Photo: Laura McArthur
In 1982, the five children of Aldo and Estella Leopold established the Aldo Leopold Foundation in Baraboo, WI, as a nonprofit conservation organization. We work to inspire an ethical, caring relationship between people and nature through Leopold’s legacy.
Leopold believed his idea of a “land ethic” should not be static, but continually evolve in the minds of a thinking community. In keeping with this, our programs catalyze both responsible action and dialogue, encouraging people and communities to explore and apply a land ethic in a myriad of ways, while continuing to learn.
We own and preserve the original Leopold Shack and surrounding lands, celebrated in Leopold’s classic A Sand County Almanac.
We also steward the Leopold Archives, including his original writing, sketches, photographs, artifacts, and class materials. We encourage scholarship on Leopold and serve as a clearinghouse of information regarding his life, work, and ideas.
We are committed to ongoing stewardship of the pines, prairies, and floodplain forests that make up the historic Leopold Shack property and surrounding 600 acres.
We also partner with neighboring landowners, agencies, and conservation groups to protect and conserve the larger landscape. Our property is part of the Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area (IBA), one of Wisconsin’s reserves for rare and declining grassland birds.
Leopold was a gifted teacher who not only imparted ecological knowledge to his students and family, but also encouraged their own discoveries in science and ethics.
Following his example, we teach the community how to be better land stewards, provide opportunities to explore connections to the natural world, and demonstrate a land ethic in action.
The Aldo Leopold Foundation can’t achieve its mission to foster a land ethic alone. Committed leadership is needed in communities, classrooms, and organizations everywhere.
To this end, we directly mentor young leaders entering the field of conservation. We also foster education and outreach about a land ethic on a global scale, working through educators and other ambassadors who extend our capacity by helping awaken an ecological conscience in others.
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