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Leopold Center


The Aldo Leopold

P.O.Box 77
Baraboo, WI 53913
608.356.7309 fax
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Events and Programs

Special Events at the Leopold Center and beyond
Brown Bag Lunch Seminars
Woodland School Workshops

Ongoing programs:
Public Tours, guided and self guided
Land Ethic Leaders Trainings

Special Events

The Color of the Land: Sketches of a Black American Land Ethic

Saturday, May 3, 3:30-4:30pm, Free Public Program

On Saturday, May 3, Dr. Drew Lanham, a professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University in South Carolina and a member of the Aldo Leopold Foundation's Board of Directors, will offer a public presentation at the Leopold Center entitled: "The Color of the Land: Sketches of a Black American Land Ethic." Drew is an avid birder and hunter and an advocate for all things wild in his home state. He is also a longtime fan of Aldo Leopold, but understands that Leopold's message of harmony with the land may ring differently in diverse ears because of past experiences that are colored by race, ethnicity, gender and other characteristics. Drew's talk will run through history, sociology, art, literature, original research and personal story to establish a baseline for understanding the relationship between some black South Carolinians and the land. In the end it's said we'll only conserve what we love and understand. We'll explore the foundations for that ethos in this presentation. Join us at the Leopold Center from 3:30-4:30pm on Saturday, May 3rd for this free public event.


Annual Events at the Leopold Center

Family Day

Third Saturday in May, Annual Event
2014 event date: Saturday, May 17

Family DayEvery spring, we kick off our visitation season with our annual Family Day event at the Leopold Center! This is a free, family-friendly event, featuring hands-on activities for kids and families. The day has included hikes, live reptiles, 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. Food is available for purchase on-site. Come on out and bring the kids for an afternoon of fun! If you would you would like to volunteer during this event please contact Anna Hawley at or 608-355-0279.


Good Neighbor Day

2014 Event Date: TBD (annual event in partnership with the International Crane Foundation)

Free admission for our public guided Shack tour on Saturday at 1 p.m. to anyone who brings in a donation for the local food pantry. Good neighbor day is run in conjunction with the International Crane Foundation which will have a similar free admission program running the same weekend.

Art Day

Last Saturday in October, Annual Event
2014 Event Date: Saturday, October 25

ArtDayEvery fall, we end our visitation season with our annual Leopold Center Art Discovery Day event at the Leopold Center. Art Day is fun for the whole family! It features presentations, demonstrations, and time for individual interaction with each artist. Each year we select a group of inspiring regional artists and artisans that find inspiration in the land ethic and the natural world for their work. This is a great event to discover new art and maybe even start your holiday shopping a little early. Join us! If you are an artist or artisan who would like to submit an application for consideration to be a part of Art Discovery Day, please contact Anna Hawley at or 608-355-0279.


Crane Congregations

Late October/Early November, Annual Event

CranesEvery fall, thousands of sandhill cranes use the sandbars and islands in the Wisconsin River for staging prior to migration. Seeing and hearing these spectacular congregations of birds is an absolutely incredible experience. The river just behind the Aldo Leopold Shack and Farm property provides the most premier vantage point for crane viewing available in the region. Program dates and registration willl be announced first to Aldo Leopold Foundation members. Join today to be the first to hear about this amazing wildlife viewing opportunity!


Leopold Center trails now open!

Our new upland trail system is now open for hikers to explore. Stop by anytime we are open and ask for a trail map to head out and explore! New interpretive signs have recently been installed to help visitors read the landscape they are exploring.. The development of the interpretive trail was funded in part by grants from the Sauk County UW-Extension Arts & Culture Committee, the Natural Resources Foundation's Besadny Grant Program, and the Greater Sauk County Community Foundation. Thank you!


Brown Bag Seminars

Thoughout the year, the foundation will offer periodic brownbag seminars from 12-1:30pm on weekdays. Our brown bag lecture series presents cutting-edge ecological research and new interpretations of Aldo Leopold’s writing and philosophy. Bring a bag lunch and join us for these free lunchtime talks at the Leopold Center (get directions here), then plan to stay for the afternoon to tour the Shack, hike our trails, or explore our exhibits to learn more about Leopold’s legacy.

Anders GurdaManaged Grazing: Linking Food, People, Animals and the Environment

Friday, March 28, 12:00-1:30pm, FREE!

Everyday, three times a day, we make choices about the food we eat. Is it possible to choose food that positively impacts our taste buds, the earth, and everything in between? Robust research has demonstrated that well managed, pasture-based livestock farming can support diverse perennial landscapes, wildlife habitats, animal welfare, and positively impact soil and water quality. In Wisconsin, grass-fed meat, dairy and eggs are typically produced by small to mid-sized family farms.

Anders Gurda will discuss the practice of managed grazing and how it impacts Wisconsin's environment and wildlife, livestock health and human nutrition. He will also address his own research, which is on the use of mob grazing to control canada thistle. You'll gain a broad understanding of the Wisconsin grazing community's interest in good land stewardship, and suggestions for supporting this vital part of our local economy.

The Grazing Ambassadors Project sponsored by GrassWorks Inc. connects Wisconsin grazing farmers and experts with non-farming communities to foster dialogue about the practice of managed grazing.


On Translating Aldo Leopold

Friday, April 25, 12:00-1:30, FREE!

Ufuk Özdağ, the Turkish translator of A Sand County Almanac, will give a talk on why the conservation classic is currently a more needed book  in Turkey as well as in parts of the world beyond the United States. Mapping the processes of her  translation, Özdağ will explain that Leopold’s timeless text will bring hope to the ‘sand counties’ in all corners of the Earth, with each new translation.





Mary WoodsenSave a Prairie, Plant Yourself

Friday, May 9, 12:00-1:30pm, FREE!

Mary Woodsen was founding president of Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve and now serves as research director for the Green Burial Council of North America (GBC). When her colleague Carl Leopold began working on his last conservation startup in 2000, he had no clue it would morph into one of the first green burial grounds in North America. He and his colleagues just wanted yet another way to save land. And none of them guessed they’d end up with an abandoned, desperately eroded hill farm that, in one sense at least, is the reverse image of Carl’s boyhood farm in the Sand Hills of Wisconsin. For the land at Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve is dense, shale-studded clay — glue when wet, bulletproof when dry. Land that, even so, just wants to grow trees; but before its long transition back to forest, Greensprings will grow native grasses and forbs to shelter grassland-nesting songbirds. A patch of prairie, as it were, atop a wooded hill along the southern verge of New York’s Finger Lakes Region. Like other GBC-certified green burial grounds, Greensprings restores and conserves the land through the ultimate comingling of people and place. Mary will conclude by inviting people to take a pinch of soil from Carl’s grave — gently toasted by Lynn Leopold, Carl’s wife, so it won’t introduce unwanted life-forms — to spread at the Leopold farm.



Woodland School Workshops

2014 Classes

Saturday, Feb. 15 - Chainsaw Safety Level I

Sunday, Feb. 16 - Chainsaw Safety Level II

Thursday and Friday, Mar. 27-28 - Introduction to Prescribed Burning

Saturday, Apr. 12 - Forest Garden Design

Saturday, May 10 - Birding the Leopold Memorial Reserve

Saturday, May 10 - Getting Involved in Citizen Monitoring

Saturday, June 14 - Biking Tour of the Leopold Memorial Reserve


(click course titles for individual descriptions and to register)