Yosemite’s Wellness Center is a hub of activity for park employees; empowering them to gain fitness and encouraging them to explore and enjoy the park. The Center offers a variety of activities and opportunities throughout the year to encourage participation from the entire Yosemite community including Delaware North, National Park Service (NPS) and park partners.
For the past five years, Emily Brosk, the Manager of Employee Recreation, has found her dream job in Yosemite National Park. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation and Leisure Services, and prior to assuming her current position at the Wellness Center, worked in a variety of departments, including Interpretation, Recycling, and Guest Recreation at Badger Pass and in the High Sierra Camps. Emily contributes her knowledge and understanding of the park to others who live, work, and play in Yosemite.
The Wellness Center is staffed by 5-7 year round employees and countless volunteers who donate their time to support the activities. The team coordinates with the NPS and park partners to develop and implement activities.
The Center, centrally located in Yosemite Valley, has changing rooms, showers, cardio equipment (stairs, elliptical, treadmills and bikes), weights and yoga mats. There is also a group fitness room which is used for classes. Employees are also able to rent DVDs for free from a lending library, for two nights at a time.
Each month a themed schedule of activities is developed and communicated to the park community. For the month of August, scheduled activities have included the Adopt-A-Highway cleanup, a Spark Car Naming Contest, GreenPath® Award of Excellence for individuals participating in fitness goals, visiting farmers markets, hiking, softball playoffs, and movie nights.
The Wellness Center’s Facebook page serves as a primary means of communication to connect employees with the latest park activities and information. It is continuously updated with the most relevant and up-to-date happenings.
This year, the Wellness Center developed the Fitness Incentive Program to challenge employees and community members to stay active and engaged throughout the year, while earning points towards great prizes. The competition is divided into four, 3-month long challenges. Criteria for this program include:
- A Health Screening and Initial Fitness Test must be completed prior to joining the competition.
- Based upon the Honor System, employees are responsible to report points and achievements, which are verified by Wellness Center Staff.
- Exercise accomplished at work does not count towards the incentive program.
- Points are converted into prizes and raffle tickets.
Raffles are fun and worthwhile for the Grand Prize, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place, and ‘Gave it a Shot.’ The Grand Prize is an overnight spa package for two at Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite.
The Yosemite Wellness Center and its dedicated staff provide a diverse offering of services throughout the year to the many employees who call Yosemite National Park home, enabling them to stay happy, healthy, educated, and connected with both their fellow employees and the park environment.