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Yosemite National Park 125th Anniversary Celebration

October 1, 2015: Gabriel Lavan-Ying, better known as "Ranger Gabriel", cuts a commemorative Anniversary cake at the conclusion of Yosemite National Park's 125th Anniversary celebration. Ranger Gabriel is pictured with Yosemite National Park Ranger Kristen Kosick. Approximately 1500 people attended the ceremony today in Yosemite Valley. (Al Golub/NPS)

Gabriel Lavan-Ying  with Ranger Kristen Kosick. (Al Golub/NPS)

YOSEMITE – Approximately 1500 people attended a ceremony in Yosemite Valley on Thursday, Oct. 1 to commemorate the park’s 125th Anniversary. The ceremony included remarks from Park Superintendent Don Neubacher, a living history portrayal of John Muir, a Native American blessing and songs, and 400 students from the Yosemite area and Central Valley.

The special guest for the day was Ranger Gabriel, who served as the Honorary Chairman of the 125th Anniversary of Yosemite National Park. Gabriel Lavan-Ying, 10, from Gainesville, Florida, became an Honorary National Park Ranger through the Make-A-Wish Foundation in June, 2014. This was his third visit to the park.

Among the visitors to the Park were Yosemite High students from ASB and Yearbook classes, with teacher Tammy Thacker at the helm.

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ASB Students from Yosemite High School spent a historic day with teacher Tammy Thacker

Other ceremony highlights included resolutions from local, state, and national elected officials, the park’s Mounted Patrol presented the colors, and Grace Flanagan, a sophomore from Mariposa High School sang the national anthem.

There were presentations of artwork from local schools, anniversary cakes, and commemorative posters created for the special occasion. Delaware North, the parks concessioner, and Yosemite Conservancy, the park’s philanthropic partner, also presented checks to the local schools to support many programs.

October 1, 2015: Yosemite National Park's Mounted Patrol Park Rangers Julie Byerly and Justin Fey retire the colors at the conclusion of Yosemite National Park's 125th Anniversary celebration. Approximately 1500 people, including 400 students from the Yosemite area and the Central Valley, attended the ceremony today in Yosemite Valley. (Al Golub/NPS)

Mounted Patrol Park Rangers Julie Byerly and Justin Fey retire the colors (Al Golub/NPS)

“This is a great day as we celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Yosemite National Park,” stated park Superintendent Don Neubacher. “It is wonderful to see all of the students here, who will be preserving and protecting Yosemite National Park for the next 125 years and beyond.”

October 1, 2015: Gabriel Lavan-Ying, 10 of Gainesville, Florida, became an Honorary Yosemite National Park Ranger in June 2014. Lavan-Ying, better known as "Ranger Gabriel" served as the Honorary Chairman of the park's 125th Anniversary. Ranger Gabriel is seated with Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher during a ceremony to commemorate the landmark Anniversary conducted in Yosemite Valley today. (Al Golub/NPS)

Gabriel Lavan-Ying, 10, with YNP Superintendent Don Neubacher (Al Golub/NPS)

 

On October 1, 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed the legislation creating Yosemite National Park, the nation’s third National Park. The establishment of Yosemite National Park preserved over 1,500 square miles of land including Tuolumne Meadows, the park’s high country, Hetch Hetchy and lands surrounding Yosemite Valley.

The creation of Yosemite National Park added protected land to the existing Yosemite Grant Act of 1864. This landmark law protected Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and was managed by the State of California. Preservation of these lands is generally regarded as the birth of the national park idea. The creation of the park and the Yosemite Grant collectively preserved most of Yosemite National Park as it is known today.

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Ranger Gabriel in Yosemite (ASB Clara Briley)

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Students from YHS visit on the 125th Anniversary of Yosemite National Park, on a rainy October 1, 2015

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YHS students in Yosemite for the 125th Anniversary

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Yosemite High School yearbook class visits Yosemite

 

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