Alfred Runte ZCFI ZionOn Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 7:30 p.m., Alfred Runte will offer his signature presentation on the history of American national parks at Springdale’s Canyon Community Center. The presentation is a part of Zion Canyon Field Institute’s Fern and J. L. Crawford Lecture Series.

Wallace Stegner, an author and historian, described the national parks as “the best idea we ever had.” John Muir prophetically noted that “nothing dollarable is safe, however guarded.” The tension between materialism and idealism led to the establishment of national parks in the United States. Runte will explore the issue with his presentation on the history of national parks, including selections from his lifetime collection of illustrations.

Runte holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and has taught at five major institutions of higher learning, including Baylor University and the University of Washington. Runte’s work focuses on parks, conservation, and public transportation. His first book, National Parks: The American Experience has been praised as the definitive study of the national park idea.

The Zion Canyon Field Institute’s Fern and J. L. Crawford Lecture Series is a collaborative effort with Zion National Park. ZCFI exists to educate and inspire local, national, and international visitors about the greater Zion National Park ecosystem and environment through intensive classes that immerse visitors in the field. These one, two, and three day classes give visitors unique opportunities to investigate the vast natural and cultural resources of the park and its surrounds. Visiting instructors—experts in science, the humanities, and the arts—emphasize learning through adventurous, hands-on exploration.

Zion Canyon Field Institute is the educational branch of Zion Natural History Association, the park’s nonprofit partner. Established in 1929, the Zion Natural History Association supports education, research, publication, and programs for the benefit of Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, and Pipe Spring National Monument.

Please call (435) 772-3264 for more information. Lectures are free and open to the public. The Canyon Community Center is located at 126 Lion Blvd. in Springdale.

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