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Yosemite National Park, October 4, 2010 –With Giant Sequoias keeping watch nearby, Yosemite Conservancy donated $5.9 million to Yosemite National Park to preserve and protect park resources and enrich the visitor experience.

“Providing for Yosemite’s future is our passion,” said Mike Tollefson, Conservancy president. “Our support focuses on creating unique opportunities for people to connect with park. For some that occurs through restoring hiking trails, meadows and iconic lookouts, while others participate in outdoor education and volunteer programs.”

The annual contribution was delivered by stagecoach at the Pioneer Yosemite History Center in Wawona to Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher during the Conservancy’s Fall Gathering celebration last Saturday.

The donation funded more than 40 project and programs. A $1 million effort supported Youth in Yosemite experiential learning programs that also repaired trails, improved campgrounds, preserved images from Yosemite’s archives, and expanded educational programs and exhibits at Happy Isles Nature Center. Donations also funded projects to restore Carlon Meadow, study Songbird population changes, and open an exhibit at the Yosemite Museum Gallery entitled “View & Visitors: The Yosemite Experience in the 19th Century.”

Yosemite Conservancy programs provide additional support by enhancing visitor experience through educational programs taught by local experts, Yosemite Art and Theater programs and volunteer work. During the last 12 months, Conservancy volunteers spent nearly 17,000 hours providing information to park visitors and improving meadows, trails and woodlands. Sales from Conservancy bookstores, which sell items like trail maps and education books are poured back into Yosemite.

“These projects and programs would not happen without the support of Yosemite Conservancy,” said Neubacher. “The time and resources provided by this organization makes a huge difference in the quality of people’s experience in the park and its natural condition.”

Yosemite Conservancy is the only philanthropic organization dedicated exclusively to the protection and preservation of Yosemite National Park and enhancement of the visitor experience. The Conservancy restores trails, protects wildlife through scientific research and habitat restoration, and offers outdoor programs that create a better visitor experience. It has funded over 300 projects through more than $60 million in grants, organizes educational and volunteer programs, and produces award winning publications. Learn more at yosemite.org or call 1-800-$-MY-PARK.

Peter Bartelme, Media Relations, Yosemite Conservancy, 415-664-1503
Scott Gediman, Media and External Relations, Yosemite National Park, 209-372-0248
Kari Cobb, Media and External Relations, Yosemite National Park, 209-372-0529