L-R: Comm. of Mass. Dept of Conservation and Recreation Leo Roy, Don Henley, Mass. Sec. of Energy and Environment Affairs Matthew Beaton (Credit: Scot Miller)Back in 1990, The Eagles Don Henley founded the Walden Woods Project to preserve the works of author and philosopher Henry David Thoreau and Walden Pond, which inspired his most famous work. That’s why he traveled to Massachusetts last week to unveil some new exhibits at the Walden Pond State Reservation Visitor Center.

Among the educational exhibits Don introduced during a public ceremony on Thursday was an 18-minute movie, executive produced by Ken Burns, about Thoreau’s life and legacy. Another exhibit, “Where’s Your Walden,” asks visitors to share a place in the world that’s as special to them as Walden Pond was to Thoreau.

At the event — which marked the 200th anniversary of Thoreau’s birth — Don told the audience, “Thoreau was a keen observer of the natural world. His writings provide insights into some of the most urgent issues of our time…understanding and protecting the biological diversity of life; living on a planet of limited resources; and the role of personal responsibility in today’s world.”

He added that he hoped that visitors to Walden would be leave the place “inspired and ready to engage in the environmental and societal challenges of our times.”

Henley was deeply influenced by Thoreau’s writings in college. Over the years, he’s staged benefit concerts, featuring big names like Sting, Elton John and Neil Young, to fund the Walden Woods Project. He also donated some of the proceeds from the Eagles’ Hell Freezes Over album and tour to the cause.

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