Approximately 1,150 Yosemite Facelift volunteers collected approximately 5,000 pounds of litter and 15,000 pounds of concrete, asphalt, and other large trash, at the ninth annual Yosemite Facelift event in Yosemite National Park. Dozens of miles of roadway, riverbed, and trails were cleaned in the park from Sept. 25 through Sept. 30.
Over the past eight years, Facelift volunteers have made a huge impact on significantly eliminating small trash throughout Yosemite. The areas regularly cleaned during each past event have yielded less and less small trash. Therefore, this year, Facelift volunteers were able to focus on a number of large-scale special projects throughout the event.
"The annual Yosemite Facelift is an event we treasure, and look forward to each year," said Don Neubacher, Yosemite National Park Superintendent. "Since Facelift began, we have noticed that there is incrementally less litter accumulated each year. We feel this is a direct result of the park's educational program and efforts through Facelift and we are extremely proud of this."
One of the special projects Facelift volunteers focused on was cleaning trash and other items from the base of the Half Dome Cables and along the side of the dome. Throughout the year, hikers climbing the cables accidentally drop hundreds of water bottles, shoes, cameras, and other small items. Many of these items cannot safely be recovered and remain on the side of the dome. Facelift volunteers skilled in technical rope and high angle skills were able to successfully collect hundreds of pounds of small trash from this hard-to-reach area.
Another special project Facelift volunteers were able to complete included picking up trash that had accumulated along the steep cliffs adjacent to the Tunnel View vista in Yosemite Valley. Throughout the year, hundreds of pounds of trash and other items have collected along steep cliff sides lining the famous view. Much of this trash could not be removed without protective gear due to the steep angle of the cliffs. Facelift volunteers removed all trash along a quarter mile stretch at Tunnel View.
Other special projects included removing old culverts from Lower Rivers Campground in Yosemite Valley, cleaning up at the base of popular rock climbing routes, assisting in removing invasive plants, and removing old telephone wires in Yosemite Valley.