Calendar 

This week:
Leopold Center begins summer hours

April 20:
Public TV premiere of Green Fire

April 21:
Build Trails at Leopold Center

May 12:
Woodland School: Herptiles and Insects

May 19:
Family Day

Find more Leopold Events around the country in our new Leopold Event Almanac

Green Fire Events 

Host a screening in your community.

Find additional screenings in communities near you.
Purchase the Green Fire DVD in our Bookstore

Become a Land Ethic Leader

June 1-3:
Truckee, CA Register.

June 14-15:
Baraboo, WI
Register.
August 9-10:
Baraboo, WI
Register.
Sept. 21-22: Baraboo, WI Register.

The Woodland School

We offer an array of Woodland School classes to advance your land stewardship practice, from the classics—chainsaw safety, prescribed fire—to new opportunities like birding the Leopold Memorial Reserve with experts. We hope you'll let one pique your curiosity and join us in the field!

Support the Work of the Foundation

Become a key partner in helping us spread the land ethic, advance the science of land health, preserve the Leopold shack and farm, and train new leaders for the future of conservation. Join today!

In Our Bookstore

Aldo Leopold Foundation
T-shirts on sale!

We're getting new T-shirt inventory very soon, so help us clean out our closets! T-shirts $12, S, XL, XXL only.

Visiting the Leopold Center

The Leopold Center's open hours are Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm until Oct. 27.

The Outlook e-Newsletter

April 2012

White House Summit on Environmental Education

Aldo Leopold Foundation Executive Director Buddy Huffaker participated in the first-ever White House Summit on Environmental Education on Monday, April 16. Buddy was among environmental leaders from all over the nation who came together to discuss the future directions for environmental education. The summit was convened by the Environmental Protection Agency, which announced plans for a federal task force to help create a national plan for environmental education. The task force will be co-chaired by the EPA and the Departments of Education and Interior. Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the EPA and Arne Duncan, Secretary of the Department of Education were present at the summit. The day-long summit also included breakout sessions where participants discussed ideas and challenges surrounding environmental education that fosters lifelong environmental stewardship. Watch portions of the summit on YouTube.

Celebrate Earth Day with Us!

Want to celebrate Aldo Leopold's legacy as part of Earth Day? We have a few ideas for you...

  • Participate in our trail building event this Saturday! Come on out to the Leopold Center and help us build some new trails for our visitors.
  • Watch Green Fire on Wisconsin Public Television! Green Fire will show six times on WPT over the next week. If you live in Wisconsin and you haven't seen it yet, check it out. Are you a Wisconsin classroom teacher? Watch Green Fire at one of these times and then fill out an online survey about how you would use the film with your students, and you could win a free copy of the DVD for use in your classroom.
  • We're partnering with the Baraboo Public Library to show Green Fire and host a panel discussion in our own community on April 19th. There are similar types of events happening in communities all over the country, too -- find one near you!

Whatever you do, we hope you get outside and enjoy the spring! Let us know what you're doing for Earth Day by posting on our Facebook page!

And the winner is... This year, we asked our Facebook fans far and wide to tell us how they would be celebrating Aldo Leopold Weekend. Throughout March, fans were invited to upload a photo and brief story about how they'd be honoring Leopold's legacy. Many of you voted on the entries, and the winner was Mark Wilson of Evart, Michigan. Mark's picture of a Canada thistle, an invasive plant here in much of North America, might not seem a likely candidate for this contest. (Despite its name, the plant originates from Eurasia.) However, Mark explains his rationale: "Aldo Leopold said, 'The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant, "What good is it?" If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.' Hiking central Michigan this winter has given me the opportunity to find beauty in what some label weeds. As in this Leopold quote, many parts of nature are thought of as inessential or mundane. They are perceived as lacking the beauty necessary to capture in a photograph, or lacking the significance necessary to give study. I’m planning to immerse myself in the parts of nature that are often overlooked or thought unnecessary during this upcoming Aldo Leopold Weekend. I think Leopold’s lessons are clear, in that we must find the beauty and significance in all of nature, even in those things that may not seem as noteworthy." Congratulations, Mark! See the other entries.

