Yosemite & Ecology - My Family Travels

My name is Kevin Hollerbach. I am going to be a senior at West Morris Central High School in September. I recently took a trip with my mom to San Francisco and Los Angeles in April of 2010 to visit my siblings who live there. During our time in San Francisco, we decided to take a bus trip to Yosemite national park which is only an few hours away.

As an officer of the Environmental club in my school and a member of the Environmental Commission of Chester, New Jersey, I have major concerns for the well-being of our planet as humans continue to pollute, destroy, and harm the environment in various ways. I constantly look for examples of the natural beauty of our world and for examples of why we need to take better care of our planet. I found both of these things in Yosemite national park. It encapsulates a breathtaking majesty and natural beauty, and provides a perfect reason for keeping our planet clean and just as naturally beautiful as it always was. The skyscraping cliff faces, beautiful waterfalls, and soft snow surrounding it all brought the world into perspective for me, but unfortunately, these things also brought the following thought to my mind, “will this all be here for the next generation?”

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I almost felt ashamed to be to experiencing such a beautiful sight, knowing that it may be very different in a few hundred years if humanity continues on the same path. We continued on our tour of this magnificent park and eventually took a break at the main ranger’s lodge, directly under the breathtaking Yosemite falls (seen in the pictures and video attached) which stand a total of 2,426 feet into the air. This is where I discovered a small beacon of hope for not only the future of Yosemite national park but the future of the planet.

Each lodge had three bins for waste; trash, recycling, and compost. While this is a great step in the right direction for helping the environment, I still felt apprehensive about the attempts of keeping the park and the planet clean. However, I continued to come across dozens of other signs of hope during the two hours we spent at the ranger’s lodge. When I rode a shuttle bus from the lodges to the bottom of Yosemite falls, I discovered that the bus ran on a much cleaner biodiesel fuel. I also learned that new stores, which were opened shortly after our vacation, would feature “green” products, some of which would be made from materials which had been recycled directly from the bins at Yosemite. All of these signs made me feel much more optimistic about the future of the park, but still did not make me feel completely comfortable that my children and grandchildren will experience the same sights in Yosemite that I was so lucky to have seen. My trip to Yosemite not only made me once again realize how small we all are, but also made me realize what a giant impact the human race can make on our planet.

I cannot imagine a world without natural beauty such as Yosemite to teach everyone about the delicacy and natural beauty of our planet. The trip made me feel even more adamant about my work to keep our planet clean and protect areas such as Yosemite for the future of our planet and the mindset of our society. 


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