On Monday night, April 18, PBS stations around the country will air the American Masters Presents film “John Muir in the New World.” This film is being aired in celebration of Earth Day (April 22) and John Muir Day (April 21). This 90-minute documentary film by Catherine Tatge airs at 8 p.m. on the Alaska One network (statewide PBS network, GCI Cable Channel 7 in Sitka) and on 360 North/KTOO (Juneau PBS/Alaska Public Interest station, GCI Cable Channel 15 in Sitka).
John Muir (1838-1914) was a preservationist, naturalist, author, explorer, activist, scientist and farmer. He is probably best known as the father of the environmental movement and the founder of the Sierra Club, the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. Explaining his impact then and now, this documentary delves into Muir’s life and influences with reenactments filmed in high definition throughout the majestic landscapes he visited: Wisconsin, Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada, the Alhambra Valley of California, and the glaciers of Alaska (he made extensive travels through Southeast Alaska). Placing our nation’s most important natural assets in a cultural and social context, “John Muir in the New World” is a timely reminder of America’s unique and, ultimately, threatened eco-systems.
To help celebrate this film, the Children and Nature Network encourages families and friends to host house parties to watch the movie. The Children and Nature Network Connect blog lists several suggestions for how to host a house party. The Children and Nature Network also has created two activity guides to go with the film, one for families and one for educators. These activity guides have a lot of great information for how to take your kids outdoors and teach them how to truly experience the wilderness after you watch the film together.