Madison Reads Leopold this Saturday, March 3rd

Kathy Miner who is hosting the 7th annual Madison Reads Leopold, on Saturday, March 3rd, at the Arboretum Visitor Center in Madison, has issued the following news release about the approximately five-hour event which will feature forty people will read from A Sand County Almanac and other works by Aldo Leopold:

PRESS RELEASE:

7th Annual MADISON READS LEOPOLD

to be held Saturday,  March 3rd, at UW Arboretum

As part of the Madison area’s celebration of Aldo Leopold Weekend, there will be a free public reading from A Sand County Almanac and other works on Saturday, March 3rd, 2012, at the UW Arboretum Visitor Center.  The event will begin at 9:30 AM; the concluding essay – The Outlook – is scheduled to be heard at 2:47 PM.

An eclectic mix of citizen and celebrity readers will give voice to selected essays detailing Leopold’s phenological observations as well as his conservation philosophy.  Published more than 60 years ago, the Almanac has prompted generations of people to take better notice – and care – of the natural environment.

2012 marks the 125th anniversary of Leopold’s birth, yet his words are as timely, eloquent, and inspiring today as they were when he wrote them down.  Now in its seventh year, the Madison event will include the well-known “calendar” essays, as well as other pieces chosen for their relevance to the Arboretum and the Dane County area.  At 1:00 pm, an Arboretum staff member will read excerpts from the address given by Leopold at the Arboretum’s dedication on June 17, 1934.

Other highlights will include readings by Madelyn Leopold, daughter of Luna Leopold and granddaughter of Aldo; Citizen Dave Cieslewicz; Ron Seely of the Wisconsin State Journal; Mrs. Marie McCabe, widow of Leopold’s colleague Bob McCabe; Chuck Quirmbach, environment reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio; and students, educators, naturalists, and representatives of community organizations.

The event is structured so listeners can drop in and out at any time; a dedicated few will stay the entire six hours.

Leopold Weekend in Wisconsin had its beginnings in the little town of Lodi in 2000, when now-retired UW Professor of Rural Sociology Tom Heberlein organized the original “Lodi Reads Leopold” event at the public library there.  In 2006, with the backing of the Leopold Foundation and by proclamation of Wisconsin’s governor, the observance went statewide.  This year more than 20 communities around Wisconsin – from Argyle to Williams Bay — will be holding celebrations, along with several out-of-state venues.

The first weekend in March was chosen as Leopold Weekend because “4th March, 1948” is the date Leopold appended to his foreword to the Almanac.  It would be the last piece of writing he would contribute to the book; six weeks later he would be dead of an apparent heart attack suffered while fighting a brushfire on a neighbor’s property in Baraboo.

Thanks to sponsorship by Pheasants Forever and the Aldo Leopold Foundation, Madison Reads Leopold is free and open to the public.  Light refreshments will be available in the visitor center lobby.  Brown-bagging is permitted.  Leopold archive materials and artifacts from the UW’s extensive collection will be on display in the reading room; conservation-related organizations are invited to bring literature for display on tables in the lobby.

A detailed schedule of readers and essays will be posted at www.uwarboretum.org/events a minimum of two weeks before the event.  Reading aloud is an inexact science, so all reading times are approximate.  Listeners wishing to hear a particular reader should plan to be at the Arboretum at least 10 minutes in advance of their scheduled time.

To reach the visitor center, enter the Arboretum at1207 Seminole Highway(just north of theBeltline Highway), and proceed east approximately 1.2 miles until you reach the main parking lot.  Parking is free.

For general information about Madison Reads Leopold, please see www.uwarboretum.org/events  or call 608-263-7888.  To inquire about a particular reader or selection, call Kathy Miner, the local coordinator, at 608-233-2425.

Additional events honoring Leopold’s life and legacy will be held throughout the weekend in the Madison area, around Wisconsin, and elsewhere in the United States.  To learn more about those, see http://aldoleopold.org/weekend/weekend.htm.  The Arboretum will offer a free “Walk with Leopold” tour at 1:00 PM on Sunday, March 4th.  For more information about that, call 608-263-7888 during business hours.

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