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Who Inspired Us?

Joseph LeConte

Who was a geologist, a university professor, and a founding member of the Sierra Club?

Words for Wilderness Around the World
Words for Wilderness - a Program of Sierra Club LeConte Memorial Lodge
A LeConte Memorial Lodge Global Program

The Sierra Club's LeConte Memorial Lodge in Yosemite continues to provide a special online program, Words for Wilderness Around the World. Originally offered on-the-ground in Yosemite to celebrate the LeConte Memorial Centennial, the Words for Wilderness Around the World now invites people from around the Earth to submit electronically their thoughts and experiences about nature, wilderness, and wildlife.

These themes are a point of departure. Individuals may write about a personal relationship with nature or about environmental challenges faced by family, friends, organizations, agencies, local communities, their nation, or the global community. You may also write about the landscape of home or a natural habitat; protecting wildlife; biodiversity; the challenges of life in the twenty-first century; clean air and clean water; global population; human rights and the environment; or concerns about global warming.

A poem, drawing or words of naturalists or nature writers (if properly identified) may be included. All contributions at this time must be submitted electronically. Please see the links at left for further information.

Background About Words for Wilderness

Words for Wilderness Around the World were collected at LeConte Lodge in 2003 and 2004. Now we are seeking contributions from elsewhere - especially overseas!
Selected submissions are posted on this website.

Here's the idea: each contribution becomes a link in a virtual necklace of words that will circle the Earth. The idea for the necklace of words grew from the work of Frederick Law Olmsted, who believed that parks are opportunities to weave together parcels of green space-living necklaces - healthful places where people rest and recreate. Olmsted sought to link the United States together, park to park, in one green corridor. From the door of LeConte Memorial Lodge, in Yosemite Valley, a necklace of words - GREEN WORDS - will grow around the world.

Our course around the world follows John Muir's travels around the world. We start in Yosemite National Park, where Muir's preservationist ideas took form and multiplied. From LeConte Memorial Lodge, the necklace depicts the progress of Words for Wilderness Around the World
(see map.) This Words for Wilderness Around the World website includes a web submission form through which to forward words.

John Muir, Joseph LeConte, Frederick Olmsted, Ansel Adams, and David Brower sought to preserve wild places. They accomplished this goal, in part, by writing journals about their wilderness experiences, which became articles and books that shared their sentiments about the natural world and the need to preserve wilderness. These inspiring conservation leaders believed in the University of the Wilderness - that in nature are important lessons about the world in which we live. Words for Wilderness will follow the lead of these inspirational writers, engaging people in creating a global necklace of words as each person records experiences and thoughts about nature, wilderness, and the environment. From individual communities, from the places we recreate, from organizations through which we are guided to a greater understanding of our world, LeConte Memorial Lodge and the Sierra Club invite participation in Words for Wilderness.

* All ages are welcome. Words (up to 50), poetry, and drawings will be accepted.

Please use our Website Submission Form to submit your contributions.

Information and Donations

For more information, during the summer contact Sierra Club LeConte Memorial Lodge Curator, P.O. Box 755, Yosemite, CA 95389, 1-209-372-4542; e-mail:

During the winter, contact LeConte Lodge Committee Chair, Harold Wood, P.O. Box 3543, Visalia, CA 93278; phone: (559) 697-3525; e-mail:

Tax deductible donations to support the new exhibits and renovation efforts of the LeConte Memorial can be made to "Sierra Club Foundation," marked for the "LeConte Lodge Fund."

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