Shaping a Park
Moro Rock is one of the places in Sequoia National Park where, in 1922, naturalists began "translating" the landscape for early park visitors. Naturalists offered walks, talks, and campfire programs which combined information with inspiration, and visitors loved it.
For many people, parks are beautiful but mysterious. What shaped the land? Why does something grow here but not there? The tradition of naturalists helping visitors to combine fascination with knowledge continues today, kindling a commitment to parks in untold numbers of people.
The expansion of museum, nature walks and campfire lectures is the surest protection against degeneracy into jazzy amusements.
Colonel J.R. White, Park Superintendent, 1926
Sequoia First Naturalist
As a young man, Walter Fry came to the Sierra Nevada to log. After counting more than 3,000 rings on a cut sequoia, he turned instead to protecting the trees. Fry eventually became the first civilian superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
Later, in 1920, Stephen Mather (first director of the National Park Service) concluded that every park needed naturalists. Two years later the Sequoia Nature Guide Service was born when Superintendent John White called
on his predecessor, Walter Fry, to volunteer. Working part-time, Fry thus became Sequoia National Park's first naturalist.