April 21st marks the birthday of John Muir, Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States. He was the founder of the Sierra Club.
“Wander a whole summer if you can…time will not be taken from the sum of your life. Instead of shortening, it will definitely lengthen it and make you truly immortal.” ― John Muir
According to sources, Muir petitioned the U.S. Congress for the National Park bill that was passed in 1890, establishing Yosemite as our second National Park. Do you know which was the first? (hint: also starts with a “Y”).
The spiritual quality and enthusiasm toward nature expressed in his writings inspired readers, including presidents and congressmen, to take action to help preserve large nature areas.
On a camping trip in 1903 with President Theodore Roosevelt, he was able to convince Roosevelt that the best way to protect the Yosemite valley was through federal control and management, rather than through the state.
He is today referred to as the “Father of the National Parks.”
This photo depicts part of a large display in the Yosemite Valley Visitors Center honoring Muir’s life and timeless writings.
Without his vision and influence, our beloved heritage of national parks would likely not exist, and those lands forever lost to us…plundered and squandered for financial gain.
John Muir has truly risen to immortal status as millions read his timeless writings. Happy Birthday, and thank you inspiring generations past, present and future!
There are 410 national parks in the United States. Go find one to play in!