In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region and partners—including several local Sierra Club chapters and groups—are hosting Visions of the Wild, a festival in Vallejo from Sept. 3 to 6. Expected to be the single largest Bay Area event celebrating the Wilderness Act, the festival will feature art exhibits, speakers, film screenings, music, and field trips. For full program information, visit www.visionsofthewild.org.
Events will take place at seven different venues in historic downtown Vallejo, a city known for its cultural diversity, beautiful waterfront setting, and vibrant arts community. Festival venues include the landmark Beaux Arts-style Empress Theatre, arts and performance space The Hub, the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum, and a small “Ranger Station” that will serve as the festival headquarters.
“We’re putting together a unique and varied menu of activities that will appeal to people of all ages and walks of life,” said Heather Davis, Visions of the Wild coordinator. “There will be something for everyone. The festival will be a ‘one-stop shop’ for wilderness information for residents across the Bay Area.”
Visions of the Wild will be a venue to discuss and learn about topics such as what “wilderness” means in diverse cultural contexts; how wilderness values are expressed through the arts; how we can “re-wild” our humanized landscapes; how we can expand the circle of people who care about wild places; and how our understandings of wilderness and wilderness conservation paradigms will change in an era of global environmental change.
The festival will take place 50 years to the day after President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act establishing our National Wilderness Preservation System. The Act is a landmark in conservation history because it allows for the preservation of wilderness for the American public. Today more than 100 million acres of land are designated as Wilderness. For more information about celebrations underway locally and across the country to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of this landmark legislation, visit www.wilderness50th.org.
To volunteer at Visions of the Wild, contact festival coordinator Heather Davis at hdavis at thesca.org or visit www.visionsofthewild.org.
To volunteer for other Wilderness Act 50th anniversary activities, contact Anne Henny at anneth16 at sbcglobal.net or Vicky Hoover at (415) 977-5527.