National Parks Expert to Speak

Alfred Runte, an expert on this country’s national parks, will speak on that topic in Goldsboro next month.

The talk, “From John Muier to Ken Burns: The Meaning of Our National Parks,” is set for 7 p.m., April 24, at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Goldsboro. It is provided free to the public by Baddour, Parker and Hine, PC, in conjunction with the Foundation of Wayne Community College.

The talk will remind listeners that the existence of national parks cannot be taken for granted.

Runte provided this description for his presentation: “The historian and author Wallace Stegner once described the national parks as ‘the best idea we ever had.’ That is so true … and yet, we are also capable of failing our best idea. In the 1960s, we almost lost the California redwoods and Grand Canyon was nearly dammed. Throughout history, we have relied on our educators, most recently Ken Burns, to remind us why the national parks should never be touched. As students today you will be the educators of tomorrow. What idea, then, do you hope to teach?”

In addition to being an internationally recognized authority on national parks, Runte is also an expert on railroads, an environmental historian, and a political figure from Seattle, Washington. He served as an advisor on Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan’s 2009 PBS documentary “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” and appeared in all six episodes of the Emmy Award-winning series.

Runte is a renowned author. His books include Allies of the Earth: Railroads and the Soul of Preservation; National Parks: The American Experience; Yosemite: The Embattled Wilderness; and Trains of Discovery: Railroads and the Legacy of Our National Parks.

For more information, contact the Foundation at (919) 739-7017 or

The college encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing accommodation or having questions about access, please contact the Foundation at (919) 739-7007 or Allow sufficient time to arrange accommodations.

This event is one of many “Arts and Humanities” activities offered to the community by the Foundation of Wayne Community College. For information on other programs, go to

The Foundation of Wayne Community College is a non-profit organization that works to broaden the base of community support for educational opportunities at the college. The Foundation assisted WCC students with 363 scholarships for the 2012-2013 academic year. It also provides funding for innovative campus projects and employee recognition, and cultural programs such as this one for the community.

Wayne Community College is a public, two-year college with an open-door admission policy located in Goldsboro. As it works to develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, it serves 15,000 individuals annually as well as businesses, industry and community organizations with high quality, affordable, accessible learning opportunities, including more than 100 college credit programs.

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National Parks Expert Alfred Runte

National Parks Expert
Alfred Runte