First established in 1890, Yosemite National Park predates the National Park System itself. Now, the iconic park is getting an addition. As NPR reports, 400 acres of new land has been donated to the property.
The conservation group the Trust for Public Land purchased the swath of land bordering the park’s west side from private owners for $2.3 million. Ackerson’s Meadow sits beneath the Sierra Nevada mountains and includes open grasslands, wetlands, pine trees, a creek connecting to the Tuolumne River, and at least two endangered species. In the past, the area had been used for logging and cattle grazing.
The meadow was included in the original boundaries proposed for the park, but until now the government hadn't been able to acquire it. The Trust for Public Land’s gift marks the largest expansion of the park, which is just under 750,000 acres, since 1949.
“The purchase supports the long-term health of the meadow and its wild inhabitants, and creates opportunities for visitors to experience a beautiful Sierra meadow,” Yosemite Conservancy President Frank Dean said in a press statement.
The new addition to the park coincides with the National Park Service’s centennial this year. The official anniversary was celebrated on August 25, but special events are being held in parks around the country through 2016.
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