Muir Woods celebrates 100th birthday

January 9, 2008 7:16:51 PM PST
In Marin County, a giant birthday party was held in Muir Woods for some of the world's biggest and oldest trees. It is a spectacular enclave and was established as a national monument 100 years ago today.

The sounds of 'happy birthday' were echoing off the valley walls of Muir Woods on Wednesday. It is a spectacular enclave of the world's oldest trees and was established as a national monument 100 years ago today.

Muir Woods is one of the last stands of the tallest trees on earth. It is a place that has been preserved forever.

"It's a really special experience always. A magical place here, in what we call nature's cathedral," says Brian O'Neill, Superintendent, GGNRA.

Hundreds of people turned out today ranging from politicians to a re-creation of John Muir himself.

However, Muir Woods almost didn't happen. 100 years ago, Marin businessman William Kent saved the trees, buying the 298 acres for $45,000 and donating it to the federal government.

President Teddy Roosevelt declared the woods America''s 10th National Monument. And so, it has become an enduring symbol of conservation. Millions of visitors have come here from around the world.

Even artists from the Academy of Art University have been inspired to create many posters.

This special place attracted park ranger Mia Monroe when she was just a college student.

"You step back into a different time, an ancient time, surrounded by nature," says Monroe.

This place is a model for environmental preservation. These trees have survived fire, flood, earthquakes, threats of dams and logging and last week's storms. It will stand to survive, not just for another 100 years, but forever.