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California: Father of National Parks with Kendra Adachi

states Aug 02, 2021


In this episode, Sharon is joined by Kendra Adachi, affectionately known on the internet as the Lazy Genius, who is also the host of The Lazy Genius Podcast and author of The Lazy Genius Way. Sharon and Kendra discuss the passionate nature of John Muir, an environmental philosopher, mountaineer, botanist, glaciologist, and preservation advocate who is considered to be the Father of the National Parks. During the westward expansion of the late 1800s, John Muir dedicated his life to the preservation of America’s most pristine geography and played a prolific role in the establishment of Yosemite National Park. Americans will forever reap the benefits of John Muir’s passion for nature, and today, there are parks, glaciers, trails, asteroids, and mountains named after his legacy, a testament to the impact one person can have on an entire society.


Link to Full Episode:


This Episode Will Teach You:

  • World travel in the 19th-century vs. Modern day 
  • What is the Sierra Club?
  • The time Teddy Roosevelt camped in the open-air of Yosemite 
  • There is no such thing as too much nature 
  • The power of patience: John Muir teaches us about tenacity when pursuing your passion


3 Biggest Takeaways:

  • John Muir emigrated to the United States with his family in 1849 from Scotland. From a young age, Muir identified a love of nature and went on to study natural sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After nearly losing his sight in a freak accident while working at a wagon wheel factory, Muir discovered a new lease on life and spent most of his young adulthood traveling from the Midwest to Cuba and then New York City before eventually settling in the Yosemite Valley of California.  It was here where Muir developed an obsession with preserving nature from the detriment of new settlers and cultivated his legacy as the Father of National Parks. 
  • The Yosemite National Park was formally established in 1890, thanks to the constant lobbying of congress by John Muir. In his lifelong pursuit of American preservation, Muir learned that there was more power in numbers when dealing with the U.S. government, and in response, he founded the Sierra Club, one of the oldest environmental organizations that still stands today with over 3 million members. The Sierra Club fought to manage the integrity of the land that America had rapidly gained through wars, treaties, and power and, in doing so, served as the earliest form of the US Forest Service.
  • America benefited profoundly from the constant, sustained effort of John Muir, and his legacy will continue to benefit people for generations. In addition to the Yosemite National Park, John Muir also convinced the U.S. government to protect Sequoia, Grand Canyon and Mt. Rainie as national parks, all of which still stand today. Muir’s legacy lives on through tributes across the country, including Mt. Miur, Muir Peak, Muir Glacier, Muir Inlet, John Muir Trail, Muir Pass, Muir Woods National Monument, and so much more. In the 1990s, Yosemite National Park was designated a World Heritage Site, and John Muir was inducted into the California Hall of Fame by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Each year, the citizens of California celebrate April 21 as John Muir day. 


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