In honor of Aldo Leopold Weekend, the UW–Madison Arboretum will host a community reading of A Sand County Almanac and writings by other environmental thinkers on Saturday, March 4, 2023, at the Visitor Center from 1 to 4 p.m. Listeners are welcome to drop in for favorite selections or stay all afternoon. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be available, including tea and snacks.
Throughout the afternoon, community members will give voice to Leopold’s keen observations and eloquent conservation philosophy. The readings will include the well-known “calendar” essays as well as other pieces chosen for their relevance to the Arboretum, UW–Madison, and the State of Wisconsin. New this year, readings from contemporary environmental thinkers like Robin Wall Kimmerer, Drew Lanham, and others will be incorporated to amplify perspectives, values, and experiences of ethical relationships with the land.
After a welcome at 1 p.m., the afternoon will kick off with selections from Aldo Leopold’s speech at the Arboretum’s dedication ceremony on June 17, 1934. Leopold was the Arboretum’s first research director and closely involved in its design; his words are as timely, eloquent, and inspiring today as when he penned them.
First published in 1949, A Sand County Almanac has prompted generations of people to take better notice—and care—of the natural environment. Leopold Weekend in Wisconsin began in Lodi in 2000, and in 2006 it became a designated state observance. This year, Madison Reads Leopold falls on a historic anniversary—75 years after Leopold finished the foreword to A Sand County Almanac, which he appended with the date “4th March, 1948.” It was Leopold’s last writing for the work, since he died unexpectedly six weeks later.
A full schedule of readers and essays will be posted on the Madison Reads Leopold webpage before March 4. Reading times are approximate; listeners wishing to hear a particular reader should arrive at least 10 minutes before the scheduled time.
Leopold nature walk on March 5: The Arboretum will also offer a nature walk for Aldo Leopold Weekend called “In Leopold’s Footsteps,” on Sunday, March 5, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Learn how Leopold conducted famous phenological research here from 1935 to 1945 and helped establish restorations of Wisconsin ecosystems.
Considered the birthplace of ecological restoration, the UW–Madison Arboretum is a teaching and research facility that conserves and restores land, advances science, offers public outreach, and benefits from community involvement. The 1,200-acre grounds in Madison are home to protected prairies, woodlands, wetlands, savannas, springs, shoreline, a notable horticultural collection, and Wisconsin native plant gardens. The Arboretum also offers more than 17 miles of walking trails and 4 miles of biking road as well as hundreds of learning and volunteer opportunities. The main entrance is at 1207 Seminole Highway. The Visitor Center is open weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekends from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Arboretum admission is free.
Contact: Susan Day, Arboretum communications manager, email@example.com