John Muir and William Kent – Muir Woods National Park

by admin on November 19, 2009

William Kent and his wife, Elizabeth Thacher Kent, purchased 611 acres of land around Redwood Creek and the bay area in 1905 for $45,000. A Congressman and philanthropist, Kent’s intentions when purchasing this land were to preserve some of the Coastal Redwood forest contained within. Old growth forests had been dwindling at an alarming rate due to logging, but the land around Redwood Creek had been spared mostly due to its isolated location. Kent donated 295 acres of this land to the federal government, at which point it was declared as a national monument by President Theodore Roosevelt. In 1908, Muir Woods National Park was established in the name of wilderness advocacy trailblazer John Muir.

President Roosevelt wanted to name the national monument on Kent’s land in honor of the Congressman and his wife, but Kent deferred. As a tribute to conservationism and wilderness advocacy, Kent wanted the park named in honor of John Muir. Muir was a true naturalist who spent the majority of his life reflecting on man’s relationship with nature and his surroundings. The concepts of conservationism and environmental awareness have evolved in large part from the teachings and writings of John Muir. Muir was largely responsible for convincing President Roosevelt to set aside lands at Yosemite, the Grand Canyon and Mt. Rainier as national parks.

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