donate in honor or memory of someone special; amplify your impact by having your employer match your gift; or make Yosemite part of your legacy beyond your lifetime. You can also give through an IRA or donor-advised fund, donate a vehicle, make a stock gift, set up your own crowdfunding campaign ... the list goes on. Whatever you choose, your gift will make a difference!


A Yosemite Conservancy volunteer helps out with habitat restoration in the high country during a summer work week. Photo: Yosemite Conservancy/Mark Marschall


Our volunteer programs provide vital on-the-ground support to the park every year. Do you ...

... have some elbow grease to spare? Join us to spend a week pitching in on specific projects, such as restoring meadow or forest habitat.

... feel passionate about the park, and want to share your Yosemite knowledge with others? Devote a month to volunteering as a visitor information assistant, helping people make the most of their time in the park.

... have experience as an artist? Volunteer as an art instructor for our seasonal workshops and children's classes.

... work for a company that supports the Conservancy? You and a team of coworkers might be eligible for a fun (and productive!) volunteer work weekend in the park.



Have you been poring over maps of the Yosemite Wilderness, plotting your next backpacking trek? Or doodling sketches of Sierra peaks and songbirds as you daydream about your last trip to the park? Maybe you find yourself dramatically reciting John Muir's most famous lines at gatherings of friends and family? Great news: In Yosemite, art, theater and adventure are all avenues for connecting with, and giving back to, the park. 

Whether you want to take a four-hour outdoor painting workshop based at Happy Isles Art and Nature Center (or stop by for a quick round of drop-in crafting and creativity before a jaunt up the Mist Trail); enjoy an entertaining and enlightening evening at the Yosemite Theater; or explore trails, snowy sequoia groves, hidden lakes and history with an expert naturalist guide, your participation in Conservancy programs helps support the park.


Art students practice watercolor techniques during an outdoor workshop with volunteer instructor Juan Pena. Photo: Yosemite Conservancy/Mark Marschall



Our bookstores carry reading material for all ages, tote bags, shirts and hats featuring original designs, and many other Yosemite-themed items.Planning a Yosemite stay? Check to see if your hotel or campground participates in the Dollar-a-Night program — if they do, you can donate a dollar for every night of your stay. A dollar or two might not seem like much, but those bucks can add up into a big benefit for the park!

Heading home? You can't pack up a pika or pocket a sequoia as a souvenir, but you can find plenty of Yosemite-themed mementos in our bookstores. Stop by one of our stores in the park, or browse our digital shelves, to find books, maps, field guides, posters and prints, apparel, water bottles and mugs, journals, toys and games, and more. Pick up a gift for your favorite park fan, or for yourself — either way, proceeds will go toward projects in the park.

Beyond our shelves, you can help support Yosemite by shopping with companies that give back to the park through their products, such as Parks Project, Wild Tribute, Sports Basement and Munk Pack, to name a few.



You might not have time on every park trip to join a volunteer crew, head out on a guided backpacking trip, or take an art workshop, but there's something simple you can do whenever you visit Yosemite, no matter how many hours you have: Be a good steward. Aim to "Leave No Trace" by properly disposing of or packing out any waste, sticking to designated trails, observing wildlife from a distance, storing your food securely, and admiring your surroundings while leaving wildflowers, cones, leaves and other natural objects undisturbed. 


Another easy way to get involved: Spread the word! Help educate others about how to connect with and care for Yosemite, both while they're experiencing the park's protected acres in person and when they're far from the Sierra. However you share the Yosemite love — through social media (we're @YosemiteConservancy on Facebook and Instagram, and @YoseConservancy on Twitter, and we love when you share our posts!), by teaching first-time hikers or campers how to minimize their impact, by inviting a friend to volunteer with you in the park, or maybe even by passing this blog along to a new reader — you'll be helping to expand the community of people who are inspired by Yosemite, and invested in its future. 

Thanks for reading, and for being part of Yosemite. See you in the park!

Yosemite Insider