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Yosemite National Park to Celebrate National Public Lands Day

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Date: September 24, 2009

Special Screenings of the new Ken Burns film The National Parks: America’s Best Idea to be shown in the park starting this Sunday

In celebration of National Public Lands Day, Yosemite National Park, and all other National Park sites, will offer free admission this Saturday, September 26, 2009.

National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest hands-on effort to improve and enhance the public lands Americans enjoy. This annual event seeks to educate Americans about the environment and natural resources, builds partnerships between local communities and public lands, and improves outdoor recreation.

One third of all land in the United States has been set aside as public land, belonging to all the American citizens. There are over 600 million acres of national parks, wildlife refuges, national forests, wetlands, and cultural sites set aside.

In additional to waiving entrance fees, national parks and other public lands will host special programs and volunteer work parties to commemorate this special day. Yosemite National Park will be hosting its sixth annual “Yosemite Facelift” September 23-27. This annual event is designed to clean up the park after the long and busy summer season. Every year, thousands of volunteers donate their time picking up litter from various locations around the park. Events and presentations honoring Yosemite’s climbing history will be held throughout the weekend. Volunteers who wish to participate should contact Ken Yager at YCA@inreach.com or check in with volunteer coordinators in front of the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center.

This Sunday, September 27, the new Ken Burns film The National Parks: America’s Best Idea will be debuting on PBS television stations throughout the country. This 12 hour, six part series traces the development of the National Park Service and the individuals who helped set these lands aside. In celebration of this landmark film, Yosemite National Park will be hosting free screenings of the film during all six consecutive evenings. At 7:30 p.m. each evening, the screenings will occur at the Yosemite Lodge Amphitheater, Curry Village Amphitheater, and the Lower Pines Campground Amphitheater. Park Rangers, who worked on the film with Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan, will introduce each screening and answer questions.

Did You Know?

Wawona Covered Bridge

Built to connect human developments on both sides of the South Fork Merced River, the Wawona Covered Bridge is one of few covered bridges in the region. Built in 1868 by Yosemite’s first guardian, Galen Clark, the Wawona Covered Bridge boasts state significance within transportation, entertainment, and recreation contexts.