There are two upcoming celebrations in which Yosemite wants to shine. The National Park Service will celebrate it’s 100th year in 2016 and Yosemite itself will become 125-years-old on October 1 of this year.
Yosemite’s Top 10 Projects
1. Shore up the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias to be sure they’re healthy and strong in the future.
2. Get local high school students graduating in 2016 involved with stewardship programs inside Yosemite and in their backyards.
3. Finish the new campus for NatureBridge environmental education at Henness Ridge on the Western edge of the park. The new campus started construction in 2002 and is scheduled for completion in 2017.
4. Restore waterways and plants in Tuolumne Meadows by filling ditches along Soda Springs Trails and removing unauthorized trails.
5. Help the Yosemite toad and the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog recover by restoring lakes and meadows.
6. Return Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep to the Cathedral Range in the heart of Yosemite. They have rebounded from 2000’s population of 100 to over 500 but this is still below the Wildlife Service’s goals.
7. Double the number of campsites from 35 to 70 with additional 130 parking lot spaces and a new comfort station.
8. Build a restroom building at Churchbowl to replace portable toilets.
9. Complete fire code upgrades to the Ahwahnee Hotel and add additional ADA-compliant guest rooms. The project will also move the bar and kitchen.
10. Make improvements to the Search and Rescue building including electrical, mechanical, plumbing, fire suppression, and structural upgrades.
These projects have various completion dates ranging from 2016 to 2018.
Yosemite is one of the most well-known national parks in America and it is hoped that these projects will stand as an example and add to the visitor experience. 2014 was a record year for attendance in the park and visitation is expected to sharply increase in 2015 and 2016 with the anniversary celebrations.