Madison Reads Leopold is a community read-aloud celebrating the life and legacy of Aldo Leopold. The event features a diverse lineup of public figures and community members sharing Leopold’s eloquence and wisdom from A Sand County Almanac and other works.
The Arboretum will host the 15th-annual free public reading on March 7, 2020, in the Visitor Center, from 9:30 a.m. until about 3:45 p.m.
Throughout the day, an eclectic mix of readers—neighbors, naturalists, students, educators, writers, public figures, representatives of community organizations, and others—will give voice to Leopold’s keen observations and eloquent conservation philosophy. Visitors can drop in to hear their favorite essays or stay for the entire event.
First published in 1949, A Sand County Almanac has prompted generations of people to take better notice—and care—of the natural environment. Aldo Leopold was the first research director at the Arboretum and was closely involved in its design.
Madison Reads Leopold is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be available in the Visitor Center lobby. Brown-bagging is permitted but food must remain in the Visitor Center. Note: the Freeze for Food Run will pass through the Arboretum, with runners using Arboretum/McCaffrey Drive between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Please allow a little extra time for travel and drive with caution.
Madison Reads Leopold is a community celebration organized for Aldo Leopold Weekend, sponsored by the Aldo Leopold Foundation.
Also for Leopold Weekend (see events calendar for details):
- Sunday, March 1, naturalist-led walk: In Leopold’s Footsteps, 1–2:30 p.m. (This walk is a prelude to Leopold Weekend events.)
- Friday, March 6, Green Fire movie night, 7–9 p.m. Watch the Aldo Leopold documentary, followed by group discussion and reflection.
- Sunday, March 8, family nature program: Living Like Leopold, 1:30–3:30 p.m.
“What a wonderful event to be part of every year to honor Leopold, and to start to know our ecological community. Thank you for this tradition!” — Reader
9:30 a.m – Welcome & Foreword – Kathy Miner, naturalist, UW–Madison Arboretum
9:40 – January Thaw – Dave Cieslewicz, citizen of Madison
9:47 – Good Oak I – Madelyn Leopold, community member, and Saraii Slaton, student, Lakeview Elementary School
9:59 – Good Oak II – Mark Miller, Wisconsin State Senator, District 16
10:08 – The Geese Return – Stu Levitan, historian/radio host
10:17 – Come High Water – Shahla Werner, board member, Wisconsin Friends of John Muir
10:22 – Draba – Mary Maxwell, Madison School Forest guide (retired)
10:23 – Bur Oak – Matt Blessing, Wisconsin Historical Society
10:32 – Sky Dance – Tim Eisele, freelance outdoor writer & photographer
10:41 – Back from the Argentine – Elizabeth Sabaka, teacher & environmentalist
10:44 – The Alder Fork – Phil Bernhardt, hunter, fisherman, & outdoor enthusiast
10:47 – Great Possessions – Hildy Feen, Friends of the Arboretum supporter
10:52 – A Prairie Birthday – Joe Goss, business analyst, UW–Madison, & Barbara Wolfman, Abracadabra Music Studio, LLC
11:04 – The Green Pasture – Michele Brogunier, former board member, Natural Path Sanctuary
11:09 – The Choral Copse – Pat Stinger, volunteer steward, UW–Madison Arboretum
11:13 – Smoky Gold – Levi Wood, naturalist, UW–Madison Arboretum
11:23 – Too Early – James P. Roberts, Sterling North Society
11:28 – Red Lanterns – Melanie Crawford, community member & nature enthusiast
11:36 – If I Were the Wind – Tammy Bieberstein, City of Madison park ranger (retired)
11:38 – Axe-in-Hand I – Scott Spoolman, environmental writer
11:44 – Axe-in-Hand II – Rebecca Wallace, US Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory
11:50 – A Mighty Fortress – Jim Fleming, Chapter a Day/Wisconsin Public Radio
11:58 – Home Range – Charlotte Meyer, emerita, Edgewood College English Department
12:04 p.m. – Pines Above the Snow I – Liz Anna Kozik, science communication fellow, UW–Madison Arboretum
12:08 – Pines Above the Snow II – Nick Utphall, pastor, Advent Lutheran of Madison Christian Community
12:19 – 65290 – Sylvia Adrian, oblate, Holy Wisdom Monastery
12:30 – BREAK
1 – Welcome Back – Kathy Miner, naturalist, UW–Madison Arboretum
1:05 – What Is the Arboretum? (dedication address) – Karen Oberhauser, director, UW–Madison Arboretum
1:13 – Governor’s Proclamation: Leopold Weekend in Wisconsin – Frieda Schowalter, community member, & Mary Mullen, resident, Dunn’s Marsh Neighborhood
1:15 – Letter to a Wildflower Digger – Jim FitzGibbon, naturalist & former ranger, UW–Madison Arboretum
1:20 – Wherefore Wildlife Ecology? – Jim Berkelman, Department of Forest & Wildlife Ecology, UW–Madison
1:26 – Marshland Elegy, part I – Catherine Jagoe, writer
1:34 – Marshland Elegy, part II – Chuck Quirmbach, innovation reporter, Milwaukee Public Radio
1:42 – The Sand Counties – Sanny Oberhauser, community member
1:48 – On a Monument to the Pigeon – Tim Van Deelen, professor, Department of Forest & Wildlife Ecology, UW–Madison
2:00 – Thinking Like a Mountain – Deb Weitzel, environmental science teacher (retired)
2:05 – Video Interlude: Found Footage – Leopold Family Fishing Trip, 1927
2:12 – The Lily – Spencer Johnson, student, UW–Madison
2:14 – Flambeau – Eric Knepp, Madison Parks superintendent
2:24 – The Round River, part I – Lissa McLaughlin, art therapist & fiction teacher
2:30 – The Round River, part II – Bill Barker, associate dean for research, College of Agricultural & Life Sciences, UW–Madison
2:41 – The Round River, part III – Gail Epping Overholt, education coordinator, UW–Madison Arboretum
2:52 – Odyssey, part I – Andrew Wetzel, community member
2:57 – Odyssey, part II – Theresa Vander Woude, graduate student, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, UW–Madison Arboretum
3:00 – Land Health & the A/B Cleavage – Sam Hermanstorfer, student, UW–Madison
3:05 – Defenders of Wilderness – Kimberly Larson, community member
3:08 – The Community Concept – Susan Carpenter, native plant gardener, UW–Madison Arboretum
3:18 – The Ecological Conscience – Daryl Sherman, Leopold fan since 1960
3:26 – Substitutes for a Land Ethic – Richard & Kathleen Kuhnen, community members
3:36 – The Outlook – Don Ferber, John Muir Chapter, Sierra Club