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Wisconsin Leopold Days Celebration in La Crosse

March 2 @ 12:00 pm March 5 @ 8:00 pm

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The influence of ecologist and author Aldo Leopold’s teaching on conservation at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge will be part of the annual celebration here of the state’s Leopold Week. The refuge, established in 1924, is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The observance also includes an on-line talk by an advocate for learning to practice conservation where people are — on private property.

March 2 In-Person Events

Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

N5727 County Road Z, Onalaska

12:00 p.m. presentation: “Fins, feathers and firebrands: 100 years of conservation on the Upper Mississippi River Refuge.” Come learn about the passionate and vocal visionaries who influenced the Refuge’s creation, major events which shaped its physical and social landscape, and how you can help shape the next 100 years to come.

1:00 p.m. presentation: “Prairie gardening 101: how to add beauty to your yard or public space” by Dr. Melinda Knutson. Join retired US Fish and Wildlife Service regional wildlife biologist and conservation planner, Dr. Melinda Knutson, to discover why we care about prairies, how you can get involved in local conservation efforts, and tips and tricks for adding native prairie and savanna plants to your space at home.

2:00 p.m. Guided winter plant walk: Join a Refuge Ranger for a short walk on the prairie to learn about common native prairie plants in their winter condition! Walk about a 1/2 mile along an unplowed paved trail. Please come dressed in warm layers for the weather.

12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Native plant giveaway and native seed planting: One of the best ways we can help wildlife of all kinds is to grow native plants! Stop by anytime between noon and 2:30 p.m. to pick up a wild bergamot or butterfly milkweed starter plant to take home. From 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., there will be soil, pots, and seeds available for visitors who’d like to drop in to plant their own seed to take home. These recently planted seeds can be transplanted into a backyard garden or larger plant pot later in the spring.

The Nature Place in Myrick Park (La Crosse)

9:30 – 11 a.m.  The Nature Place in Myrick Park will feature Leopold in its Nature Saturday program – a free program featuring family activities, crafts, scavenger hunts and live animals.

March 5 Guest Speaker (online only)

A virtual program on Tuesday March 5 at 7 p.m. will feature author and entomologist Doug Tallamy who advocates creating Homegrown National Parks by reducing lawns, planting native species and removing invasive species. The lecture is sponsored by D. B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership and will be live on Facebook at Tallamy, the co-founder of the Homegrown National Parks movement, asks, “what if each American landowner converted half of his or her yard to productive native plant communities? Even moderate success could collectively restore some semblance of ecosystem function to more than 20 million acres of what is now ecological wasteland. ” 

The La Crosse events are planned each year by representatives of local environmental and conservation groups.

An old black and white photo of Aldo Leopold on horseback.