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Garrett Burke

Photo of Garrett Burke by Tom Keller
  • Graphic designer, concept designer of the California Quarter which depicts John Muir and Yosemite
  • In preparation to enter the California Quarter design competition, Burke researched the diversity of California history, imagery and symbolism. Burke was most impressed with the conribution John Muir made to the state and the nation, and in particular the realization that Muir showed how one person can make a difference.
  • Burke wrote of Muir: "He was the originator of grassroots efforts to preserve nature. Educating kids about John Muir was the whole impetus to submit the quarter in the first place."
  • Burke's design was one of more than 8,000 submitted. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the final selection of the California Quarter design incorporationg John Muir, Yosemite's Half Dome, and a California Quarter, on March 29, 2004.
  • Burke writes: " What Muir stood for is really what all Americans, and really all citizens of the planet, should stand for: Making a difference and living in balance with nature and just realizing that we're only on this planet for a very short time and that what we do every day counts.
    John Muir embodied that spirit. He had no boundaries. Everything in his life was about searching, about educating himself and inspiring others. I told my wife he was like the Johnny Appleseed of conservation. He planted the seeds of his message everywhere. And that message was so pure and his passion so profound, that people would listen.
    When someone looks at the back of that quarter, I want them to say either: 'John Muir, what a great guy, I love his message,' or: 'Who's John Muir? I need to find out more about him.' That's the thrill for me, knowing that it's educating people."
  • Burke is the author of the Introduction to the book The Official Red Book: A Guide Book of Washington & State Quarters (Official Red Book) by Q. David Bowers (Whitman Publishing, 2006)
  • Burke frequently gives a dynamic Power Point presenttion about the California State Quarter selection process and his role in it, and is available for speaking engagements.

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