The Beverly Hills City Council has designated Dec. 24, 2014 as John Muir Day in the City of Beverly Hills. The City Council voted at the Dec. 2 meeting to honor the 100th anniversary of Muir’s death. The naturalist and founder of the Sierra Club died in Los Angeles on Dec. 24, 1914.
“Muir’s contributions are more relevant today than ever before in a region with a growing population and intense demand on land use,” said Council member John Mirisch, who introduced the resolution. “As Muir once famously wrote, ‘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 alike.’ Here in Beverly Hills we devote considerable resources to upgrading and maintaining our parks and trees because of the wonderful legacy from John Muir.”
John Muir was born in Scotland but immigrated to Wisconsin as a child. He eventually traveled west and spent six years living in what became Yosemite National Park, studying the flora and fauna. A self-taught naturalist, Muir devoted most of his life to the preservation of the Western forests. He led a movement for the federal government to protect the Yosemite Valley and surrounding wilderness, which paved the way for establishing the National Park system.
Muir’s writings, which reflect his spiritual connection with nature, are widely considered to be the inspiration and genesis of the environmental movement in the United States. The history of the National Parks, including John Muir’s contributions, is documented in the Ken Burns documentary “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.”