Despite living near Yosemite, many young Californians lack access to the park, seemingly cut off by challenges related to transportation, income or community perceptions. WildLink, a National Park Service and NatureBridge program, breaks down those barriers and encourages underserved youth to develop lasting connections to the natural world.

In 2017, more than 80 WildLink participants headed to the park for backpacking expeditions, during which they got to practice outdoor skills, help with ecological restoration, and explore environmental topics. Afterward, they served as ambassadors for Yosemite in their communities, completing stewardship projects and teaching “Leave No Trace” principles to peers.  This grant also helped a small group of WildLink alumni spent two weeks exploring careers and meeting with more than 30 NPS and park partner professionals in Yosemite.

Your gift supported proven programming that connects youth to nature in a national park — and in their neighborhoods. For a more in-depth look at WildLink, check out our blog post about the program.

Completed in partnership with Yosemite National Park, Balanced Rock, NatureBridge, WildLink and Yosemite Hospitality.

WildLink Youth Participant

Journal Excerpt

Project Notes

It’s our final morning with fresh breeze, beautiful scenery, and great times. It’s a bittersweet feeling, though, because I will miss this place so much, but I have to go back and tell everyone they need to take a step in their beautiful backyard.