The John Muir Trust Award www.jmt.org John Muir was born in Dunbar, Scotland in 1838 His birthplace finally opened as a visitor centre to ensure he is as well known in Scotland as he is around the world! At the age of eleven, he emigrated with his family to the wilds of Wisconsin in the American mid-west, where he spent his teenage years Arriving in California at the age of 30, he achieved fame as a botanist, geologist and glaciologist, and pioneered what is now known as ecology. During his explorations of the High Sierra and Alaska (1870 - 1890), Muir became aware of the threats to such wild places, and was the first to clearly call for their conservation. He led the campaign for the protection of Yosemite, and deeply influenced Presidents Roosevelt and Wilson in designating over 50 areas and 200 national monuments. “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” In order to campaign for wild places, Muir helped set up the Sierra Club which today is one of the leading environmental campaigning organisations in the world. http://www.johnmuir.info/ “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” “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.” Ansel Adams Most people are on the world, not in it. – have no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them - undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate. Aims of the John Muir Award • Increase & enhance awareness of wild places • Encourage people to take responsibility for wild places • Encourage individuals & society to value wild places • Promote educational, social and personal development of young people and the wider community • Encourage an environmental agenda within youth organisations, and a youthwork agenda within environmental organisations • Ensure that social circumstances don't exclude people from opportunities to experience wild places • Raise awareness of John Muir and the John Muir Trust 4 elements at each level must be covered… DISCOVERY OF A WILD PLACE EXPLORATION OF A WILD PLACE CONSERVATION OF A WILD PLACE SHARING OF A WILD PLACE And the children must find out about John Muir- his life, work and legacy. Discovery e.g. Cairngorms, local wild place, overseas wild place such as Tanzania Exploration e.g. by canoeing, trekking, climbing, earth walk, environmental drama Conservation e.g. minimum impact visit/ expedition, travelling lightly, beach survey, litter pick, tree planting, plant clearance Sharing e.g. photography exhibition, newsletter/ presentation to educate others, diary of impact of the wild place on personal feelings/ emotions Training available for staff who wish to participate (not essential) Assessed for the award by a recognised local assessor Internationally recognised award, useful for students later A primary school case study… Schools - West Barns Primary School, East Lothian West Barns Primary School undertook their Discovery Award with new technology in to meet curriculum requirements. A composite class of P4/5/6 decided to explore their local coastline, and in particular an area called Spit Island, which is cut off from the mainland at high tide. They were joined by their local Ranger, and discovered the various wildlife and habitats on their doorstep. A digital camera was used to track their adventures. The group used scavenger hunts and other environmental activities to keep the adventure going and they also undertook a litter clearance to do their bit for nature. They visited John Muir's Birthplace and made driftwood pictures of Muir to celebrate his achievements. They explored the concept of country parks and created logbooks of all their experiences. The class then decided to share all their findings and experiences of places on their own website. They also held a coffee morning presentation ceremony where they fund-raised to help contribute to the John Muir Birthplace appeal. Explore West Barns' Discovery Award experience in archives at . Getting started • Send for information booklet (done) • Send a proposal form (done) • Send for children’s logs/ booklets • Plan the level (s) • Carry out the 4 strands (and have fun/ learn!) • Submit work/ record for award Are you interested?