July 12, 2017 would’ve been Henry David Thoreau’s 200th birthday.

For just over two years, Thoreau lived in a one room house on a pond outside of his hometown of Concord, MA.

While there, he farmed and lived off the land, read, studied the plants, took long walks and wrote.

Walden (1854), the book he wrote about the experience named after the pond, takes on the more common materialistic worldview while promoting a simple life as an alternative.

Weaved in the book, as well as some of his other writings and speeches, is a call for preservation that helped inspire the formation of protected spaces like Yellowstone and Yosemite.

“In wildness is the preservation of the world,” he once said.

Here’s to Henry David Thoreau’s forward thinking on land preservation. With luck, the next two hundred years will give us reason to celebrate land protection stories big and small from us and others.