3/20/23 – Aldo Leopold and Finding a Land Ethic for Our Time

Aldo Leopold and Finding a Land Ethic for Our Time

Monday, March 20th, 2023

6:30 pm to 8:00 pm (Eastern Time)

  • Public Welcome
  • Will be Recorded
  • Free Event
  • Chapter Meeting
  • Program/Speaker Presentation

Presented by Martha (Marty) MacCleery, Wild Ones River City Chapter Education Chair on Zoom.

Free event • Registration required


The audience will be drawn into the life and contributions of Aldo Leopold, the father of the Land Ethic. He authored the landmark book, A Sand County Almanac, published in 1949, that proposes that land is a community of living things to be loved and respected, a core tenant of his term land ethic.  When one loves and respects the land, then one appreciates it as a living circulating system that can nurture all forms of life, not just humans.

Follow Aldo Leopold as he joins the U.S. Forest Service in 1909 and begins working around the country, all the while observing and thinking about what he saw and experienced.  In 1935, he purchased a worn out sand county farm near Madison, Wisconsin. He and his family slowly turned the old farm into a beautifully restored landscape with abundant wildlife.  That experience, along with a lifetime of rich work experiences, became the basis of his landmark book, A Sand County Almanac, considered to be the basis of the conservation movement of the 20th century.

The presenter then challenges the audience to envision a bold modern conservation movement for our time. Together they will explore some modern interpretations of landscape stewardship in the 21st century, all the while honoring Aldo Leopold’s legacy.  Such reasons for hope include Douglas Tallamy’s Homegrown National Park™ and emphasis on keystone native plants, leveraging right-of-way corridors by including native shrubs and understory trees, and landscaping with the needs of birds in mind, thereby preserving the food web for all animals, including us! The program concludes with the audience watching the 2.5 minute trailer of Green Fire the Emmy Award winning documentary on Aldo Leopold.

Watch the full-length movie of Green Fire.

Speaker Biography – Martha (Marty) MacCleery

Although her work career was science-based, gardening has always satisfied both her love of science and the arts. After visiting Longwood Gardens in southeastern Pennsylvania, Marty felt a strong desire to return to gardening.

Since then, she loves engaging young children with nature topics through 4-H and chairs the Education Committee at Wild Ones River City Chapter here in Grand Rapids. She is also an Advanced Master Gardener and Master Naturalist through MSU Extension, and is a life-long learner!