The town of Newcomb will highlight the connection between Teddy Roosevelt and the National Park Service with this year’s TR Weekend, September 16-18, 2016. Events for adults and children are planned all weekend.
On Friday night, a celebration of the centennial anniversary of the National Parks Service will be held at Newcomb Central School, where a dozen parks will be highlighted from various regions of the U.S. Kiosks will represent the parks, and students will act as Junior Park Rangers, guiding visitors through them. Later, Teddy Roosevelt (played by Joe Wiegand) and John Muir (played by Dr. Dick Shore) will discuss the impact their friendship had on the development of the National Park Service.
On Saturday afternoon, Prof. Roy Ginsberg will lead a Newcomb Foreign Affairs Round Table, where Teddy Roosevelt will share his views on foreign affairs. Children can join John Muir on a scavenger hunt at Woodruff Pond. Later that evening, there will be a presentation called “Heroes and Heroines of the National Park Service” at Newcomb Central School. Fireworks will follow later at the Newcomb Overlook, known for its view of the High Peaks.
Some of the weekend’s other activities include: a celebration of our new national mammal, the bison, at the Adirondack Buffalo Company’s farm in North Hudson; tours of the McIntyre Blast Furnace; a Running of the Colors race; and walking and biking tours of Great Camp Santanoni.
After Teddy Roosevelt’s inauguration as the 26th president of the United States, he became a great champion of conservation. In 1902, he interrupted a national speaking tour to spend two weeks camping in Yellowstone National Park. He also visited the Grand Canyon and called for its protection.
President Teddy Roosevelt’s camping trip with John Muir during this time could be considered the most historically significant event in the development of the conservation movement. Muir was able to persuade Roosevelt to reestablish federal protection to Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove as part of Yosemite National Park. The trip would have a lasting effect on the president.
As president, Roosevelt created five national parks, signed the landmark Antiquities Act and applied its special provisions to create 18 national conservation areas. These included the Grand Canyon National Parks, 51 federal bird sanctuaries, four national game refuges and more than 100 million acres of national forests. There are more National Park Service units dedicated to Roosevelt’s life and memory than any other American.
Over the course of more than 150 years, a once-radical idea has evolved into a cohesive national parks system with a sometimes-conflicting, two-part mission: to make the parks accessible to all and to preserve them for future generations.
John Muir was one of the earliest advocates of the national park concept, as he felt a spiritual connection to the land and all of nature. He was the founder and first president of the Sierra Club. Muir Woods monument, a grove of magnificent redwoods north of San Francisco, is named in his honor.
More details about TR Weekend’s schedule can be found here. Lodging is available in Newcomb at Camp Tracy and Hoot Owl Lodge. Information on additional lodging, dining, and activities in the region is also available here.