First week of March set aside for Wisconsin Reads Leopold events

Marie McCabe, widow of the late Bob McCabe who was a graduate student under Aldo Leopold, reads from A Sand County Almanac at the UW-Madison Arboretum.  McCabe, one of the last surviving people who knew Aldo Leopold, will read again this year.  Photo by Tim Eisele

Wisconsin has had plenty of outstanding conservationists, but leading that pack was the late Aldo Leopold.

To honor the legacy of Leopold, and continue people’s discussions about his land ethic and how people and natural resources fit together, the first week in March is designated in Wisconsin as Leopold Week.

It started in Lodi, where Tom Heberlein began Lodi Reads Leopold on the first Saturday in March.  Local citizens each volunteered to read a chapter of A Sand County Almanac out loud to an audience at the public library.

Thanks to George Meyer, State Sen. Mark Miller, and a proclamation by then Gov. Jim Doyle, the first week in March soon was designated as Wisconsin Reads Leopold each year.

This year events will take place beginning with screenings of “Green Fire,” a documentary about Leopold: March 3 in Portage, March 4 in Eagle, March 5 in Glendale, and March 6 in Green Bay and Oshkosh.

Readings from A Sand County Almanac are set for March 4 at Madison, Door County, and Brantwood, and March 5 in Madison and Montello.

The events are free and open to the public.

The readings are a time of reflection.  Sit back, enjoy someone reading aloud, and listen to the words of Aldo Leopold, who was an exceptional writer.

Kathy Miner, who has coordinated the event for 12 years at the UW-Madison Arboretum, says that following each year’s readings she sees the notes people leave expressing their appreciation for the messages from Leopold.

“It is an oasis of sanity and inspiration to hear these wise and beautiful words read aloud,” Miner said.

She adds that hearing the words, “rercharges them to go back into the ‘real world’ and work for conservation and environmental protection.”

These events are a wonderful way to celebrate the beginning of spring, often the first weekend that sandhill cranes return to Wisconsin.

Check the web site ( for exact times and locations of each screening and reading, and for new events that will be posted.

Then sit back and enjoy.


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