A Guide to Celebrating "John Muir Day"
The Governor annually shall proclaim April 21st to be 'John Muir Day'
- California Government Code Section 6714.
... All public schools and educational institutions are encouraged to
observe... April 21 of each year as John Muir Day... and to conduct suitable
commemorative exercises ... stressing the importance that an ecologically
sound natural environment plays in the quality of life for all of us, and
emphasizing John Muir's significant contributions to the fostering of that
awareness and the indelible mark he left on the State of California.
- - California Education Code Section 37222 (a)(2) and (b)(2).
John Muir's Importance
John Muir, the legendary wilderness explorer and writer who served as the
first President of the Sierra Club, has achieved something of mythic
proportions, over 150 years after his birth. His life, work, and vision have
inspired countless Americans to appreciate and protect the natural world.
Born in Scotland, April 21, 1838, John Muir immigrated to the United States
with his family when he was eleven years old. He traveled to California
in the spring of 1868 and explored the high country of the
Sierra Nevada, making California his life-long home.
He also traveled widely in Alaska and throughout the American West, writing numerous books and articles describing natural wonders and arguing for the need to preserve wilderness.
When Muir traveled around the world in his later years, he inspired people
all over the globe to protect places of special beauty and wildness. His
life is celebrated by the existence of Yosemite National Park, which he was
instrumental in establishing in 1890. In 1976, the California Historical
Society voted Muir
in the state's history.
Geographic place names
for Muir exist in Alaska, California, Florida,
, and in his birthplace,Dunbar
Now, thanks to legislative action in California, the recognition of John Muir is not confined to geography, but is added to the calendar.
The Value Of John Muir Day
"John Muir Day", celebrated each April 21, provides us with a day to
recognize the modern ecological insight that humankind is a part of Nature,
and that our well being - indeed our very survival - depends upon an
ecologically sound natural environment. By taking some time to appreciate
how far we have come in the environmental movement launched by Muir, we can
be inspired as we tackle the myriad environmental problems facing us today.
1. Sponsor a John Muir celebration at your school, public library, or community center, Show a videotape, put on a skit portraying John Muir, sponsor an outing, or invite a speaker. Make a display about John Muir and wilderness preservation.
2. Ask your own County Board of Supervisors and the City Council or Mayor of your City to issue a John Muir Day Proclamation. (Sample) Ask them at least a month before April 21 to give time to issue the Proclamation.
3. If you live in California, write for a copy of the Governor's John Muir Day Proclamation, to display at your school, public library, or City Hall: Governor's Office, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814.
4. Enter the "John Muir Youth Award" program. Contact the Sierra Club John Muir Education Project for information.
5. Start writing and drawing in a Nature Journal like John Muir did. to get started, see Keeping a Nature Journal - Make your own nature journal - template included using red ribbon like John Muir
"John Muir Day Study Guide"
- California Department of Education, Sales Unit, P.O. Box 271, Sacramento, CA 95812-0271. Phone orders: (800) 995-4099.
"John Muir Fact Sheet" (available in English, Spanish, German, or Japanese) and Muir time-line bookmarks. - Sierra Club, Information Desk, 85 Second Street. San Francisco, CA 94105.
"A Knight in the Wilderness: Sierra Club founderJohn Muir launched a movement a century ago" by Gerald Parshall. 2 pp.-
U.S. News and World Report.July 20, 1992
John Muir T-Shirts ($14.00 ea., s-m-l)
The T-Shirt includes a sketch of Muir leaning on hishiking staff, with a label around it reading "John Muir National HistoricSite, Martinez, California".Available sizes are: Large (42-44) and ExtraLarge (46-48). Color: Ecru. Cost: $14.00 postpaid.Mail or phone your T-shirt order to: - John Muir Memorial Association, P.O. Box 2433, Martinez, CA 94553. Please make checks payable to: "John Muir Memorial Association".
"John Muir's House," self-guided tours of Muir's ranch home and nearby hills, brochures, booklets, environmental living programs, visitor center with books, postcards, posters, medallions, etc.
- John Muir National Historic Site, National Park Service, 4202 Alhambra Ave., Martinez, CA 94553.
Telephone: (925) 228-8860.
Sponsor a "Live Presentation" from one of the several excellent actors who
portray John Muir in programs suitable for schools, community groups, or local theater. Visit our "Live Presentations" page for contact information.
John Muir Tribute CD
Outstanding collection of Muir quotations, stories, and songs evocative of Muir's life.
"Muir Power To You"
Music by Bill Oliver, on
John Muir Tribute CD
Better Things to Do
801 W. Gibson
Austin, TX 78704
"Me and Stickeen"
Music by Bill Oliver, on
Friend of the River
801 W. Gibson
Austin, TX 78704
"John of the Mountains", music by Matthew Werner, on Mariposa's First Light of Dawn
- Catalpa Records, P.O. Box 1314, Santa Cruz, CA 95061.
Conversations with a Tramp,John Muir's Stickeen, and
The Spirit of John Muir. Stetson is also available for live presentations to schools. - Wild Productions, P.O. Box 811, Yosemite, CA 95389.
