Project goal: Design a new Yosemite Museum exhibit to spark conversation about gender equity and disparity in the park.

Why this work matters: The history and status of women’s rights and roles in the U.S., before and after the 19th Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution, in August 1920, are complex and evolving. When you zoom in from the nation at large to national parks, you’ll see that complexity in the stories of women participating and working in public lands, conservation, science and outdoor recreation during the past 150 years. Those stories, from Clare Marie Hodges — Yosemite’s first female ranger — to 21st-century park leaders, adventurers and researchers, offer moments to celebrate, while also underscoring the need for continued progress.

Through this project, the park is encouraging staff and visitors to explore the past, present and future of women at Yosemite through an interactive museum exhibit. The special exhibit will feature videos and archival objects focused on women’s history in the park, and it will be designed to prompt education and conversation about successes and challenges in efforts to improve gender equity at Yosemite and other public lands. 

How your support helped: In 2020, your gifts supported the design phase of this project. The exhibit, which is slated to be on display in 2021, will serve as a new educational resource focused on exploring the lingering barriers to gender equity in parks and other outdoor spaces.

You also helped support a one-day Women’s Leadership Symposium in Yosemite in March 2020, which prompted rich discussions of the evolution of women’s roles in the National Park Service. In August 2020, for the 19th Amendment’s centennial, the park shared a digital exhibit and a short video celebrating women leaders from Yosemite’s past and present. Watch the video below, and visit the park’s website to learn more about women throughout Yosemite’s history.

Project partner: Yosemite National Park.

Sabrina Diaz

Chief of Interpretation and Education, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

"The story of women in the National Park Service and the outdoors is a complex part of our history that continues to evolve today. … The centennial of the 19th Amendment gives Yosemite an opportunity to engage visitors, youth and our workforce in understanding our history and breaking down barriers for women in the science and in the outdoors."