Yosemite works with many organizations to support volunteers in the park. Some, like the Yosemite Conservancy, have extensive volunteer programs for both groups and individuals in the park. Others, such as the Sierra Club and the National Council for Preservation Education, support specific group or individual opportunities. For most of these groups, you can apply for positions directly through the partner's website. For the group projects, the organizations may charge a fee for food and logistical organization. The following organizations are a sample of the park's annual partners:
The Yosemite Conservancy is the only philanthropic organization dedicated exclusively to the protection and preservation of Yosemite National Park and enhancement of the visitor experience. The vision of the Yosemite Conservancy is that it will "ensure Yosemite remains an irreplaceable resource and wondrous icon by funding projects and programs that provide a margin of excellence and inspire enduring connections for current and future generations."
The Yosemite Conservancy has two volunteer programs.
- Visitor Information Assistants (also known as "month-longs") help the public enjoy their park through staffing visitor centers and contact stations, roving trails, and educating the public about the role of the Yosemite Conservancy. Volunteers serve for one month or more, approximately 32 hours per week, roughly May through September, in the Valley, Wawona, and Tuolumne Meadows. Shared campsites are provided.
- Work Week volunteers work with National Park Service staff on projects throughout Yosemite. This program is sponsored cooperatively by Yosemite Conservancy, the National Park Service, and DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite. Volunteers come to the park for one week to work on projects such as riverbank rehabilitation, rare plants surveys, meadow restoration, and split-rail fence construction. This challenging program requires volunteers to perform physically demanding work outdoors. In return they have the satisfaction of seeing their efforts pay-off by making a positive impact in the park while enjoying a week of spectacular scenery and campsite camaraderie.
To learn more about volunteering with the Yosemite Conservancy, or to apply to one of these programs, please visit their website or call 209/380-2317 extension 14.
The Sierra Club
Since 1892, the Sierra Club has been working to protect communities, wild places, and the planet itself. Since John Muir's early days as first president of the Sierra Club, the organization has been closely connected to Yosemite. Today, individuals volunteers work for the Sierra Club in the Le Conte Memorial Lodge during summer months, under a special agreement with the National Park Service (NPS). The Sierra Club also partners with the NPS to facilitate one or more week-long service projects; most projects have involved ecological restoration work or trail work. To learn more about current offerings, go the Sierra Club's web site and click on "outings> volunteer vacations": http://www.sierraclub.org
The Pacific Crest Trail Association
The mission of the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) is to protect, preserve and promote the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail as an internationally significant resource for the enjoyment of hikers and equestrians, and for the value that wild and scenic lands provide to all people. Nearly 70 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail traverse Yosemite National Park. The park partners with PCTA to organize week-long projects along this trail.
American Hiking Society
As the national voice for America's Hikers, American Hiking Society (AHS) promotes and protects foot trails and the hiking experience. At Yosemite, AHS partners with the trails program to repair and restore trails throughout the park during week-long Volunteer Vacations. To learn if a project is currently scheduled, visit: http://www.americanhiking.org
Wilderness Volunteers is a nonprofit organization created in 1997 to organize and promote volunteer service to America's wild lands. At Yosemite, Wilderness Volunteers have been working on a wilderness restoration project near Hetch-Hetchy for several years. To learn abou this year's project, go to: http://www.wildernessvolunteers.org/
Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America
The National Park Service has partnerships with both the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America to promote exploration and service in the national parks. Hundreds of scouts volunteer in the park each year as a part of our group program. Boy Scouts may earn a Resource Stewardship Ranger Patch by engaging in a combination of educational pursuits and service for at least 10 hours. Girl Scouts of America have a similar program, currently being restructured. To learn about both programs, go to http://www.nps.gov/gettinginvolved/youthprograms/index.htm
Student Conservation Association
The Student Conservation Association (SCA) places interns of all ages in conservation positions throughout the United States, including dozens each year in Yosemite. Applicants apply directly through the SCA for Yosemite positions. Yosemite staff interview and select the interns.
Geological Society of America
Geocorps is a partnership between the National Park Service and the Geological Society of America. Each year, Yosemite hires a few interns into the Geoscientists-in-Parks with Geocorps.
National Council for Preservation Education
Through a cooperative agreement, the National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE) places students in paid internships in Yosemite's historic preservation and historic architecture programs.