“Such a treat to hear one of my favorite books read aloud to me!” — Visitor

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 13th-annual free public reading on March 3, 2018, 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. Listeners can drop in and out to hear favorite essays or stay for the entire event. Visitors can drop in to hear favorite essays or stay for the day.

In the afternoon, songwriter Ken Lonnquist will perform “A Song County Almanac,” songs inspired by Leopold. Lonnquist performs widely for children and adults and was named “Minstrel for the Environment” in 1982. He writes about nature and environmental issues—and everything else under the sun.

First published in 1948, 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.

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):

  • Friday, March 2, Green Fire brown bag lunch, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Watch and discuss the Aldo Leopold documentary. BYO lunch and beverage. Free event, but please register by February 26.
  • Sunday, March 4, naturalist-led walk: In Leopold’s Footsteps, 1–2:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 4, family nature program: Celebrating Aldo 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

Reading Schedule

Reading times are approximate, please arrive at least 10 minutes early for a particular essay.

9:30 – Welcome – Kathy Miner, naturalist, UW–Madison Arboretum

9:33 – Foreword –Oscar Mireles, executive director, Omega School, and a City of Madison Poet Laureate

9:40 – January Thaw – Dave Cieslewicz, citizen of Madison

9:47 – Good Oak I – Madelyn Leopold, granddaughter of Aldo Leopold, and Audie Berggren, 6th-grade student, Hamilton Middle School

9:59 – Good Oak II – Rebecca Wallace, public affairs specialist, USFS Forest Products Laboratory

10:08 – The Geese Return – Ron Seely, senior lecturer, Life Sciences Communication, UW–Madison, and freelance environmental writer

10:17 – Come High Water – Gail Martinelli, environmentalist

10:22 – Draba – Tammy Bieberstein, park ranger, City of Madison

10:23 – Bur Oak – Mark Miller, Wisconsin State Senator, District 16

10:32 – Bob McCabe and A Sand County Almanac – Kathy Miner, naturalist, UW–Madison Arboretum

10:36 – Sky Dance – Tim Eisele, freelance outdoor writer/photographer, and member of Board of Governors, Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame

10:45 – Back from the Argentine – Sylvia Adrian, oblate, Holy Wisdom Monastery

10:48 – The Alder Fork – Phil Bernhardt, community member

10:54 – Great Possessions – Estelle Katz, naturalist, Madison School Forest

10:59 – A Prairie Birthday – Ken Cameron, professor, Botany, UW–Madison, and director, Wisconsin State Herbarium

11:09 – The Green Pasture – George Meyer, executive director, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation

11:14 – The Choral Copse – A.M. Frieda Schowalter, community member

11:18 – Smoky Gold – Jim Fleming, host, Chapter-a-Day, Wisconsin Public Radio

11:28 – Too Early – James Roberts, Sterling North Society

11:33 – Red Lanterns – Chuck and Linda Pils, The Wildlife Society; Wisconsin DNR and teacher of children and teachers (retired)

11:41 – If I Were the Wind – Carol Enseki, seed propagation volunteer, UW–Madison Arboretum

11:42 – Axe-in-Hand I – Ken Rineer, environmental analyst (retired), Public Service Commission of Wisconsin

11:48 – Axe-in-Hand II – Lissa McLaughlin, writer, editor, expressive arts therapist

11:54 – A Mighty Fortress – Nick Utphall, pastor, Advent Lutheran of Madison Christian Community

12:02 p.m.Home Range – Emily Iehl, MS candidate, Environment and Resources Program, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, UW–Madison

12:07 – Pines Above the Snow I – Don Tipple, board member, Friends of the Arboretum

12:11 – Pines Above the Snow II – Melanie Crawford, community member

12:20 – 65290 – Stu Levitan, historian, and chair, Madison Landmarks Commission

12:28   – BREAK

1:00 – Welcome back – Kathy Miner, naturalist, UW–Madison Arboretum

1:03 – What is the Arboretum? (1934 Dedication Address) – Karen Oberhauser, director, UW–Madison Arboretum

1:08 – Letter to a Wildflower Digger – Jim Fitzgibbon, naturalist, UW–Madison Arboretum

1:13 – Wherefore Wildlife Ecology? – Jim Berkelman, Forest and Wildlife Ecology, UW–Madison

1:19 – Coon Valley I – Mary Mullen, Prairie Unitarian Universalist Society

1:26 – Coon Valley II – Chuck Quirmbach, environment reporter, Wisconsin Public Radio

1:34 – Marshland Elegy I – Donna Weber-Harms, reading specialist (retired), Juda Schools

1:38 – Marshland Elegy II – Catherine Jagoe, writer and translator

1:45 – The Sand Counties – Eric Liljequist, teacher (retired), Aldo Leopold School

1:52 – On a Monument to the Pigeon – Pat Freres Stinger, volunteer steward, UW–Madison Arboretum

2:02 – MUSICAL INTERLUDE: “A Song County Almanac” – Ken Lonnquist, singer and songwriter

2:22 – Flambeau – Kathleen and Richard Kuhnen, plain members and citizens of the biotic community

2:32 – The Round River I – Charlotte Meyer, emerita, Edgewood College

2:40 – The Round River II – Jon Becker, founder, E-art-H Earth/Art Resources

2:48 – The Round River III – Darcy Kind, conservation biologist, Wisconsin DNR

2:57 – The Last Stand – Matt Blessing, state archivist, Wisconsin Historical Society

3:07 – The Lily – Petra Ressler, The Village CoHousing Community

3:09 – Thinking Like a Mountain … Deb Weitzel, environmental science teacher (retired)

3:16 – Wilderness as a Land Laboratory – Joe Goss, business analyst, UW–Madison

3:21 – Country – Mary Maxwell, naturalist, Madison School Forest

3:26 – The Community Concept – Susan Carpenter, native plant gardener, UW–Madison Arboretum

3:34 – The Ecological Conscience – Olivia Cosby, graduate student, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, UW–Madison

3:39 – Substitutes for a Land Ethic – Bill Barker, associate dean for research, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UW–Madison

3:45 – The Outlook – Anne Edwardson, oblate, Holy Wisdom Monastery