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Finding Humanity Through the Land Ethic

The humanities are all around us. They encapsulate so much of what makes our societies vibrant and rich: history, art, language, literature, philosophy. Yet humanity – not just the human race, but compassion and generosity given freely to others – often seems scarce.

When Aldo Leopold was writing A Sand County Almanac, he lamented the lack of humanity extended to the land, the community of air, soil, water, and other species to which we were physically linked but emotionally, spiritually, and philosophically removed. Aldo’s land ethic envisioned empathy, care, and respect given to the land, inspired by our interconnectedness with all living things and acknowledgement of their inherent value. Here at the Aldo Leopold Foundation, we leverage the humanities to promote Aldo’s vision. Literature, history, and philosophy are all key components of sharing the Leopold legacy and broadening the conservation-minded community.

The Leopold Shack

And just as we rely on the land community to survive, we rely on our human communities to thrive. We are excited to announce that we have received a Major Grant from Wisconsin Humanities! With this support, the Aldo Leopold Foundation will be able to provide a new self-guided tour experience of the Leopold Shack and Farm that dives deeper into the land ethic, inviting participants to reflect on the ways in which they can extend their kindness and care to the rest of the living world. The new tour will also emphasize how, just like biodiversity makes for a healthier ecosystem, social diversity makes for more equitable and effective environmental initiatives. This project supports Wisconsin Humanities’ mission to strengthen the roots of community life through educational and cultural programs that inspire civic participation, individual imagination, and understanding among people of all backgrounds and beliefs throughout the state.

We are grateful for this award, and for Wisconsin Humanities’ work across the state. You can learn more about their organization at https://wisconsinhumanities.org/. Check back with the Aldo Leopold Foundation’s website and social platforms next spring for additional information on the new self-guided Shack tour!

Get your own copy of A Sand County Almanachttps://www.aldoleopold.org/shop/

Find upcoming Leopold Foundation events: https://www.aldoleopold.org/calendar/