Build your own LEGO Murie Ranch: A step by step guide with the National Park Service LEGO Vignette Team

Teton Science Schools has partnered with National Park Service LEGO Vignettes to create a vignette of the Murie Ranch front porch. The National Park Service LEGO Vignettes is a group of LEGO lovers who create National Park scenes out of LEGO. They have no association with the official National Park Service or LEGO. The vignettes are unveiled on Facebook and Instagram and provide plenty of factual National Park information and humor. The LEGO Park Ranger, as they are also known, consider themselves fans with a strange hobby and a lot of LEGO bricks. We think The LEGO Park Ranger is an awesome way to learn about the National Parks of the United States. 

Our goal was to collaborate on a design that would allow you to spend quality time this winter break building while learning about the Murie Ranch and its importance to TSS. We even included the Muries as mini-figures. We have included building instructions after this brief history of the Muries and the Ranch.

The Murie Ranch, located in Grand Teton National Park, is named for conservationists, ecologists and married couples Margaret (Mardy) and Olaus Murie, and Adolph and Louise Murie. The Muries purchased the STS Dude Ranch in 1945, which served as their home and a hub for the modern conservation movement. The Murie Ranch was designated a National Historic Landmark on February 21, 2006.  In 2015, the Murie Ranch became a campus of Teton Science Schools.

Olaus and Mardy Murie hosted some of the nation’s most influential conservationists and visionary environmental thinkers on their front porch. For two decades, the western headquarters of the Wilderness Society convened at the Ranch, engaging in dialogue and debate about the values of wild places and the need for their protection. We carry on this tradition of conversations worth having by gathering on Mardy’s front porch to discuss public land issues with local experts.

Known as the “Grandmother of Conservation”, Mardy Murie played a key role in the passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the greatest land preservation act in US history. She served on the council of the Wilderness Society, was a founding member of the Teton Science Schools board, and was named an Honorary Park Ranger. In 1998, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton for her lifetime service to conservation. Mardy lived on the Murie Ranch in Grand Teton National Park until her death in 2003.

Olaus Murie helped to bring about the creation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and passage of the Wilderness Act. In 1959, Olaus was awarded the prestigious Audubon Medal for his dedication to scientific excellence and conservation. Upon his death in 1963, he was praised as “the one person who best personified wilderness in our culture”.

TSS continues to use the ranch to foster conservation vision, inspire engagement with nature and connect people to their public lands.

Build your own Murie Ranch:

We want you to use what you already have. If you don’t have a similar color brick or a specific piece, just find something similar from your collection. Have fun!

Piece Inventory:

1 qty 16×16 base (any color)

1 qty 8×16 base (green)

1 qty 8×16 base (gray)

2 qty windows

1 qty door

4-6 qty 2×6 traditional bricks (brown, or any color)

12-20 qty 2×4 traditional bricks (brown, or any color)

5-10 qty 2×2 traditional bricks (brown, or any color)

4-6 qty 1x cylinders (brown, or any color)

2-4 qty 2×2 flat bricks with 1 nub on top (brown, or any color)

Additional 2x ANY Amount bricks for wall pieces as needed

Assorted greenery, plants or trees

Anything that looks like shed antlers (white)

Assorted flat top finishing bricks for stepping stones can be round or square (gray, or any color)

Mini Figures: Olaus, Mardy and Yeti if you have them

Brick remover tool (trust me)

Step 1: Make a huge mess, dump out your LEGO collection to see what you have, try to find similar pieces to the piece inventory. Remember colors don’t matter.

Step 2: Assemble your base, ½ green for the ground and ½ gray for the porch on top of the 16×16 base. Place the door at the back of the gray base in the center, then start building the walls around the back and sides of the gray base with the 2×2, 2×4, 2×6 traditional bricks. After 1 layer, add in the windows next to the door at the back. Continue building the back and walls until you are one layer above the door.

Step 3: Build the front short wall on the porch using 2×2 traditional bricks, 1x cylinders, and 2×2 flat bricks with 1 nub on top.

Step 4: Create a path from the front door to the end of the green base using assorted flat top finishing bricks for stepping stones that can be round or square.

Step 5: Add your assorted greenery, plants or trees, be creative.

Step 6: Place shed antlers in front of the porch and add your Olaus and Mardy Mini Figs. Bonus points for coffee cups and accessories, Yeti (Chewbacca), or any other woodland creatures.

Step 7: Take a picture and post it to TSS social media or email us. Sit back and enjoy your own Murie Ranch!

A special thank you to The LEGO Park Ranger and National Park Service LEGO Vignettes! Make sure to follow them on social media to see what LEGO National Park they will create next!

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