Drop-in Volunteering and Special Events
Throughout the year, we have several special events such as Junior Ranger Day, Earth Day (both in April), Apple Picking Day (mid August), and the Yosemite Facelift (late September), where volunteers can just show up, no application needed. We list these events on this website when we know the dates for each year, as well as on www.volunteer.gov. We also have at least one weekly drop-in volunteer day each week in summer, known as "HaPY."
For all special events and drop in days, the park asks participants to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes, appropriate gear for the weather, and bring sun protection, water, and snacks. The park provides tools and protective equipment.
All participants must sign a volunteer agreement [52 kb PDF]. If you'd like to fill out the in advance, this form will be posted with each special event or drop-in project as they are planned (you can also sign one on the day of the project on-site). Guardians must sign the form for participants under the age of 18.
HaPY (Habitat Protectors of Yosemite)
We need your help to keep Yosemite's habitat healthy for the plants and animals who live here! By removing invasive plants, restoring oak woodlands, picking up litter, and maintaining food lockers, you can make Yosemite a healthier place for all. Volunteers can participate in the Habitat Protectors of Yosemite (HaPY) program during summer. Visit the HaPY web page to learn more, and the Yosemite Guide for current schedules.
Earth Day - April
Junior Ranger Day - April
Historic apple orchards in Yosemite Valley attract bears, leading them to eat non-native foods while increasing human-bear conflicts in parking areas and campgrounds near the orchards. To help decrease the impact of the orchards, volunteers are invited to pick apples, removing the temptations for the bears. Usually scheduled sometime in August or early September, depending on when the apples ripen. Check back in late July for an exact date.
Yosemite Facelift (and National Public Lands Day) - last week in September
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.