National Park Philanthropy
If you’re familiar with our brand then you know we absolutely love nature and would love nothing more than spending all our free time engaging in various outdoor adventures. Some of the greatest areas in this country to pursue outdoor adventures, and some may argue in the world, is a national park. The truth is though that if we want to continue to enjoy the beauty and wonder of our national parks, we have to help with the conservation of them!
The Yosemite Conservancy
We are a proud sponsor of the Yosemite Conservancy, which is dedicated exclusively to Yosemite National Park. This year, the Conservancy will provide $15.3 million in total support to the park. This money will help fund 40 high-priority projects in the park, including revitalizing wetlands and wilderness areas, restoring beloved trails and historic structures, and helping young people connect with nature. These projects will enable scientists to study rare amphibians, mountain lions and red foxes, and engage climbers in protecting cliff-dwelling falcons and bats. The Conservancy will also support programs which encourage youth education and environmental stewardship, creating the next generation of park stewards. Here is a little more detail of what the projects include:
Restoring Legendary Vally Trails
Each year, millions of visitors to Yosemite enjoy hiking on the most popular trails in the Valley, which provide day-hike access to serene hikes and spectacular views. Through this project, Yosemite’s top-notch restoration crews will complete much-needed work on some of these trails–including the Valley Loop, Mirror Lake, Mist, Yosemite Falls, and Snow Creek trails–to repair damage from winter storms, rock falls, and frequent foot traffic. Crews will also rehabilitate a stretch of the heavily-hiked John Muir Trail between Vernal Fall and Clark Point, with the goal of improving visitor safety and protecting trailside habitat.
Protecting Endangered Bighorn Sheep
In 2015, Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep were released into Yosemite’s Cathedral Range, marking the species’ return to its ancestral home after a century-long absence. But the record-breaking 2016-2017 California winter created unusually harsh conditions in the alpine habitat, and the herd population declined. Now, the herd needs to build resilience to ensure its long-term survival. The goal of this project is to increase the size and genetic diversity of the herd to enable it to become self-sustaining. Throughout the year, scientists will carefully introduce new sheep into the herd and will use GPS collars and field surveys to track the sheep.
Ackerson Meadow: Science and Stewardship
In 2016, with support from Conservancy donors, the 400-acre Ackerson Meadow became part of Yosemite National Park. This extensive meadow system, which was previously used for logging and cattle grazing, supports numerous rare plant and animal species, including monkeyflowers, willow flycatchers, and western pond turtles. However, a century of agricultural use left its mark on the meadow. This project is part of a comprehensive plan to return Ackerson Meadow to its natural state. In 2019, the Ackerson Meadow project focuses on mapping wetlands, assessing hydrology, surveying species, and identifying culturally significant resources. Park experts will also use the results of this research to shape the long-term plan for the meadow restoration.
Yosemite Climbing Stewardship Program
This program promotes climbing-related education, safety, and stewardship through a ranger- and volunteer-driven program anchored in public outreach and access-trail restoration. Climbing rangers and volunteer Climber Stewards are educating people on and off the granite walls about climbing-related topics, including Leave No Trace principles for the vertical environment, through climbing patrols, “Climber Coffee” gatherings, and gym-based events. This grant also supports restoration work on access trails for climbing and bouldering areas, as well as safety-related outreach and trainings.
Other Charitable and Conversation Efforts
If you enjoy our natural wonders as much as we do, we hope you’ll also do your part to help with ongoing conservation efforts. Aside from the Yosemite Conservancy, we are proud to have also supported organizations that work to provide a healthier and happier environment for local communities. We encourage you to take a look at them, below, and consider helping their efforts too!
Randall’s Island Park Alliance
Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center
Next time you head into the great outdoors to enjoy the natural wonders this country has to offer, don’t forget to pack plenty of Munk Pack Protein Cookies and Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes to keep you fueled from the beginning of your adventure until the end.
Up Next: Outdoor Education: Teaching Kids About the Outdoors