As coincidence’s go sometimes, Earth Day celebrations on April 22nd also allow us to remember John Muir and celebrate his birthday. (He was actually born on April 21st, but over the years these two dates have become synonymous.) John Muir often called “The Father of our National Parks” was just one of a number of great Wisconsin conservationalists of the early 1900’s.
Muir was a naturalist, a conservationist, an explorer and a writer, and he used these abilities to influence conservation in America. He worked diligently to preserve wilderness areas and wildlife from exploitation and destruction. His writings and teachings inspire us to explore nature and to share our understanding of our place in it.
National Parks & Sierra Club
Among the many natural areas he saved are California’s Yosemite and Sequoia, Washington’s Mount Rainer, and Arizona’s Petrified Forest and Grand Canyon National Parks.
In 1892, Muir and others formed the Sierra Club and he functioned as the first president until his death in 1914. “The Sierra Club is now the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization — with more than two million members and supporters.” (Sierra Club)
John Muir National Park
Thanks to some preservation-minded Californians, Muir’s home and property was saved in the 1950s and has since become the John Muir National Historic Site. His 1882 Victorian home and some of his fruit orchards still stand here, along with the giant sequoia he planted 130+ years ago.
Earth Day 2017 will be the 179th celebration of John Muir’s birth.
See John Muir Association for more info.
See also Sierra Club’s John Muir Exhibit for more info.
And see Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame inductee John Muir.
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