Friday, May 27, 2011

Nina Leopold Bradley 1917- 2011

Nina Leopold Bradley
Photo credits: WIECB

Nina Leopold Bradley died on Wednesday, May 25, 2011.

Although all of Aldo and Estella Leopold's children went on to distinguished careers in science and conservation, for many of us in Wisconsin, Nina was the link to her father's work and legacy. She sat with us in the Shack and told us about how their family would sing in the evenings; how her father never required them to come with the family each weekend to work at the Shack, yet the kids pretty much always came along; how her father delighted in their observations of nature, rather than slipping into science lectures.

Nina always reminded me of my own grandmother Lucille who took me birding as a teen. They were both extremely gracious and eloquent. They both were unassuming, gentle women unbridled in their love for nature.

Nina continued to make careful observations of plant and animal life cycle events based on her father's records. Her observations of bird and wildflower appearances in the spring coming earlier and earlier were one of the first examples of how changing climate could be affecting living things.

Nina was a scientist with a naturalist's heart--a rare combination in these days of specialization. Her passing feels like we've lost that link to the generation whose love for nature was evidenced in careful observation and reflected through sharing music, writing, and spending time together outdoors.

The Aldo Leopold Foundation which Nina helped found, has some wonderful photos and links about Nina on their website. I especially love the one with Nina with her arms full carrying a shotgun under one arm, and a guitar over her shoulder.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May 13 Ashland's Shoreland Restoration Arbor Day Tree Planting and Seedling Give-away

From LoonWatch Coordinator Erica LeMoine at the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute:

Ashland’s shorefront was once the hub of economic activity in the region, but much has changed since the days when timber, ore, and other resources were processed or shipped. Today, there’s a walking trail where train tracks once ran, and playgrounds where sawmills once sat. This year the shoreland will see additional changes as a partnership of the City of Ashland, Ashland County Land and Water Conservation Department, the WI Department of Natural Resources, Northwoods Cooperative Weed Management Area, University of Wisconsin Extension and Northland College will work together to plant white pines and other native trees and plants along two areas of Ashland’s post-industrial waterfront.

Mayor Whalen will commence Ashland’s Shoreland Restoration project by declaring Friday, May 13th as Ashland’s Arbor Day at 1:00pm at Bayview Park.

Volunteer youth from the Northland College Lake Superior Youth Symposium will be present throughout the day helping with various aspects of the project as a part of their service learning experience.

Plant your own tree seedling into a pot. A limited quantity of northern seedling species are available to public on a first-come, first-serve basis. Planting instructions and a promise to plant affidavit will be included.

There will also be a sign-up form for future volunteer opportunities to participate in shoreland restoration, and help beautify Ashland’s shoreland.

This project is made possible by a US EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grant, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Northland College.

Photo by Arbor Day Foundation

Northwest Wisconsin Lakes Conference June 24 in Minong, WI

The 2011 Northwest Wisconsin Lakes Conference will be held on Friday, June 24 in Minong at the Northwood School. This popular program will again be a great opportunity for lake enthusiasts, local government officials and others interested in protecting our water resources to take in a full day of educational presentations, exhibits and networking. Dr. Nancy Langston, Professor in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology and the Gaylord Nelson Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the conference’s keynote speaker on the topic, “Toxic Bodies: The Struggle for Healthy Watersheds.” Her current research focus is on Lake Superior.

Breakout sessions at the conference will cover a wide variety of lake-related subjects and issues, including: aquatic invasive species control strategies, using mapping tools for lake projects, lake legislative updates, using conservation easements to protect lakeshores, model shoreline zoning ordinance, lake grant programs, bringing wildlife to your shore, history of water resource protection, algae in your lake, update on the clean boats clean waters program, lake projects that work, loon status update, and frogs in your lake.
The registration fee is $45, which includes: admission, program materials, a continental breakfast and lunch. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. and conference concludes at 3:45 p.m. Brochure.

For more information or to register, contact the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at (715) 682-1223 or You can also register online at For more detailed information on the conference program and speakers, contact MaryJo Gingras at (715) 561-2234 or