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Yosemite’s Birthday Coming Up

On Saturday, October 2, The Yosemite Fund celebrates Yosemite National Park´s 114th birthday with a $4.7 million donation – the largest annual donation ever given by a nonprofit organization to Yosemite. Presented at 2:00 p.m. at Glacier Point, this donation is earmarked for numerous park restoration and preservation projects, including the Lower Yosemite Falls project, among others.

The Yosemite Fund´s gift helps fund the restoration of the approach to Lower Yosemite Falls, a major Yosemite Valley Visitor Center facility remodel and reconstruction of the trail to the top of Clouds Rest, among 33 other park projects.

“The Yosemite Fund´s gift exhibits the love that more than 100,000 donors have for the park,” said Bob Hansen, president of The Yosemite Fund. “We are proud to give the park this necessary and worthwhile birthday gift.”

The Fund´s Lower Yosemite Falls restoration project features removal of a parking lot, creation of a new picnic area, a shuttle stop, an educational area and a new restroom. The project also restores forest, stream habitats and erosion caused by the 1997 floods; builds new footbridges and trails; and adds exhibits and directional signage. For the first time, wheelchair users gain access to the main bridge at the Lower Falls viewing area.

The Fund´s 2004 donation also supports scientific research and studies as well as the installation of numerous exhibits. Among these are the Jorgensen Art Exhibit and the Yosemite Climbing History Exhibit. In addition, the Fund produced and distributes “Spirit of Yosemite,” the park´s official visitor orientation film, to each of California´s 10,000 schools.

“The Yosemite Fund continues to be the major private funding organization for Yosemite National Park,” said Michael J. Tollefson, superintendent, Yosemite National Park. “The money raised and donated by the Fund not only restores and protects this national treasure, but increases visitor enjoyment and helps to preserve Yosemite for future generations.”

The birthday celebration is especially designed to give donors an opportunity to meet park officials and Fund staff. The event is open to the public and begins at 2:00 p.m. on October 2 at the Glacier Point Amphitheater. Participants enjoy a complimentary hot dog and soft drink. The Glacier Point Tour Bus provides shuttle service from Yosemite Lodge at 8:30 and 10:00 a.m. Round trip is $29.50, one-way is $15.00. A bus from Glacier Point back to Yosemite Valley leaves at approximately 3:00 p.m. Attendees may also drive or hike directly to Glacier Point.

About The Yosemite Fund

The Yosemite Fund is an independent, private, nonprofit foundation devoted to protecting, preserving and restoring Yosemite National Park. It has granted more than $30 million since incorporating in 1988. The Fund provides for habitat restoration, trail repair and access, scientific research, wildlife management, cultural and historic resource preservation, and visitor services and education. The Yosemite Fund´s 200-plus projects include Merced River restoration, reintroduction of peregrine falcons, provision of bear-proof food lockers, historic building renovation, Happy Isles restoration, projects to preserve American Indian culture, giant sequoia protection, Pioneer Yosemite History Center renovation and the rehabilitation of the famous Glacier Point overlook. The Yosemite License Plate Program has generated nearly $8 million in revenue for The Fund and an additional $10 million to the California Resources Agency.

To donate to The Yosemite Fund, please call (415) 434-1782 or visit the website at www.yosemitefund.org.