Earth Day: Black Forest Meets Yosemite

  • A conversation between Shelton Johnson, Yosemite National Park and Simone Stübner
  • Black Forest National Park | As part of the series "EUREKA! Ländle Meets California
  • In dialogue

In the course of the worldwide upswing of environmental protection activism, “Earth Day” was founded in 1970 by US Senator Gaylord Nelson and took place for the first time in the USA with 20 million participants. Since then, people in more than 150 countries celebrate Earth Day every year on 22 April and draw attention to regional, national and international environmental projects. National parks have long been an important pillar of environmental protection and therefore deserve our attention especially on “Earth Day”. In the USA, they have been a central part of the national identity since the beginning of the 20th century and attracted numerous tourists even then. In Germany, the concept of national parks only became established in the 1970s, although nature reserves were also created before then. What do representatives of the different national park traditions have to say to each other?

How do such experts assess the interaction between tourism and environmental protection in their national parks? In this online event, we facilitate a transatlantic dialogue between a top ranger of “Yosemite National Park,” which was established in 1890, and a senior staff member of the Black Forest National Park, which was established in 2014. Shelton Johnson, a ranger in “Yosemite National Park” since 1994, has already met celebrities such as Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey in his work as a ranger. He is particularly committed to bringing national parks and the connection to nature to the African-American population. Johnson spent part of his childhood in Germany. It was there that he had his first impactful experiences with nature in the Alps and the Black Forest. His interview partner, Simone Stübner, is the director of public relations at the Black Forest National Park. She also visited the “Yosemite National Park” as part of an exchange program for German rangers. This visit impressed her deeply and inspired her further work. The discussion will be moderated by Allison Wildman, Coordinator for Governance and Social Innovation at ICLEI Freiburg.

Registration via Zoom here

Moderation: Allison Wildman, ICLEI Freiburg
With greetings from Meinrad Joos, President Schwarzwaldverein e.V. & Consul Patricia Lacina, US Consulate General Frankfurt
Language of the event: English
In cooperation with: DAZ Stuttgart, DAI Heidelberg, dai Tübingen, US Consulate General Frankfurt.
With the kind support of: Ministry of State Baden-Württemberg


Free online event

Fotos v.l.n.r.: Craig Kohlruss/Fresno Bee/Associated Press; privat/Nationalpark Schwarzwald