California’s Yosemite National Park just got bigger after it received an additional 400 acres of wetlands and meadow habitat along its western boundary through a donation. The Ackerson Meadow was given to the park by the Trust for Public Land, according to a statement Wednesday.
While the latest addition to Yosemite is less than 0.05 percent of the park’s total area, it is still the biggest addition to the park since 1949.
“Donating the largest addition since 1949 to one of the world’s most famous parks is a great way to celebrate the 100th birthday of our National Park Service — and honor John Muir’s original vision for the park. We are delighted, and proud to make this gift to Yosemite, and the people of America,” Will Rogers, president of the Trust for Public Land, said in the statement.
The trust bought “Ackerson Meadow from private owners for $2.3 million earlier this year,” money for which came from “several major contributors… including a bequest of $1.53 million and $520,000 by the nonprofit Yosemite Conservancy, with additional support from National Park Trust and American Rivers.”
Describing the addition, Yosemite National Park superintendent Don Neubacher said: “It’s a stunning open meadow surrounded by forest habitat, which supports a wide variety of flora and fauna species and offers new meadow experiences for park visitors.”
About 95 percent of Yosemite is designated as wilderness, and the park is home to about 90 species of mammals, 150 bird species, 22 kinds of reptiles, and several amphibians and fish, apart from close to 1,500 flowering plants and other trees. There were about 4.3 million visitors to the park in 2015.