The final Thursday and Friday--August 9 and 10--of my summer stay in Wisconsin, I took part in an exciting program organized by the Aldo Leopold Foundation near Baraboo, WI.
At the center, I joined with foundation staff members and over twenty others pictured above for the Land Ethic Leaders Program.
In addition to learning a lot, I enjoyed myself a great deal, especially because since around 1968, when I first read A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold has remained one of my heroes, silly as the statement might sound.
This work and others by Leopold remain popular, and you can read selections from his works. I am glad to see that one of my favorite of his essays--and probably one of his most famous--is available in its entirety on line, Thinking Like a Mountain.
“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.”
The Land Ethic is also available, along with a list of some of Aldo Leopold's quotations about his work.
Over the course of two days, members of the group read and discussed a variety of essays and took part in presentations to ready each person to lead similar discussions. In addition, we spent time near Aldo Leopold's cabin where we all helped in the process of clearing an area that will eventually support native plants.
Linda and I had visited this area previously, but we could not view inside the cabin. This time around, however, I fulfilled a long-standing wish and walked inside the former chicken coop. What absolute fun.
At the conclusion of the two-day program, each participant received a certificate and a license to show The Green Fire, Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time, a documentary about Aldo Leopold and his work. This brief video offers an introduction to The Green Fire.
I look forward to showing the video in a variety of places, including in an honors course I will teach this spring on Nature.
In addition, I hope to invite actor and storyteller Jim Pfitzer to campus to entertain and edify with his dramatic presentation, Aldo Leopold, A Standard of Change. The night before the two-day program began, Jim offered his impersonation of Aldo Leopold at the cabin, but I could not attend.
I posted a series of photographs from the Land Ethic Leaders Program and look forward now to putting into effective use all that we discussed over the two days with a wonderful group of people.
Let me know if you want to see The Green Fire or know of groups that might be interested in seeing the video and learning about Aldo Leopold and the Land Ethic.