The Future of Public Lands is in Their Hands

The future of public lands is in their hands

The future of public lands is in their hands

NPS Photo

Quick Facts


A Call to Action
Action Item:
A Class Act
Year Accomplished:

"You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give." E.O. Wilson

Utilizing the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service as a teaching tool, the opportunity is ripe for sharing the vision of public lands, celebrating their legacy, and continuing their stewardship.

Yosemite's Class of 2016 Project 

This project seeks to provide a robust plan to reach not just one subset of students, but to create connections between students and programs. These connections offer broad and sweeping reach-thus providing a wide range of opportunities for youth, partners, and the National Park Service to connect younger generations to the legacy we currently manage, because tomorrow, this legacy will be theirs to continue.

Yosemite's plan includes education programming for grades K-12, community college and university students, young adults who are not associated with an educational institution, special education and opportunities for youth with disabilities, participants in youth programs such as Adventure Risk Challenge, NatureBridge, Parks In Focus, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Youth Conservation Corps, and many others.

Programming includes classroom and field based activities, overnight excursions, sister park presentations, Skype supported distance learning, themed events, special projects, and long term learning activities. These programs will culminate with a Centennial Youth Symposium held in Yosemite National Park in 2016.

Carrying out "A Class Act"  will take a team who is inspired at every level. This team must have a passion to engage youth, share a desire to innovate programs, and utilize the best tools to empower and motivate others.

Working together, Yosemite and its partners will create lasting connections for youth to the legacy of public lands. Specifically, Yosemite's Class of 2016 programs will reach across learning disciplines-from science to art and linking outdoor experiences to environmental education and stewardship. Each aspect of program delivery will focus on best practices, long-term connections, and the best possible level of service.

At every level of engagement, Yosemite will strive to be a model for the National Park Service-providing innovative programs through strategic planning and efficient delivery. Yosemite will evaluate the programs and current reach, all the while exploring reasonable means for expansion. Where possible, Yosemite will be bold and strive for new programs, methods of delivery, and partner engagement.

The vision is to emerge with strengthened partnerships, new levels of youth involvement, having served traditionally under served audiences and assuring successful delivery of every Class of 2016 initiative.

Together, Yosemite staff and partners are anxious to embrace and share the legacy of the National Park Service with the next generation of leaders. The future of public lands is truly in their hands.