Help us Write the Shack’s Next Chapters

Leopold Week  •  Programs and Events

The Aldo Leopold Foundation will be closed to the public for a private event on Saturday, September 30.


SHACK UPDATES: French Drain Installation, Oak Wilt Removal, & Tree Pruning

The Leopold Shack & Farm has seen a lot of restoration and preservation efforts these past few months. Recently, our Land Stewardship Crew installed a French drain around the foundation of the Shack. This is a trench filled with pea gravel that contains a perforated pipe that directs surface water and ground water away from an area. They are often used to prevent water from causing damage to building foundations. In the case of the Shack, water was causing the rot of exterior sheeting and rim joist, so to ensure its longevity the French drain was installed.

Installing French Drain around the Shack

Arik, Eric, and Jack install a French drain around the Shack.

After photo of French Drain at the Shack

Eric and team know how to have fun while working hard!

The Land Stewardship Crew also removed oak trees suffering from oak wilt, a highly infectious tree fungus that spreads rapidly via insect activity or root systems. Removing infected trees ensures the survival of the healthy oak trees nearby.

Land Stewardship Fellows holding chainshaws

Sarah and Max, Land Stewardship Fellows, remove oak trees suffering from oak wilt.

Thanks to The Talented Tradesman, the trees around the Shack received some much-needed TLC. Lower limbs on the trees closest to the Shack were removed in order to raise their canopies and increase air flow and sunlight to the tree, ultimately improving the trees’ overall vigor (growth). This also increases the amount of sunlight reaching the Shack roof, allowing the cedar shake shingles to dry faster (the quicker the shingles can dry after a rain or snow event, the longer they will last). All of the trees were pruned to remove dead limbs. This decreases the chance of insects getting into the healthy tissue of the tree as well as the likelihood of dead limbs falling and hurting somebody.

Pruning trees near the Shack

The Talented Tradesman remove high-risk branches near the Shack.

As part of the Writing its Next Chapters Campaign, these restoration efforts get us closer to how the Leopold family would have remembered the Shack. Read more about our plans to protect and preserve the historical integrity of the Shack, the Leopold Pines, and the entire landscape of the Leopold Farm here: