Go Wild During National Wilderness Month!
September is National Wilderness Month, a celebration of the anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Passed on September 3, 1964, the Wilderness Act was created in order to “establish a National Wilderness Preservation System for the permanent good of the whole people.” When passed, the Act designated 54 areas made up of 9.1 million acres in 13 states as protected wilderness. Today that has grown to over 111 million acres (that’s slightly larger than the state of California!) in 806 areas in 44 states and Puerto Rico. This month — and all year! — take advantage of the benefits and beauty of the great outdoors by exploring wilderness areas near you. Read on to learn more about our greatest national treasure, the American Wilderness!
The Wilderness Act defines wilderness as, “…an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor.” These areas offer several benefits to visitors and are critical to the protection of local species and the greater environment. Browse our collection for titles about the wilderness, its importance, and useful skills for its exploration.
Memoirs and Awareness: these titles share first-hand experiences and advocacy for our wilderness lands.
- A Year in the Wilderness: Bearing Witness in the Boundary Waters by Amy and Dave Freeman
- Better Living Through Birding: Notes from a Black Man in the Natural World by Christian Cooper
- Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
- Leave It As It Is: A Journey Through Theodore Roosevelt’s American Wilderness by David Gessner
- Our National Parks by John Muir
- That Wild Country by Mark Kenyon
- This America of Ours: Bernard and Avis Devoto and the Forgotten Fight to Save the Wild by Nate Schweber
- Through the Wilderness by Brad Orsted
- Wild Spectacle: Seeing Wonders in a World Beyond Humans by Janisse Ray
- Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America by Douglas Brinkley
Guides and Pictorial Works: these titles offer guidance on where to go and what to do.
- Accessible Vacations by Simon Hayhoe
- America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston (DVD)
- America’s Great National Forests, Wilderness, and Grasslands by Char Miller
- Be an Adventurer by Chris Oxlade ( Juvenile NF)
- Families on Foot: Urban Hikes to Backyard Treks and National Park Adventures by Jennifer Pharr Davis
- Family Guide to Outdoor Adventures by Creek Stewart
- Guide to National Parks of the U.S. by National Geographic
- Outpost: A Journey to the Wild Ends of the Earth by Dan Richards
And finally, some titles that teach skills:
- Camping’s Top Secrets: A Lexicon of Modern Bushcraft by Cliff Jacobson
- Complete Guide to Camping and Wilderness Survival by Vin T. Sparano
- Forest Walking: Discovering the Trees and Woodlands of North America by Peter Wohlleben
- Nature Backpack Kit by Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
- Scouting Guide to Tracking: More than 100 Essential Skills for Identifying and Tracking Animals by Len McDougall
- Woman in the Wild: the Everywoman’s Guide to Hiking, Camping, and Back Country Travel by Susan Joy Paul
To gear up for your next family adventure, try checking out one of our children's birding or nature backpacks, equipped with exploration guides, activities, and more. Additionally, get into the adventurous spirit by diving into our 2024 All Henrico Reads title, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, a memoir about one woman's journey to self-discovery along the Pacific Crest Trail.
“To sit in solitude, to think in solitude with only the music of the stream and the cedar to break the flow of silence, there lies the value of wilderness.” John Muir
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