The Scripture of Nature to be featured at Popcorn and Ideas on Feb. 23 in Montello

The Wisconsin Friends of John Muir will sponsor the first in the Popcorn and Ideas three-part series from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23, at the University of Wisconsin-Extension Office, 480 Underwood Avenue, Montello.

The free public presentation titled, “The Scripture of Nature” will feature Tom Gilbert, retired superintendent of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, North Country National Scenic Trail and the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

Gilbert, who lives in Middleton with his wife, Jan, spent nearly his entire career working for the National Park Service, retiring in 2011. The presentation will combine Gilbert’s love for national trails and parks, and his knowledge of the religious roots of the belief in protecting wilderness and natures wonders.

When we think of National Parks, we think of John Muir, who is known as the Father of the National Park System. Muir spent his boyhood in Marquette County, and formed the essence of his beliefs about man’s responsibility to protect land and the creatures residing there during these early years.

Muir is known for his campaign to protect Yosemite Valley, and for his continued efforts to have the parks cared for in a manner that protects their natural and intrinsic value. He believed that in everything he saw he was witnessing the work and presence of God. “Heaven knows,” Muir wrote, “that John [the] Baptist was not more eager to get all his fellow sinners into the Jordan than I to baptize all of mine in the beauty of God’s mountains.”

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