–text and photos submitted by Karl Gutknecht
Downtown Rotarians and guests were hosted by The Wisconsin Friends of John Muir and Natural Heritage Land Trust while hiking Muir’s boyhood farm home terrain in Marquette County Saturday.
They learned that Muir’s conservation ethic was formed as a young man on the Muir Wisconsin homestead. These boyhood years in Wisconsin inspired his conservation ethic and love and appreciation of the natural world. Muir went on to espouse an intrinsic, spiritual value and beauty in nature and maintained that all living things are interconnected.
Providing interpretations on the John Muir Memorial Park and nearby Observatory Hill hikes were Wisconsin Friends of John Muir Board of Directors Mark Martin and Fred Wollenburg as well as Heidi Habeger, Natural Heritage Land Trust. Hiking/Skiing Fellowship Group chair, Bob Graebner, was hike coordinator.
The John Muir Memorial Park and Friends of John Muir celebrate the legacy of this great naturalist, a founder of The Sierra Club and often called the father of our country’s National Park System. The Natural Heritage Land Trust seeks to permanently protect local natural areas, rivers and streams, wildlife habitat, and working farms. It recently purchased part of the original John Muir family farm, bringing the total protected landscape to 1,400 acres, which includes the Muir Park and Fox River National Wildlife Refuge.
Further information on the John Muir Memorial Park can be found at Wisconsin Friends of John Muir, website www.johnmuir.org/wisconsin and for the Natural Heritage Land Trust, www.nhlt.org.