Doing Good in Yosemite

Sometimes even the most pristine places need a little TLC. Take Yosemite National Park. Nestled among California’s Sierra Nevadas, Yosemite National Park includes nearly 1,200 square miles of tall waterfalls, deep valleys, ancient giant sequoias, beautiful meadows, and a vast wilderness. Much of this land is cared for by a team of incredible park rangers and staff, but with more than 4 million visitors annually, an extra pair of helping hands can make a huge difference.

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One of our favorite annual traditions is the Yosemite Facelift volunteer event, celebrating its 15th year! Each year we send a group of Toads to the Valley to join fellow outdoor companies for a weekend of trash-picking and TLC. The event is organized by the Yosemite Climbing Association, a 1% For the Planet member and longtime supporter of Yosemite conservation.

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We set out early Friday morning – Anthony, Drew, Wendy, Steve, Michaela, and baby Dylan – up Mist Trail. Teetering on the side of rock staircases, we carefully collected forgotten plastic water bottles, flyaway wrappers, and even some very old socks (Cheryl Strayed, was that you?). On a gorgeous hike, we took time to appreciate Mother Nature’s insane beauty and tried to do our part to leave her a little better than we found her.

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All told, volunteers at this year’s event removed a total of 8,745 pounds of micro trash! But it wasn’t all work and no play – there were panel discussions, live music, epic hiking, and family dinners. It was a great weekend spent doing good and sweet baby D’s bright eyes said it all – conservation of our public lands is good for plants, animals, and all living things. See you next year Yosemite!

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PS – Camp tacos are a Toad favorite. Easy, delicious, and as spicy as you want ‘em. Here’s our favorite recipe.