“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” –John Muir
John Muir (1838-1914), known as “the father of our national parks”, was America’s most famed naturalist and conservationist. As an explorer, he embarked on exciting wilderness adventures from Indiana all the way to Florida, among Alaska’s glaciers and throughout California’s Sierra Nevada. During his journeys he kept nature journals in which he wrote about the beauty he saw in nature. He drew detailed sketches of plants, animals, mountains and landscapes. He used these journals to compose letters, essays, articles and books that taught people, then and now, the importance of experiencing and protecting nature. His writing and activism inspired President Theodore Roosevelt’s bold conservation programs and lead to the creation of Yosemite, Sequoia, Mount Rainier, Petrified Forest and the Grand Canyon National Parks. In 1892, John Muir formed the Sierra Club and was the club’s very first president. The Sierra Club continues John Muir’s work today, teaching people about conserving our natural heritage and establishing new National Parks and a National Wilderness Preservation System.