Conversation with a Tramp. Video cassette.A KQED-TV S.F. production. 1992. - Wild Productions, P.O. Box 810, Yosemite, CA 95389.
John Muir: The Man, The Poet, The Legacy. Video cassette. Color w/ black and white sequences, VHS and PAL format, $24.95.A KRON-TV S.F.Production in association with Chronicle Productions, 1981.Produced by Ziggy Stone.
Canyonlands Publications, 4860 N Ken Morey Dr., Bellemont, AZ 86015 (928) 779-3888.
New And Noteworthy Books:
"John Muir: Friend and Protector of Nature"inCobblestone Magazine,August, 1989, a special issueon "The Environmental Movement.".Available from Cobblestone Publishing, 30 Grove St., Peterborough, NH 03458.
Anderson, Peter, John Muir: Wilderness Prophet (New York: A First Book, Franklin Watts, 1995). Color and black and white photos, paperback, $5.95, 63 pp.
* Cornell, Joseph John Muir: My Life with Nature (Nevada City: Dawn Publications, 2000) Illustrations by Elizabeth Ann Kelley and Christopher Canyon. Paper, $8.95, ISBN 1-58469-009-7, Ages 10-16, 72 pages, 34 photo/illustrations, includes "Further Reading" and credits, 6" x 9."
An unique "autobiography" of John Muir for children and adults, delivers John Muir to us through the "Sharing Nature" outdoor education philosophy. Author Joseph Cornell of Sharing Nature with Children fame explains, "To stay true to the spirt of Muir as clearly and fully as possible, I have told his story as if he were alive, using his own words and colorful expressions as often as possible. I have, however, simplified and condensed his words to make them more accessible to young readers." Cornell includes about ten journal-writing activities that assist in appreciating Nature through the inspiration of John Muir.
There is a book jacket summary and photo of book cover for this book.
Douglas, William O.,
Muir of the Mountains (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1993). Illustrated by Daniel San Souci. Hardcover, $15.95, 183 pp.
Force, Eden.John Muir.(Englewood Cliffs: Silver Burdett Press, 1990). Part of "Pioneers in Change" series. Paperback, $7.95, 145 pp.
Greene, Carol.John Muir: Man of the Wild Places.(Chicago: Childrens Press, 1991) A Rookie Biography.48 pp., illustrated, paperback, $4.95
Ito, Tom, The Importance of John Muir
(San Diego: Lucent Books, 1996). Hardcover, 111 pp.
Ledbetter, Cynthia E. and Richard C. Jones, John Muir (Vero Beach, Florida: Rourke Publications, Inc., 1993). Color and b and w photographs, index, hardcover, 112 pp.
Naden, Corrinne J. and Rose Blue.John Muir: Saving the Wilderness.(Brookfield, CT: The Millbrook Press, 1992)(Distributed by Houghton Mifflin)A Gateway Biography, 48 pp., illustrated, paperback, $4.95.
Talmadge, Katherine S., John Muir: At Home in the Wild (New York: 21st Century Books, 1993) $14.95.
Tolan, Sally.John Muir:Naturalist, Writer, and Guardian of the North American Wilderness.(Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens Children's Books, 1990)Part of "People Who Have Helped the World" series.Hardbound, $12.95, 68 pages.
Wadsworth, Ginger.John Muir: Wilderness Protector.(Minneapolis: LernerPublications Co., 1992) Hardbound, $15.95, 144 pages.
Muir, John.The Wilderness World of John Muir.edited by Edwin Way Teale(Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1954, paperback reprint.
Muir, John, The Wild Muir: Twenty-two of John Muir's Greatest Adventures , selected and introduced by Lee Stetson (Yosemite National Park: Yosemite Association, 1994).
Fox, Stephen.John Muir and His Legacy: The American Conservation Movement.(Boston: Little, Brown and Co. 1981.)
Wilkins, Thurman, John Muir: Apostle of Nature (Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1995).
Wolfe, Linnie Marsh.Son of the Wilderness: The Life of John Muir.(Madison:Univ. of Wisconsin Press 1978) (Originally published: 1945by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.)
What You Can Do
For a copy of the Governor's John Muir Day Proclamation, to display at
your school, public library, or City Hall, write: Governor Pete Wilson, State
Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814.
Ask your own County Board of Supervisors and the City Council or Mayor of
your City to issue a John Muir Day Proclamation. For sample forms, contact
the John Muir Education Project at the address indicated below.
Sponsor a John Muir celebration at your school, public library, or
community center, Show a videotape, put on a skit portraying John Muir, or
invite a speaker to tell about his life and work. Combine recognition of John
Muir with Earth Day activities.
Spread the word about John Muir Day wherever you can.
If you would like to be involved in celebrating John Muir Day in your
community, and share celebration ideas with others, contact:
John Muir Education Project
P.O. Box 3543
Visalia, CA 93278
(559) 697-3525 (leave e-mail address for responses)
If you would like a free flier with the contents of this page,
please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope, and any comments and suggestions to:
Sierra Club John Muir Education Project
P.O. Box 3543
Visalia, California 93278
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