Thanks to a congressional bill introduced last week, the sprawling John Muir Historic Site in Martinez could be growing by 44 acres.
Currently, the national park encompasses 330 acres, including the Muir house, where the famed conservationist lived with his family until his death in 1914. The site been a local touchstone and source of pride for decades. (If you've never seen it, check out a 360-tour below!)
Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, and California Sen. Kamala Harris introduced the bill on March 30 and were joined by Sen. Dianne Feinstein as a co-sponsor. Desaulnier first introduced the bill in the House of Representatives last congressional session, but it was not considered by the senate.
“The expansion of the John Muir Historic Site will ensure that future generations of Californians and others will have the opportunity to continue to learn about his legacy as the father of the National Park Service,” Harris said in a news release.
Most schools in the surrounding districts arrange field trips to learn about Muir — known as the father of the National Park Service — and his efforts as a conservationist and naturalist.
The parcel of land is being donated by the John Muir Land Trust, but Congressional approval is needed to sign off on the deal.
Muir’s arresting prose inspired U.S. presidents, lawmakers and everyday Americans to care about the preservation of nature, a cause the Martinez resident championed until his death in 1914 — just a few years shy of the establishing of the National Park Service.
Among Muir's many accomplishments include the establishment of Yosemite, Sequoia, Mount Rainier and Grand Canyon National Parks, and the founding of the Sierra Club.