YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK — In 2018, more than 13,000 individuals donated over 132,500 hours to “help” at Yosemite National Park with a wide variety of volunteer projects.
Dozens of those generous, community-minded volunteers were recognized late last month when park officials hosted the 2019 Volunteers of the Year Awards at a special ceremony held in Yosemite Valley on Sept. 28.
The prestigious awards, given annually to outstanding volunteers in nine different categories, recognize the volunteers for their “exemplary” service to Yosemite National Park.
The annual award ceremony is held each year as part of Yosemite’s celebration of National Public Lands Day. The awards ceremony also takes place in conjunction with the Yosemite Facelift, a day-long, park-wide cleanup event.
The 2019 Volunteers of the Year award recipients are:
· Jamie Gonzales, Community Builder Intern, Individual Volunteer of the Year
· Sean Smith, Resource Management, Individual Youth Volunteer of the Year
· Anne Katherine, Research Library Volunteer, Enduring Volunteer of the Year
· Latino Outdoors, Volunteer Group of the Year
· Paramount High School Green Club, Youth Volunteer Group of the Year
· Jeffrey Trust, Creative Media, Volunteer Supervisor of the Year
· Yosemite Conservancy and Preventive Search and Rescue Partnership, Yosemite Volunteer Program of the Year
· Nessarose Schear, NatureBridge Stewardship Educator of the Year
· Keith, Cara and Evelyn Cody, Facelift Volunteers of the Year
This year’s 16th annual Yosemite Facelift event drew 2,311 volunteers, including over 400 youth volunteers, who together provided a total of 15,447 donated hours to help clean up litter and debris throughout the park.
More than eight tons (16,000 pounds) of trash was collected during the event.
“The staff of Yosemite National Park is very proud of our critical partnership with the Yosemite Climbing Association and Yosemite Conservancy to help make the Yosemite Facelift a huge success,” said a release issued this week by park officials. “We thank all of our amazing volunteers who come from our gateway communities, from across the United States, and from around the world, for coming out to the park and for helping to make this great event possible.”