Habitat Protectors Program Offers Summer Volunteer Opportunities at Yosemite National Park

Trees and ferns in Yosemite.

Habitat Protectors help manage Yosemite's wide variety of plants. Photo of trees and ferns near Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley by Rennett Stowe via Creative Commons and flicrk.

Looking for a way to "give back a little" at Yosemite National Park this summer? The park's volunteer Habitat Protectors program offers a chance to do just that every Wednesday; no experience or advance registration is required for individuals or small groups.

The weekly drop-in program offers volunteers of all ages the chance to help protect and restore endangered plant and wildlife habitat in Yosemite Valley and other high value habitat areas in Yosemite National Park.

What are "habitat protectors"?

According to the park, the program allows you to "visit some of the most scenic areas in the park and help Resources Management and Science staff manage the park's precious resources." This is hands-on work, so participants should plan to get dirty working on a variety of projects such as manually removing invasive plant species or maintaining native plantings.

No experience is required, and training to complete the day's project will be provided. The program is open to volunteers of all ages, so this is a great opportunity for families as well as individuals. Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a parent, and all participants under 18 years of age are required to have a volunteer agreement signed by their parent or legal guardian. Forms are also available from the work leader at the start of the work session.

Participants must wear long pants and closed-toe shoes, and clothes they don't mind getting dirty. They should bring water and snacks, and a hat, long-sleeves, and sunscreen are also recommended. Volunteers for the projects are encouraged to wear layers of clothing for changing weather and bring rain gear, in case it should be needed. Gloves and tools will be provided.

Individuals and groups welcome and no pre-registration required for individuals or small groups. Groups larger than ten are required to pre-register by calling 209/379-1850, and groups can also schedule additional weekend or weekday dates.

All sessions will be conducted on Wednesdays from June 2 through September 1, 2010, and run from 9 a.m. to noon. Participants will meet in front of the Valley Visitor Center to follow the work leader to the work site.

You'll find additional details about the program, along with downloadable copies of the necessary forms, on the park website, along with information about other volunteer opportunities in Yosemite.