El Portal Market Reopens in Yosemite National Park
Acting Superintendent Dave Uberuaga and Kirstie Kari participated in a community celebration commemorating the reopening of the El Portal Market. The El Portal Market, a fixture in the small community of El Portal on Highway 140, completely burned in a fire in March 2008.
“It's important to have a place like this for the community, where people can meet and talk and have some coffee. Now that place is the market at El Portal. Today it's important to get together and celebrate the hard work... We put this project on the fast track. I feel gratified to see all the folks here and how busy it is,” said Uberuaga.
About 60 people attended the gathering to celebrate the reopening of the market. The new market is located in a historic building in El Portal, formally used as by the National Park Service (NPS) as an office. The NPS worked diligently over the past year to completely rehabilitate the building, including new wiring, flooring, lighting, and windows. Kirstie Kari, a long time El Portal, is the new concessioner that is operating the market.
“It was a long year. I’d like to thank the community for all their support. We're going to work hard to provide what the community needs. If anyone has any suggestions on what to stock, they can let us know,” commented Kari.
The El Portal Market serves both local residents and visitors entering and exiting the park via the Highway 140 corridor. The El Portal Market has served the local community for the past 60 years.
Did You Know?
In Wawona and downstream, the South Fork Merced River provides habitat for a rare plant, the Sierra sweet bay (Myrica hartwegii). This special status shrub is found in only five Sierra Nevada counties. In Yosemite, it occurs exclusively on sand bars and river banks along the South Fork Merced River downstream from Wawona and on Big Creek.