Woodland School








The Aldo Leopold

P.O.Box 77
Baraboo, WI 53913
608.356.7309 fax
Staff email directory


Share this page:


The Woodland School

2015 Spring Classes


Sat., February 21st: The Art of Nature - Cancelled

Sat., March 14th: Chainsaw Safety Level 1 - FULL

Sat., March 26-27th: Introduction to Prescribed Burning

Sat., May 9th: Backyard Ecology

For more information about Woodland School courses or to be added to a waiting list, contact Jen Simoni at (608) 355-0279, x.32.

The Woodland School offers practical workshops to guide private landowners and public land managers in:

- Identifying the biotic community

- Understanding threats to your land

- Developing stewardship skills

- Refining your vision



Can't make it to a class? We also have numerous web resources to help you in managing your land. Please also consider ordering a My Healthy Woods Handbook to get you started!


Report your project! Have you been inspired to take action on your land from a Woodland School class? Tell us about it! Use this online form to let us know what you've tried, what's worked and what hasn't. We'd love to share your story with others to continue the learning process!


2015 Spring Classes


Chainsaw Safety Level 1

**This course is full. To be put on the waiting list, email Jen Simoni (jsimoni@aldoleopold.org)


Mastering the basics of chainsaw safety is essential for woodland owners who want to be more active on their land. This course is certified through the Safety and Woods Working (SAWW) training program and part of a four-level series designed to increase safety and efficiency of chainsaw use. The hands-on training and close supervision gives participants the opportunity and confidence to fell at least one tree. Level I focuses on introducing the participant to open face felling, and the development of techniques to safely use it.  Topics covered include personal protective equipment, chainsaw safety features, chainsaw reactive forces, bore cutting, pre-planning the fell, and understanding hinge wood strength. Register


Date: Sat. March 14th, 2015
Location: Leopold Center, Baraboo
Time: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Class limit: 10
Cost: $110 ($100 members)
Instructor: Nathan Stanford. Nathan has 18 years of chainsaw training experience serving as a certified trainer through SAWW and being a “C” certifier for the US Forest Service.


Introduction to Prescribed Burning

Learn about the fire ecology, fire behavior principles, and how to plan for using fire in managing prairie and savanna ecosystems. You will operate basic fire management tools, learn to prepare a fire unit, and weather permitting conduct a prescribed fire. This course will not prepare participants to serve as a burn boss or conduct burns on their own. Register


Date: Thurs. March 26th and Fri. March 27th, 2015
Time: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Location: Leopold Center, Baraboo, Wis.
Class limit: 24
Cost: $100 ($90 members)
Instructors: Aldo Leopold Foundation Staff


Backyard Ecology

The concept of community is at the heart of Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic: The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land.... In short, the land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land community to a plain member of it.”


The potency of this vision can be clearly seen in the conservation movement that emerged. Can the potency of this vision be realized at home? Can we become citizens of nature in the midst of human culture? Can native communities be nurtured in our neighborhoods, right outside our back doors?


We believe the answer is an emphatic “yes.” To explore and promote Leopold’s vision in our back yards, we are offering a workshop for designing, planting, and sustaining native biotic communities in residential landscapes.

Backyard Ecology will be a workshop in the truest sense; together we will create plant lists, designs for nature and humans, planting guidelines, and care programs for back yards in our region.  To support our creativity, we will explore ecological principles and applied biology in the surrounding woods and prairies. Nature will provide the palette, design, and inspiration for our work.


This workshop is intended for nature lovers and homeowners.  Join us in learning how to design and plant native communities in your back yard! Register

Date: Sat. May 9th, 2015
Time: 9 am – 3 pm
Location: Leopold Center, Baraboo, Wis.
Class limit: 15
Cost: $65 ($55 members)
Instructors: Jack Phillips (New Tree School). Jack Phillips is a naturalist, nature writer, arboricultural consultant, and principal of New Tree School. He is author of Soul of a Tree: Conversations on the Nature of Tree Care with Alex Shigo and Bur Oak Manifesto: Seeking Nature and Planting Trees in the Great Plains. He is also a regular contributor to Prairie Fire Newspaper: the Progressive Voice of the Great Plains.