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Yosemite Conservancy provided $9.3 million in support to Yosemite National Park during the last year to fund projects and programs ranging from trail restoration and wildlife protection to art, youth, and educational programming.
"People are incredibly passionate about providing for Yosemite's future. Their support for the park makes a lasting difference in improving people's experiences and protecting it for future generations," said Mike Tollefson, Yosemite Conservancy President.
Speaking at the Yosemite Conservancy's Fall Gathering at the historic Wawona Hotel in Yosemite on Saturday, October 1, 2011, Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher recognized the importance of the Yosemite Conservancy's role. "This generous support is essential to making possible projects that preserve, protect and enhance the park's natural condition and the visitor experience," said Neubacher.
More than 50 projects and programs received support during the last year throughout the park. For example, $1.3 million went to 11 Youth in Yosemite programs on education, mentoring, wilderness exploration and park restoration. At Tenaya Lake, one of Yosemite National Park's most popular summer destinations, $850,000 in contributions is restoring wetlands and improving beach access. The 90-year-old fountain in front of the Wawona Hotel was rehabilitated thanks in part to Conservancy supporters.
Tollefson said that outdoor, arts and theater programs "forge deeper connections with park visitors of all ages to create lasting memories and encourage stewardship of the park." Dozens of accomplished artists reach more than 2,000 park visitors annually through Yosemite Conservancy's Art in the Park programs. Yosemite Theater performances at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center entertain and educate more than 10,000 visitors each year. Sales from Yosemite Conservancy bookstores, which sell items like trail maps and education books and videos, are poured back into Yosemite. At park Wilderness Centers, Yosemite Conservancy staff members also provide bear canister rentals and backcountry permits. Outdoor Adventure programs and Yosemite Conservancy volunteers reach nearly a half million visitors annually.