Land Ethic Leaders Bring Workshop to California

Two of the participants in our Land Ethic Leaders workshop this past December are helping us to bring the program to northern California this summer! Jeff Brown and Faerthen Felix run the Sagehen Creek Field Station near Truckee, California, high in the Northern Sierra. In Land Ethic Leaders, they saw an opportunity to embrace the Leopold family legacy of their own site--Starker Leopold was a founder of the field station and Luna Leopold did research there--but also to engage diverse groups in their area in working together on conservation issues. They felt that the depth of discussion and the building of bridges that the program promotes would be an asset to conservation in their region. This June they will host us for two Land Ethic Leaders workshops--one open to everyone and one specifically for conservation professionals in the Truckee River watershed. You can join us in California, too, on June 1-3 and explore the legacy of two of Aldo Leopold's sons at Sagehen Creek Field Station high in the Northern Sierra! Register today! (Photo: Jeff Brown, left, chats with Steve Frisch of the Sierra Business Council outside one of the cabins at Sagehen Creek.)

Aldo Leopold Foundation in the Media...

The Aldo Leopold Foundation has made the news a lot lately and we wanted to share with you a few pieces: Curt Meine was interviewed on Wisconsin Public Radio's University of the Air last Sunday--listen to the audio archive online. Madison's WKOW TV's 5 o'clock news this week for a great series on Wisconsin's great conservationists--John Muir, Gaylord Nelson, and Aldo Leopold. Here's the first segment. Watch the rest on WKOW's website throughout the week. Today, April 18th, Dr. Curt Meine and Buddy Huffaker appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio's Larry Meiller Show talking about Green Fire and Aldo Leopold's legacy--you can listen online in the audio archive. Then tomorrow, April 19th, the Wilderness Center will release a podcast interview with Buddy. The Center for Humans and Nature did a special journal issue on Aldo Leopold: Ethical and Spiritual Dimensions. And read a blog post in Wisdom Voices about Green Fire and the foundation's activities. Phew, it's been a busy month!

Family Day on May 19th, Bring the Kids!

Our third annual Family Day event at the Leopold Center is coming up! This is a free, family-friendly event, featuring hands-on activities for kids and families, including hikes, live snakes, hayrides, watercolor painting, and more! Your family can visit the Leopold Shack and explore the woods, prairies, and river just like the Leopold family did 75 years ago. Family Day will run 12-4pm on Saturday, May 19--come on out and bring the kids for an afternoon of fun.

If you would have a nature-related, family-friendly activity that you would like to offer as part of Family Day, we are still seeking activity leaders. Please contact Education Assistant Anna Hawley at 608.355.0279, ext. 28, with your idea!

Thank you to our lead sponsor, Teel Plastics, Inc. Additional event sponsors include Community First Bank, Don Rick Insurance, Don Larson Chevrolet, Steep and Brew, and Viking Village. Thank you!

Land Stewardship Crew Switches Gears

Normally at this time of year, our stewardship crew is focused on prescribed burning all day long and often into the night. This year, though, spring came so early that burn season is already winding down, about three weeks before it usually does! In a way, that's a good thing, because the garlic mustard has gotten an early start, too. Garlic mustard, Allaria petiolata, is a biennial plant that takes over forest understories and is causing ecological problems in much of the northeastern U.S. It is one of our worst invasive species challenges here at the Leopold Center, and right now it has already begun to flower! Starting this week, the stewardship crew will switch over to implementing our Garlic Mustard Protocol on all of the Leopold Reserve lands. If you have garlic mustard on your property and haven't started working on controlling it yet this year, it's a good time to get out there!

Evidence of the Earliest Spring

This March was the warmest on record in Wisconsin and we're seeing ample evidence of its effect on the progression of springtime events. Of the 59 total phenology observations we've made to date this year, 37 of them have set a record for the earliest date since Aldo Leopold began keeping track in the 1930s!   Some, like the serviceberry and garlic mustard blooms, are more than 2 weeks earlier than ever previously recorded on this site, and many are occuring 3 weeks to a month before the average date.  Wild lupine began blooming today, 16 days earlier than its previously recorded earliest date! And the first swim in Nina Leopold Bradley's pond was recorded on March 13, a date where the average data implies that there should have been ICE! We track a total of 287 items, so look for more updates throughout the year. Learn more about our phenology project.

Welcome, Laura!

When you come to visit us this summer, a new face will be here to greet you at our front desk. We're very excited to welcome Laura O'Leary to our staff! Laura grew up in the plains of North Dakota but moved out west to go to school at the University of Oregon. She feel in love with the old growth forests, which heightened her understanding of the relationship between people and land, and she first read A Sand County Almanac as part of her coursework there. After graduating, Laura moved back to the Midwest where she has worked at several social nonprofits to empower women and eliminate the achievement gap among minority children. Laura holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Environmental Studies and a Master's in Public Policy and Nonprofit Management. Welcome to the Aldo Leopold Foundation, Laura!