Since 1988, the non-profit Yosemite Fund (www.yosemitefund.org) has given grants of nearly $50 million to complete over 200 Yosemite improvement projects. The Fund operates under a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service to serve as the primary fundraising organization for Yosemite National Park. The Yosemite Fund raises funds for Park projects which provide a margin of excellence in Yosemite that could not otherwise be achieved.
Founded in 1985 and incorporated in 1988, the Yosemite Fund is an independent private non-profit foundation authorized by the National Park Service to solicit contributions for projects and programs to further protect, preserve and enhance Yosemite National Park. The Fund's work improves Yosemite's natural, cultural and historic resources as well as the visitor experience.
75,000 individuals and numerous corporations and foundations have enabled the Fund to grant over $40 million to Park projects. Nearly 100 volunteers help with office operations, events and other fundraising activities, while the Fund's volunteer Board of Trustees and Council Members and various committees govern the organization, review and approve grants and conduct fundraising efforts. Day-to-day operations are managed by a permanent staff of nine individuals.
Areas of special interest and a sampling of our achievements include:
Trail Repair and Access
Reconstruction of portions of major trails including the Pacific Crest and John Muir trails, Lewis Creek, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome Steps and Mist trails. Construction of 1.5 miles of new bikeway in Yosemite Valley. Handicapped accessible trail improvements at Yosemite Falls, Washburn Point, Glacier Point, Happy Isles, Mariposa Grove and other locations.
Major projects at Happy Isles Wetland, Glacier Point, Washburn Point, Mirror Lake, Tenaya Lake, Stoneman and Cook's Meadows and along the Merced River in Yosemite Valley. Wilderness restoration throughout the backcountry focused on removal and revegetation of out-of-bounds campsites, relocation of trails from sensitive areas and renovation of appropriate wilderness camps.
Visitor Services and Education
New permanent exhibits at the Happy Isles Nature Center, Wilderness Center, Mariposa Grove Museum, Valley Visitor Center and Parsons Lodge. Support for Yosemite's Wilderness Education Program. Production of the official visitor orientation film Spirit of Yosemite and renovation of an existing auditorium into a first class theater for the film. Distribution of Spirit film to California middle schools and support of Mariposa schools' Outdoor Education program.
Cultural and Historic Preservation
Rehabilitation of historic buildings in the Pioneer History Center, Wawona Covered Bridge, the Mariposa Grove, Yosemite Museum and Indian Village. Acquisition of Indian artifacts, rare books and restoration of early paintings, photographs and films.
Surveys of mountain lions, bees, goshawks, Great Grey owls, and bats. Research related to lakes, vegetation and stream mapping, climate analysis, amphibian decline, pioneer use in the wilderness, effects of grazing, Native American archeology and forest fire prediction.
Reestablishment of bighorn sheep and peregrine falcons. Construction and installation of over 2,000 bear-proof food storage lockers to curtail incidents between humans and black bears and to keep bears from becoming habituated to human food.
The Yosemite Fund is a great organization doing much-needed work! Visit their web site for more information. Look for future Yosemite shows and fundraisers at Sun to Moon Gallery to benefit The Yosemite Fund.
Sun to Moon Gallery
1515 Levee Street
Dallas, TX 75207