Despite living just hours from Yosemite’s wilderness, many California youth find the park inaccessible, due to barriers, such as access to equipment and transportation, or community perceptions. Programs such as WildLink aim to break down those barriers.

WildLink offers teens a crucial first introduction to Yosemite, opens doors to other youth programs and creates lasting connections to the natural world for youth who might not otherwise have access to a national park. With your support in 2015, more than 80 California teens spent five days immersed in Yosemite on backpacking expeditions. Along with gaining confidence and new outdoor skills, the participants met with rangers and explored a range of park-related topics, including air and water quality, cultural and natural history, and conservation.

Back at home, they drew on what they had learned in the park to serve as environmental ambassadors in their communities, completing stewardship projects such as revitalizing an environmental education area, restoring native plant species and cleaning up trails.

Your gifts created life-changing opportunities for youth to develop a lasting connection with the natural world in Yosemite and at home.

Completed in partnership with Yosemite National Park, WildLink, NatureBridge and the U.S. Forest Service.

Ken Watson

Wilderness Education Supervisor

Project Notes

WildLink includes family Outreach Visits; five-day Expeditions in Yosemite; local stewardship projects in schools and community centers; Wilderness Ambassador Projects; Yosemite Family Weekend; and mentorship and career opportunities for approximately 90 underserved youth annually.