Aldo Leopold Legacy Trail System Dedication

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MADISON – A ceremony honoring the dedication of the state trails system in Wisconsin for a renowned Wisconsin environmental leader will take place next Thursday, June 5, at the Glacial Drumlin State Trail trailhead in Cottage Grove.

Last November, Gov. Jim Doyle signed a bill naming the Wisconsin state trails system the “Aldo Leopold Legacy Trail System,” to help keep the legacy of Aldo Leopold alive and teach a new generation about the importance of conservation and wildlife ecology.

“The Aldo Leopold Legacy Trail System will help preserve the personal experience of Wisconsin’s natural landscape that was so inspiring to Leopold and his work,” says Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank.

The event leads into a busy weekend of outdoor activities in Wisconsin, with National Trails Day on Saturday and State Park Open House on Sunday. There are 42 state trails covering more than 1,700 miles in all regions of the state.

Get Outdoors! Wisconsin

“Dedicating our trail system to Aldo Leopold provides an opportunity for us to introduce a new program, ‘Get Outdoors! Wisconsin,’ that we hope will get both youth and adults outdoors,” explains Peter Biermeier, of the Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Parks and Recreation.

Get Outdoors! Wisconsin is a DNR-coordinated program developed in response to the national “No Child Left Inside” movement. The program will bring together new and existing partners such as organizations like the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, hospitals, schools, museums, and zoos. It will encourage Wisconsinites to enjoy unstructured time outdoors (nature free play), a vital component to healthy and active lifestyles. Upcoming activities will include fitness programs, educational materials for youth, nature games in the outdoors, and other “hooks” that engage each person with nature in a fun and free way.

Aldo Leopold is widely considered the father of wildlife ecology and management. He was a prolific writer in ecology and philosophy, and is most famous for publishing A Sand County Almanac.

“Aldo Leopold wrote ‘There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot,’” notes, Kathe Crowley Conn, president of the Aldo Leopold Nature Center. “Wisconsin’s natural lands are sources of untold pleasure for those who cannot live without wild things, and the state trail system provides unparalleled opportunities for others to discover them.”

The dedication ceremony for the designation will take place at 11 a.m. June 5 at the Glacial Drumlin State Trail trailhead in Cottage Grove, located at on Highway N at Main Street. Governor Doyle, DNR Secretary Frank, legislators and local officials are all invited to the event, which is being co-sponsored by the Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Monona.

Questions and RSVPs can be directed to DNR Bureau of Parks & Recreation (Madison): 608-266-2181, DNRWIstatetrails [at] wisconsin [dot] gov.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Biermeier – (608) 264-6136 or Kate Zurlo-Cuva – (608) 266-7617