A historic rededication ceremony on the Tioga Road, conducted exactly 100 years after the original dedication ceremony, was held in Yosemite National Park Tuesday, with special guest former First Lady Laura Bush, who joined YNP Superindent Don Neubacher, and Yosemite Conservancy Vice President Jerry Edelbrock who participated in the reenactment ceremony.
Highlights of the event included a rechristening of the road, a ceremonial ribbon cutting, and celebrating the history and importance of philanthropy in Yosemite and national parks across the country. Standing at the crest of the Tioga Road, framed by the granite peaks of the Sierra Nevada, Bush, joined by park supporters, dedicated the road by breaking a bottle filled with Pacific Ocean water on a rock with “$15,000” painted on it, symbolizing the purchase price of the road.
“The rededication of Tioga Road reminds us of the importance of protecting remarkable places like Yosemite’s high country and of the need to encourage future generations to visit our parks so they are inspired to be stewards of natural lands,” said Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher.
“Even before Congress created the National Park Service in 1916, philanthropists helped to create our stunning national parks. Their commitment remains just as deep today among individuals, families, foundations, and corporations,” said Frank Dean, President of Yosemite Conservancy. “Philanthropy has had a dramatic positive impact on our park system.”
The Tioga Road, a 46-mile road in the northern portion of Yosemite National Park, is the highest road crossing the Sierra at an elevation of 9,945 feet above sea level at Tioga Pass.
“I’ve loved our parks for many years and hiked in parks all over the country accompanied by my friends,” said Bush, who is the honorary co-chair for the National Park Service Centennial. “I urge all Americans to think about parks in the upcoming year and find their park. I found Yosemite.”