The end of last month marked the tenth year that the Yosemite Climbing Association has spearheaded a major volunteer effort at Yosemite National Park known as Yosemite Facelift. The 2013 version of the event ran from September 24-29, and over 1,200 volunteers once again made a huge positive impact on the park and its resources.
The event was started by the Yosemite Climbing Association in conjunction with the annual National Public Lands Day. The idea was to help clean up the park after a busy summer season, before winter rain and snow made the project less feasible. The idea quickly caught on, and it's become a major event that offers plenty of incentives for volunteers to pitch it.
In addition to the satisfaction of doing something positive to help the park, participants could enjoy an impressive line-up of evening activities, including climbing-related talks and films, live music and a dinner and dance on the last night of the event. Each volunteer received a ticket for raffles held each afternoon at 5 p.m. that included some great outdoor gear.
The key focus, of course, was on a clean-up of the park, and there was plenty of variety in both the locations improved and the items collected.
Volunteers worked along roadsides, rivers and trails as well as around more developed areas in the park, and removed everything from candy wrappers, dirty diapers and abandoned hub caps to old vehicle tires, scrap metal and wood, steel cable and discarded climbing gear.
Participants could check-in at sites in either Yosemite Valley, Wawona or Tuolumne, and were provided with trash bags, litter sticks and safety vests. Some free campsites were available in the park for volunteers, with sign-up for those sites beginning back on April 1st.
A 2014 edition of Yosemite Facelift is anticipated, so if you're interested in participating, mark your calendars for early next spring, and check the Yosemite Climbing Association website for an update. You'll find plenty of photos and more details about the just concluded 2013 Yosemite Facelift and some of the previous year's event on the event's Facebook page.