Yosemite is a refuge for pollinators, such as bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, which play an essential role in healthy ecosystems but are experiencing worldwide declines due to habitat loss. Monarch butterfly populations west of the Rockies, for example, have plummeted by 97 percent, largely due to loss of their host plant, milkweed.

In 2019, building on the success of recent donor-funded projects, park crews worked with volunteers and student groups to create healthy pollinator habitat in Yosemite Valley meadows by removing invasive plants and sowing native flora, such as milkweed, lupines and penstemons. Overall, they restored 6.8 acres of meadow habitat and sowed more than 6,000 plants, focusing on historically affected areas that would not recover without active restoration work.

Your gifts helped improve habitat for diverse pollinators while restoring the beauty of Yosemite’s wildflower meadows.

Completed in partnership with Yosemite National Park, NatureBridge and Yosemite-area schools.

Garrett Dickman

Botanist, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

The monarch butterfly population has decreased 80% from the 20 year average, mostly from the loss of its host plant, the milkweed. Monarch butterflies, once one of the most prolific and renowned international migratory animals, is now a candidate for the Endangered Species Act. Yosemite, as a protected landscape, is a refuge to native pollinators.