Yosemite Environmental Education Campus

Interior pictures of table and bunk beds and a photo of the exterior; all of the Crane Flat Campus


NatureBridge, a Yosemite National Park non-profit partner, aims to promote visitor understanding, stewardship, and appreciation of diverse park environments. NatureBridge operated an environmental education campus at Crane Flat under a cooperative agreement with the park. This campus served both the park and NatureBridge by fulfilling their shared mission.

The campus at Crane Flat has been an educational facility since 1971. Each year the program serves approximately 13,000 ethnically and socio-economically diverse students between the ages of 7 and 18, providing educational adventures and inspiring personal connections to the natural world. The Crane Flat campus is comprised of older buildings and structures that have been assembled over time and were not originally designed for educational purposes.

The overarching goals of this project are to:

  • Provide an environmental education campus location and program that serves the combined missions of Yosemite National Park and NatureBridge.
  • Facilitate multi-day educational programs that complement California State Standards and offer opportunities for research and study of the natural world.
  • Provide a campus facility that is sustainable in design and enables high quality, immersive, and safe educational experiences for students.
  • Promote development of future stewards of the environment and the National Park system.

A plan to create a better, more efficient, accessible, and environmentally-friendly campus was initiated in 2002. Public scoping was completed in November 2002, and comments indicated that more detailed studies were needed to address concerns regarding sensitive resources in the area. The draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was put on hold while further data was collected, and the range of alternatives was expanded. In 2006, Henness Ridge (near Chinquapin) was chosen as an additional alternative site for environmental analysis in the EIS. After collecting information on the new alternative site for the Draft EIS, the document was made available public review in winter 2009 with a Record of Decision signed in early 2010.


Last updated: February 10, 2020

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