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SAN FRANCISCO [October 31, 2017] – The San Francisco International Airport’s SFO Museum is now exhibiting a collection of Yosemite-inspired nature photographs, taken by 11 Bay Area youth who participated in the Udall Foundation’s 2017 Parks in Focus® programs to Yosemite National Park.

Parks in Focus® is a program of the Udall Foundation that connects middle school youth from underserved communities to nature and our National Parks through photography and outdoor learning. Each summer since 2010, the program has teamed up with Yosemite National Park and other partners to facilitate opportunities for Bay Area youth to visit, explore, and photograph Yosemite for the first time. Thanks to continued support from the Yosemite Conservancy, Parks in Focus® led three five-day camping trips in 2017 reaching 36 youth, ages 9 to 14, from the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula, Real Options for City Kids, and the Sequoia YMCA. During each trip, participants learned about Yosemite’s natural and cultural history as well as the importance of our National Parks. They met and worked alongside park rangers, professional photographers, and staff from the Udall Foundation, to sharpen their photography skills while hiking and taking in stunning views of Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls.

“Many of our local youth have never had the opportunity to explore our national parks or experience sleeping outdoors,” said Julie Wesolek, executive director of Sequoia YMCA. “We are proud to be able to partner with Parks in Focus® to provide amazing opportunities that foster resiliency and a love for the outdoors. The focus on photography and conserving our public lands is the icing on the cake.”

Inspired by the wonders of Yosemite’s outdoor classroom, participants captured incredible images of the adventures they had and of the people, places, plants, and animals they met along the way. Eleven participants will have their artwork featured.

The photographs are on display in the C-5 Student Art Gallery, located pre-security in Terminal 1 through Jan. 23, 2018.

The Parks in Focus® program at Yosemite is a collaboration of the Udall Foundation, Yosemite National Park, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula, Real Options for City Kids, the Sequoia YMCA, and the Ansel Adams Gallery. The program is made possible by generous and passionate supporters of the Yosemite Conservancy.

“Yosemite Conservancy donors make it possible for us to provide this life-changing opportunity for kids to visit Yosemite,” said Yosemite Conservancy President Frank Dean. “For many it is their first hike, their first camping trip. We are delighted to support Parks in Focus® and its efforts to inspire a lifelong appreciation for our national parks by giving kids the chance to discover nature through a camera lens.”

About the Udall Foundation
The Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation is an independent federal agency of the Executive Branch established by Congress to honor the legacies of Representatives Morris K. Udall [1922-1998] and Stewart L. Udall [1920-2010]. The Udall Foundation’s education programs include undergraduate scholarships, internships, and the Stewart L. Udall Parks in Focus® program. The Udall Foundation also operates the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, which assists agencies in resolving environmental disputes involving the federal government. Learn more at www.udall.gov or call 520.901.8500.

About Yosemite Conservancy
Through the support of donors, Yosemite Conservancy provides grants and support to Yosemite National Park to help preserve and protect Yosemite today and for future generations. Work funded by the Conservancy is visible throughout the park in trail rehabilitation, wildlife protection, and habitat restoration. The Conservancy is also dedicated to enhancing the visitor experience and providing a deeper connection to the park through outdoor programs, volunteering, wilderness services, and its bookstores. Thanks to dedicated supporters, the Conservancy has provided more than $113 million in grants to Yosemite National Park. Learn more at www.yosemiteconservancy.org or call 415.434.1782.

Images: For images to use with this press release, please contact Bret Muter at muter@udall.gov or 520.901.8569.



Udall Foundation: Bret Muter | 520.901.8569 | muter@udall.gov
Yosemite Conservancy: Jennifer Miller | 415.434.1782 | jmiller@yosemiteconservancy.org

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