Celebrate Aldo Leopold Weekend with Marathon Reading

Five Door County organizations will come together to celebrate the ideas of legendary conservationist, philosopher, educator and writer Aldo Leopold during the statewide Aldo Leopold Weekend with a progressive marathon reading of his classic essay collection A Sand County Almanac.

During four two-hour sessions March 5 – 6, a number of Door County leaders will take turns reading their favorite passages from Leopold’s 1949 book on natural history, philosophy and observations. A Sand County Almanac has been lauded as one of the most influential pieces of literature on the modern conservation movement, particularly with the introduction of Leopold’s “Land Ethic,” his philosophy on guiding humans’ interactions with the land and the flora and fauna that depend on it.


Participating organizations in the progressive marathon reading are Write On, The Clearing Folk School, Crossroads at Big Creek, Door County Land Trust, and The Ridges Sanctuary. Diverging from a standard marathon reading, in which participants take part reading a piece from start to finish, the Door County celebration allows readers to share their favorite essay, whether in order or not, while bringing listeners to four different areas across the peninsula.

“The marathon part is that we’ll be reading almost all of it in the Almanac and the progressive is just the idea of starting in Ellison Bay, working down to Baileys Harbor and down to Sturgeon Bay,” said Write On Executive Director Jerod Santek of the progressive marathon reading.

Light refreshments will be served at each session and music will be provided by Wisconsin musician Tim Southwick Johnson, whose latest album Sand County Songs was inspired by A Sand County Almanac.

Bret Bicoy, CEO of the Door County Community Foundation, is one of several local leaders who will participate in the reading, which seeks to inspire people of all walks of life to be better stewards of the environment.

“What a gift we’ve been given to live in this incredible place and what did Aldo Leopold do but to raise awareness across this country about celebrating that which makes our community special,” Bicoy said. “He talked about Wisconsin broadly and we’re talking about Door County in particular. I spend most of my day looking forward, I spend most of my day figuring out how to make things better and thinking about what tomorrow is going to be like and how to create a tomorrow that makes more sense. Sometimes I think it’s worthwhile to take a look backwards and to reflect upon where we came from and what sets the tone for what we want our community to be like.

“Sometimes it’s important just to remember beauty and that’s what’s kind of neat about this,” he continued. “It’s just a reflection on what it is that makes Door County special. To be a part of that is a real honor.”


Saturday, March 5

10 am – noon

The Clearing Folk School, Ellison Bay

Scheduled readers: Bret Bicoy, Gina Deschler, Peter Deschler, Marge Grutzmacher, Bob Kimbell, Carolyn Kimbell, Marilyn Peterson, Mike Schneider, and Jitendra Suman with music by Tim Southwick Johnson.

Saturday, March 5

2 – 4 pm

The Ridges Sanctuary, Baileys Harbor

Scheduled readers: Becca Berger, Clay Bonin, Nancy Goss, Donna Johnson, Tammy Musiel, Nancy Rafal, and Sara Sohns with music by Tim Southwick Johnson.

Sunday, March 6

10 am – noon

Bertschinger Center, Egg Harbor

Scheduled readers: Laurel Brooks, Katie Dahl and Rich Higdon, Ryan Heise, Raeona Jordan, Dee Paulsen, Nancy Rafal, and Tim Stone with music by Tim Southwick Johnson.

Sunday, March 6

2 – 4 pm

Crossroads at Big Creek, Sturgeon Bay

Scheduled readers: Bret Bicoy, Holly Feldman, Laurel Hauser, Coggin Heeringa, Amy Kohnle, Alan Kopischke, and Karen Yancey with closing musical performance by Tim Southwick Johnson.


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