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Ron Epp, “Saving God’s Creation: The Distinctively New England Roots of Land Conservation” Slideshow and Talk
June 19 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Despite the magnitude of their achievements, the inspiration for establishing public land sanctuaries did not begin with the founders of Acadia National Park. Earlier in the 19th-century, other New England innovators were troubled by the contests between religion and society, nature and culture. Industrialization, deforestation, urbanization, population growth, and transportation innovations factored into the post-Civil War efforts to protect open–and sometimes wild–landscapes.
Emerson, Thoreau, Marsh, Cole, Church, Olmsted, Eliot, Muir, Pinchot, and Roosevelt are the most prominent pioneers of the movement much later known as environmentalism. This talk and slide show will begin with the Puritan belief that–as agents of God’s Will– Nature must be subdued for personal needs. Three centuries later landscape architect Charles Eliot established the first land trust for the enjoyment of the public in perpetuity. This lofty goal may be self-evident in our own day, yet its validity was hard-fought.