Parks in Focus provides opportunities for underserved middle-school youth from the San Francisco Bay Area to learn about nature through photography. For many, this might be their first visit to Yosemite, their first hike, their first campsite and their first photography lesson. This experience culminates in a photography exhibit at the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite Valley.

In 2015, with your support, Parks in Focus offered two five-day summer immersion trips for Bay Area students from the Boys & Girls Clubs and the YMCA. The students completed stewardship projects, learned about the natural world with park rangers, explored Yosemite through the lenses of their new digital cameras. They captured more than 10,000 photos, including sweeping Sierra panoramas, wildflower close-ups and vertical shots of towering sequoias, and left the park with a new perspective on their natural surroundings, both in Yosemite and at home. Visit the Parks in Focus Flickr page to see some of the photos they took!

Your gift helped provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience that empowers kids to make the outdoors part of their lives.

Completed in partnership with Yosemite National Park, The Udall Foundation and The Ansel Adams Gallery.

Shauna Potocky

Director of Education and Youth Program

Project Notes

Parks in Focus targets diverse, at-risk middle school youth, a group that is typically underrepresented in park visitation, and provides substantive experiences that inspire future visitation and stewardship. More than 95% of past participants expressed interest in continuing to visit national parks in the future; 90% said they were more interested in nature than before Parks in Focus; and 100% indicated they had learned how to take better care, and would continue to take photos, of nature.