In its second year, the Wisconsin Aldo Leopold Writing Contest drew submissions from high school students across the state. Winners were announced and presented with their awards during a private ceremony at the Aldo Leopold Shack and Farm on Saturday, May 20. It was a bright spot for the students and their families on an otherwise dreary, rainy day.
Six winning essays were chosen, three from grades 9 and 10 and three from grades 11 and 12.
- “The Land Ethic Ideal,” by Grace Whelan Tweedt (Grade 10, Madison)
- “Joe Clark,” by Adam Nyhus (Grade 10, Almena)
- “My Father’s Land Ethic,” by Althea Bernstein (Grade 10, Monona)
- “The Voice of Maples,” by Anna DeBraber (Grade 11, Land O’Lakes)
- “At the Crossroad of Leopold Lane and Conservation Trail,” by Rose Adler-Rephan (Grade 11, Land O’Lakes)
- “A Lesson in Balance,” by Paul Kalifatidi (Grade 12, Verona)
Pictured above, essayists pose at the Leopold Shack where many of the essays in Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac were inspired. Left to right: Paul Kalifatidi, Grace Whelan Tweedt, Althea Bernstein, Adam Nyhus, and Trish Stevenson (Contest Chair, grand-daughter of Aldo Leopold). Not pictured: Anna DeBraber and Rose Adler-Rephan.
Winners received a cash award, a copy of A Sand County Almanac, and memberships to the Aldo Leopold Foundation, International Crane Foundation, and the Aldo Leopold Nature Center.
The contest aims to inspire students to participate in the evolution of the land ethic by investigating the writings of Aldo Leopold and conveying the chosen theme through their own writing. The 2017 writing topic was based on Aldo Leopold’s “Land Ethic” essay from A Sand County Almanac. Students were asked to prepare an essay in 500 words or less that told the story of a local leader who exemplifies Leopold’s land ethic.
Thanks to a committee of volunteers, partnering organizations, and sponsors for their collective support and dedication to the writing contest, the 2017 edition was another success.
Committee: Trish Stevenson, Karen Silseth, Treva Breuch, Tricia Fry, Virginia Wiggen, Alan Anderson, Maria Kopecky
Partners: Aldo Leopold Foundation, International Crane Foundation, Aldo Leopold Nature Center
Sponsors: Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation, CTI Meeting Technology
Winning essays will be published on the blog in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!