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Nature's Keeper: John Ripley Forbes and the Children's Nature Movement

Overview

Once hailed by Time magazine as "the Johnny Appleseed of nature museums," John Ripley Forbes arguably did as much as anyone in history to keep the wonders of nature alive for America's children.

Through seven decades of passionate, tireless effort, Forbes helped create outdoor-based science and learning centers in more than 200 communities across the country.

Nature's ...

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Overview

Once hailed by Time magazine as "the Johnny Appleseed of nature museums," John Ripley Forbes arguably did as much as anyone in history to keep the wonders of nature alive for America's children.

Through seven decades of passionate, tireless effort, Forbes helped create outdoor-based science and learning centers in more than 200 communities across the country.

Nature's Keeper chronicles the life of this extraordinary educator, form his teen years with renowned conservationist William Hornaday, to his celebrated "animal lending libraries" of the 1950s and 1960s, to his final preservation victories at the end of the twentieth century.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591520863
  • Publisher: Forbes, John Ripley Big Trees Forest Preserve, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2012
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Ferguson writes for a variety of national publications, including Vanity Fair and the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of sixteen books on nature and science.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 7

Chapter 1 The Home Woods 15

childhood in the forests and fields of New England; Forbes builds a museum in the attic of his father's rectory; mentored at 15 by one of America's greatest conservationists; John starts his first public natural history museum at age 21; studies at the University of Iowa and Bowdoin College

Chapter 2 Fire and Ice 41

the scientist and the fundraiser; heading to the Arctic with Donald MacMillan; paying honor to a cherished mentor

Chapter 3 - Museum Man 61

the fine art of living on a shoestring; a rising fondness for museums among the middle class; a false start at Cornell

Chapter 4 A Whirlwind in Kansas 67

John refuses to take no for an answer, launching on a colossal undertaking at age 26; the children of Kansas City find a new favorite hangout; one man's enthusiasm becomes another man's irritation

Chapter 5 The Peaceful Warrior 85

a pacifist tries to live his ideals in a time of world war; reimagining the role of museums for a post-war America; Army Private John Ripley Forbes offers outdoor adventures for children in the South, including the first nature museums for black children; a growing number of cities decide that a nature museum for kids is just what they need

Chapter 6 Borrowing Petunia 119

Forbes in California, freshly married and at the height of his game; the media falls in love with animal lending libraries; American children begin going inside, trading time in the park or the woods for television; sounding the alarm about natural treasures being lost to development

Chapter 7 To Serve and Protect 143

John pays homage to his favorite childhood haunt by saving its natural wonders; mission impossible at Stonedam Island; creating children's outdoor centers in urban and suburban Georgia; celebrating nature with poor kids in New York City

Chapter 8 Pot Patch to Park 165

a politically savvy septuagenarian takes on the feds to save a precious slice of Atlanta; sailing to the Antarctic; the second shipwreck of John's life, this time part of the worst oil spill in the region's history; coming back home with a new cause

Chapter 9 The Final Forest 179

The city of Sandy Springs, in north Atlanta, teams up with John Ripley Forbes to save a precious slice of woodland; a dizzying hustle for money; paying tribute to a life well lived

Epilogue 195

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