March marks the return of geese, the flow of maple sap, and across the nation, the celebration of Leopold Week! Each year in the first week and weekend in March, organizations and individuals across the country come together to celebrate Aldo Leopold and a land ethic through community readings, film screenings, outdoor activities, and more. The official dates for this year’s festivities were March 1-8, 2020, and celebrations overflowed throughout the week and beyond, with many events planned for later in the season. From the first planned event in Lodi, Wisconsin in 2000 to the plethora of events this year, Leopold Week has been going strong for 20 years now, bringing people from every corner of the United States, and across the globe, together in celebration of Aldo Leopold’s lasting legacy.
This year, we had great cause to celebrate: Madison Reads Leopold celebrated their 15th year of reading A Sand County Almanac. In addition to readings of A Sand County Almanac, this year we also saw events such as: art exhibits based on A Sand County Almanac, bench building workshops, guided hikes, Green Fire screenings, Leopold-based lectures, clean-up events and invasive species removal, Dutch oven cooking workshops, and performances based around Leopold’s writings. As a community, we saw 52 events planned in 10 different states!
In addition to in-person celebrations, the Aldo Leopold Foundation also hosted a series of social media challenges of Facebook for those not able to attend an event for Leopold Week. These at-home challenges reached over 250,000 people, and connected countless ecologically-minded citizens to Leopold who had never read his work or heard of a land ethic! See for yourself by searching #LeopoldWeek on Facebook!
Although Leopold Week 2020 has come to a close, the excitement around Leopold’s legacy continues to grow as we celebrate the release of a new edition of his conservation classic, A Sand County Almanac. As Earth Day 50 approaches, the new edition (featuring an introduction by famed author Barbara Kingsolver!) arrives just in time to reach a new generation with a timeless message: that our moral responsibilities will determine how we care for each other and for our shared home, the earth. This message reflects the spirit of Leopold Week, and reminds us that recognition of Aldo Leopold’s work and the sharing of his values can happen all year round.
Celebrate Leopold every month of the year! Join our email-list to receive inspiring Leopold quotes, updates on special events, and news about next year’s #LeopoldWeek festivities.