Yosemite Program Information

Applications for the 2024 NatureBridge in Yosemite Program have been reviewed and information about the trip has been mailed to participants via USPS.  Forms are not available on this site.

Next steps:

  • Start working on your community service hours!  The Community Service Verification Form and one-page essay are due NO LATER THAN March 1.  Students who do not complete their community service will be dropped from the program.
  • Complete the NatureBridge Registration Form by February 20:   NatureBridge Registration Form
  • Return Participant Agreement and Code of Conduct/Photo Use Agreement to The McConnell Foundation by February 20.

Orientation for students and parents/guardians will be via Zoom on Tuesday, March 12, at 6 p.m.  Check your email for the Zoom link.  The meeting is not mandatory but it is a good opportunity to learn what to expect during the week and ask questions.  If you cannot attend orientation, the Student Information Packet has all the information needed for the week in Yosemite.

Program Timeline:

  • Applications accepted November 1-20, 2023
  • Late December – students notified about selection via email
  • Early January – trip information required forms mailed home
  • February 20 – Required forms due back to The McConnell Foundation
  • February 20 – NatureBridge Registration Form due
  • March 1 – Community Service Verification Form due to The McConnell Foundation
  • March 12 – Chaperone Orientation in-person at The McConnell Foundation
  • March 12 – Student and Parent Orientation via Zoom (check your email for Zoom link)
  • April 7 – Leave for Yosemite National Park
  • April 12 – Return from Yosemite National Park

The timeline is subject to change.  Participants should check their email for updates.

More About NatureBridge in Yosemite

Yosemite1NatureBridge in Yosemite is a five-day outdoor environmental education program that The McConnell Foundation offers to North State students.  NatureBridge is a nonprofit organization that has provided environmental education  in partnership with the National Park Service since 1971.  In addition to Yosemite, NatureBridge offers programs in Olympic Park, Washington; Headlands Institute at Marin Headlands in the Bay Area; and Santa Monica Mountains Institute in Southern California.

yosimite3In 1989, The McConnell Foundation began funding the Yosemite Program for students in the North State.  Each spring, high school sophomores and juniors from public high schools and public charter schools in Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Trinity counties, and Big Valley High School in Lassen County spend a transformative week in Yosemite. Groups of students, led by NatureBridge educators, explore the park and participate in discussions and activities designed to heighten awareness of the importance of our natural world.  Keeping this goal in mind, curriculum taught during the week aligns with state and federal standards.

The Foundation provides full funding for student tuition, transportation, and administration.  Adult chaperones from the schools served accompany students on the trip.  Students who participate in the program are selected by Yosemite Advisors at each high school. Once selected, participants must complete 8 hours of community service related to the environment in order to secure their spot. In past years students have volunteered at organizations such as the Shasta County Wildlife Refuge, Whiskeytown Environmental School, the Upper Sacramento River Exchange, Turtle Bay Exploration Park, and the Department of Fish & Game.  They have also cleaned up roadways and started recycling programs in their schools.  The goal of the community service requirement is to connect students their community and the earth.

The goal of the program is to inspire students to develop a connection to the natural world and empower them to act as responsible stewards of natural resources.

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