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Most of the conference will take place at the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County, located on 68 hillside acres on the northwest side of Baraboo, WI. Visit baraboo.uwc.edu for more information, or view the location in Google Maps. Evening receptions will be held at the nearby Leopold Center and the Ho-Chunk Gaming Convention Center.
The closest airport to Baraboo is the Madison/Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) about 40 miles to the south. Baraboo is also about 100 miles from Milwaukee (MKE) and 180 miles from Chicago O’Hare (ORD). Amtrak serves the neighboring towns of Portage (POG) and Wisconsin Dells (WDL). Greyhound also serves Wisconsin Dells.
A vehicle is recommended for daily transport between your lodging, the conference venue, and nearby evening reception locations. Car rentals are available at the airport in Madison, as well as in Wisconsin Dells (Avis), and Baraboo (Enterprise).
To coordinate carpooling or room sharing with other conference attendees, please post in the discussion section of our 2017 Building a Land Ethic Facebook Event. If you do not use Facebook, please contact Maria Kopecky at gro.d1493339539lopoe1493339539lodla1493339539@aira1493339539m1493339539 or 608-355-0279, ext.38.
We have reserved three group hotel room blocks for conference attendees. When you call to make your reservation, mention you are part of the Aldo Leopold Foundation block.
Attendees can also plan to camp at nearby Devil’s Lake State Park or Mirror Lake State Park. Those interested in camping should make reservations as soon as possible since the summer months at these popular parks are very busy, and campgrounds fill up quickly. A number of private campgrounds are also located in the region.
Looking to explore more in the area before or after the conference? Here are some suggestions.
Located in the Madison area, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center provides innovative, hands-on programs for children, families, and educators that “…teach the student to see the land, to understand what he sees, and enjoy what he understands” in the spirit of Aldo Leopold. Although the Aldo Leopold Nature Center is separate from the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the Leopold family (especially Nina Leopold Bradley) was instrumental in founding both organizations. Many public programs are available at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, including the Leopold Family Interpretive Trail, winding through 21 acres of restored, native habitat; the Children’s Shack, a child-scaled replica of the actual Leopold Shack; and the Climate Education Center, designed to teach about climate science, renewable energy, and sustainability through interactive exhibits and a hands-on laboratory named in honor of Nina.
Also in the Madison area is the UW Arboretum. Aldo Leopold was a member of the university’s Arboretum committee and played a formative role in shaping the Arboretum’s restoration efforts and the landscape that exists there today. The UW Arboretum is home to the oldest and most varied collection of restored ecological communities in the world, as well as flowering trees, shrubs, and a renowned lilac collection. It serves as a global source of knowledge and model for restoring sustainable relationships between people and the land through integrative, innovative, and collaborative approaches in science, stewardship, education, and public engagement.
Headquartered in Baraboo, WI, the International Crane Foundation works worldwide to conserve cranes and the ecosystems, watersheds, and flyways on which they depend. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the world’s crane species, hike nature trails, and browse nature-themed items from around the world in the gift shop. The International Crane Foundation is open to the public every day between April 15 and October 31 from 9 am to 5 pm. Guided public tours are offered daily at 10 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Located in Baraboo, WI, and founded in 1911, Devil’s Lake State Park is the third oldest state park in Wisconsin, as well as the largest and the most visited. It offers magnificent views from 500-foot quartzite bluffs overlooking a 360-acre lake, along with lakeshore picnic areas, sandy swimming beaches, 29 miles of hiking trails, and intriguing natural history. Open year-round, Devil’s Lake is situated along the 1,000-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
Located just outside the north-shore entrance to Devil’s Lake State Park, Flyways Waterfowl Museum is an educational facility established to promote better understanding of North American migratory waterfowl science, environmental history, and waterfowl art. Visitors can view more than 60 North American ducks, geese and swans; hear birds’ unique calls; and learn about migrations, habitat management, and more.
Located in Lake Delton, WI, Mirror Lake State Park is named for its centerpiece, a lake which is often so calm that not a ripple marks its surface. The lake reflects a wooded shoreline with cliffs up to 50 feet high, a swimming beach, and wetlands that are home to a variety of wildlife. The park’s 2,200 acres include several picnic areas, wooded campsites, summer rentals, and a cabin for people with disabilities.
State Natural Areas (SNAs) protect outstanding examples of Wisconsin’s natural communities, significant geological formations, and archeological sites. Encompassing over 373,000 acres, the state’s 673 natural areas are valuable for research and educational use, help preserve biological diversity, and provide benchmarks for determining the impact of use on managed lands. They also offer some of the state’s last refuges for rare plants and animals. We are fortunate to have many great SNAs in the Baraboo area.
Another prominent figure in the history of the environmental movement was John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club and often called the father of our national parks. Did you know his boyhood home is located about 30 minutes northeast of the Leopold Shack on County Highway F in Marquette County? In fact, Leopold once wrote a letter to the state suggesting that Muir’s home be protected as a State Natural Area. The John Muir Park Segment of the Ice Age Trail (a national scenic trail) runs through this property and by Muir’s boyhood home. Ennis Lake (known to Muir and his family as Fountain Lake) and the surrounding prairies, meadows, and woodlands of the John Muir Park Segment, helped inspire Muir’s appreciation and respect for nature.
Learn about Baraboo’s circus history with a trip to Circus World. A thrill for all ages, Circus World is a family attraction featuring live circus performances, magic shows, movies, and historical exhibits.
Explore Wisconsin Dells, the “Waterpark Capital of the World.” In addition to its waterparks, many dining options, and live entertainment and attractions, the Wisconsin Dells offers a chance to see “the dells” themselves. One option is the Upper Dells Boat Tour, a Wisconsin River cruise that travels an awesome path cut by ancient glaciers. The tour passes under pine-crowned cliffs, navigates winding river narrows, and offers views of iconic sandstone formations like Chimney Rock, Blackhawk’s Profile and Romance Cliff.