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Earth Day celebrations bring opportunity to discover the Big Thicket

As part of Lamar University’s week-long events celebrating Earth Day, the public will have an opportunity to “Discover the Big Thicket with Maxine Johnston,” April 18 at 11 a.m. on the 6th floor of the Mary and John Gray Library. The event is free and open to the public.

Johnston, a tireless advocate for the Big Thicket since 1964 and twice past president of the Big Thicket Association, has worked diligently to ensure its preservation and to promote public education and understanding of the ecological treasure it represents.  

Before becoming a librarian, Johnston worked as an office assistant at the Tyrrell Public Library in Beaumont, 1947-1953. She began her career in 1953 as assistant librarian at South Park High School in Beaumont, before joining Lamar University’s Mary and John Gray Library in 1955 as reference librarian. She became associate director of the library in 1970, and served as its director from 1980 to 1988.

Johnston has been a member of the Big Thicket Association since 1964, serving twice as its president (1972-75 and 1994-98).

She received the NPCA’s Margery Stoneman Douglas Citizen Conservationist of the Year Award in 1996 and awards from the Kodak American Greenways, Lone Star Chapter Sierra Club and Texas Conservation Alliance.