April 25 — Theodore Roosevelt National Park Established (1947)

When Teddy Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, died on January 6, 1919, it wasn’t long before conservationists began advocating for a park in his name.  Roosevelt was, after all, our “conservation president,” a leader who established 150 national forests, 51 federal bird reserves, 4 national game preserves, 5 national parks and 18 national […]

Read More →
April 23 — World Book Day

Normally, this calendar notes the birth dates of important conservationists and environmentalists.  But today is noted because it was the date when three famous authors died—William Shakespeare, Miquel de Cervantes, and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.  Not only did they die on the same date, April 23, but they all died on the very same […]

Read More →
April 8 — A Tribute to the Endangered Species Act

I’ve searched the internet from stem to stern, consulted all my reference sources—and I can find nothing of calendar-worthy significance that has occurred on April 8.  I can’t even find anything remotely amusing that I can try to connect to conservation.  But in looking just a little farther, I found something perhaps minor, but also […]

Read More →
April 2 — Maria Sibylla Merian, German Entomologist, Born (1647)

For much of history, insects were considered “beasts of the devil” and therefore were not studied.  This began to change in the 1600s, when a few conscientious observers of nature decided to turn their attention to insects.  One of the first—and foremost—was a German woman, Maria Sibylla Merian.             Merian was born on April 2, […]

Read More →
April 1 — Wangari Maathai, Kenyan Conservationist, Born (1940)

Wangari Maathai accomplished much in her life.  Most would list her selection as the Nobel Peace Prize laureate as her greatest accomplishment.  But I think what earned her the prize is much more notable:  Wangari Maathai planted 50 million trees!             Wangari Muta was born on April 1, 1940, in a small rural village in […]

Read More →
March 31 — Al Gore, Environmental Activist and U.S. Vice President, Born (1948)

One can get an argument about who is the greatest environmental U.S. president—maybe Teddy Roosevelt, maybe Richard Nixon, maybe even Abraham Lincoln.  But there can’t be much argument about the greatest environmental vice president.  Or perhaps, it is best to say the greatest environmentalist to become vice president—Al Gore.             Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. was […]

Read More →
March 30 — The United States Buys Alaska (1867)

If you were given the chance to buy land at 30 cents per acre, would you?  Me, too, even if those acres were far away.  The U.S. said yes to that decision about 150 years ago, when it bought Alaska from the Russians.  The purchase price was actually $7.2 million, or 2 cents per acre […]

Read More →
March 29 — Niagara Falls Stops Flowing (1848)

If you’ve ever been to Niagara Falls, you know what an overwhelming experience it is.  Massive quantities of water cascading over the falls, while you stand just feet away from the edge.  Or floating on the Maid of the Mist, all that water crashing down around you.  Now, just imagine if it stopped.  Unimaginable, you […]

Read More →
March 28 — Joseph Bazalgette, London’s Sewer King, Born (1819)

In the mid-1800s, London’s Thames River was a sewer.  A huge, foul, disease-causing cesspool fed by the wastes of London’s exploding human population.  Something had to be done, and Joseph Bazalgette did it.             Joseph Bazalgette was born on March 28, 1819, the son of a naval engineer (died 1891).  Like his father, he also […]

Read More →
March 27 — Trans-Alaska Pipeline Begun (1975)

One of America’s most ambitious projects—economic and environmental—began on March 27, 1975, when the first pipe was laid for what would become the Trans Alaska Pipeline.  After years of debate about the value and possible impact of the pipeline, the outcome has been remarkably positive.             Oil was discovered in the far north of Alaska […]

Read More →