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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

"Living a Land Ethic" book reading and bike tour with author Stephen Laubach

Saturday, September 13, 10:30am-1:30pm, FREE

The land that is now the Leopold Memorial Reserve provided Aldo Leopold with an ideal setting for his pioneering experiments in ecological restoration. Five neighboring landowners recognized this area’s significance to conservation history by signing an agreement in 1967 to restrict development and continue restoration efforts around the Shack. Author Steve Laubach will read from his book Living a Land Ethic and examine how the reserve demonstrates an innovative effort in private conservation connected to the modern land trust movement. He will also share unexpected findings from his research including rare video footage of Aldo Leopold fly fishing in northern Wisconsin. Following the talk, Steve will lead an optional bike tour around the reserve to visit each of the original five parcels and read passages from the book (bring your own bike!). Steve works for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum in the Earth Partnership program and he does regional consulting work in watershed conservation. He promotes ecological restoration and water stewardship in schools and communities. Steve recently completed his PhD in environmental studies and science education at the UW-Madison. He taught biology and environmental studies for several years at Aldo Leopold’s high school alma mater, the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. Steve and his wife Nina and two children live in Madison. You can buy the book from UW Press or at this event.


Gifts of Mother Earth Folk Art Workshop Series

The Aldo Leopold Foundation is co-sponsoring this folk art workshop series at the Leopold Center with the Little Eagle Arts Foundation (LEAF). All workshops take place at the Leopold Center from 10am – 4pm. Workshop supplies are included in fee, and beverages and light snacks will be provided. Space is limited to 20 participants per workshop. For more information and to register, contact LEAF at (608) 253-4142 or


Saturday, August 30: Black Ash Basketry Workshop

The basketry of the Ho-chunk people has been a celebrated folk art form for centuries. This workshop is led by professional teaching artist Kimberly Crowley (Ho-chunk). She hails from the Hall Family, premier Ho-chunk artists known for their miniature baskets. Kimberly’s award winning artwork has been featured in museums and festivals throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest. Download flyer for pricing and more information.


Copper Bowl Workshop - NEW DATE TBD

The use of copper by the first inhabitants of the Great Lakes area was reflective of their ability to blend science with creativity. This workshop will be led by professional teaching artist Larry Godfrey (Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa). His artwork includes copper bowls, birch bark baskets, and birch canoes, and he mentors emerging artists through the Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program. Download flyer for pricing and more information.


Annual Events at the Leopold Center

Family Day

Third Saturday in May, Annual Event
2014 event date: Saturday, May 17
12:00 - 4:00pm

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

Artist applications due September 1 - details here.

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.


dunwoodySocial Cues as Guides to Environmental Behaviors

Friday, July 11, 12:00-1:30pm, FREE!

When “educating” fails to change behavior (as is so often the case!), what recourse do we have?  One avenue may be social norms, cues about how other people are behaving or, even more dramatically, about what they think YOU should be doing.  Research on the role of social norms as catalysts for changing environmental behaviors is burgeoning; Sharon Dunwoody, Evjue-Bascom Professor Emerita of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin, will share some of that work in this brown bag.




Conserving our Native Pollinators: From the Farm to your Backyard

Friday, August 1, 12:00-1:30pm, FREE!

With global bee communities in decline, every step we make towards conserving these significantly important pollinators is a step in a positive direction.  Come and bee amazed in the beauty and diversity of the bee communities surrounding you.  From basic bee identification to conservation strategies in agriculture or for your own backyard, you will head home with a new eye for all the buzz happening in your garden.  Katie Ellis graduated with her master’s degree in Entomology from Penn State University and has recently joined the ranks as one of the Aldo Leopold Foundation’s newest community tour guides. 




A Burning Need: The Big Picture of Fire as a Management Tool in Wisconsin

Friday, September 19, 12:00-1:30pm, FREE!

As with his position on predators Aldo Leopold also changed his mind on the role of fire in maintaining forests and other fire-dependent systems. In this transformation Leopold became an early advocate of fire as a management tool and initiated some of the first formal restoration attempts of fire-dependent communities. Many groups now are heavily invested in using prescribed fire to conserve and restore systems, primarily prairie and savanna which are greatly diminished. Rarely however, do we put our work into the context of regional or statewide opportunities and challenges. Fire ecologist Jed Meunier offers us a statewide fire needs assessment which aims to prioritize prescribed fire to maintain a full suite of fire-dependent communities in Wisconsin over the coming decades. It will also explore how Leopold’s Shack and Sand Counties fit into this picture.



Woodland School Workshops

2014 Classes

Fall classes coming soon!