This Week at the Little Free Library!

IMG_2410Paths of the People: The Ojibwe in the Chippewa Valley by Tim Pfaff tranforms the Ojibwe oral tradition into a literary medium. Published by the Chippewa Valley Museum in Eau Claire, this book follows the local tribe through centuries of change and adaptation. Take a book, leave a book, and read on!

This Week at the Little Free Library!

IMG_2421_compressedHelp the Wumps! Bill Peet’s fantastical twist on industrialization, The Wump World, runs in the same vein as Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. Whimsical creatures and a pertinent plot make this book enjoyable for both child and parent. Take a book, leave a book, and read on!

This Week at the Little Free Library!

IMG_2415_compressedPart of the Golden Science Close-Up Series, Crystals, by Robert Bell, teaches all the basics of crystal formation, differences in shapes and colors, and even some magic! To turn your reading into a field trip, head over to the UW-Madison Geology Museum with your book to compare what you’ve read with their many exhibits. Take a book, leave a book, and read on!

This Week at the Little Free Library!

IMG_3505_compressedHelp foster the budding Aldo Leopolds in your life by snagging this week’s feature book! Created by a group of Midwestern naturalists, Teaching Kids to Love the Earth is a wonderful tool for nature-loving adults to spread their experiences with a new generation. Take a book, leave a book, and read on!

Summer Camp Guides are Out – Get Yours Today!

Summer Camp Brochure

The Aldo Leopold Nature Center’s 2015 Summer Camp Guide hit mailboxes earlier this week, chock full of new programs, nature topics, backpacking adventures, and summer fun for all ages!

Check out the low-res version on our website here, find dates and topics for all ages and registration information here.  If you would like a paper copy of the Guide mailed to you, please give us a call at (608) 221-0404.

Summer Camp registration begins for ALNC Members THIS FRIDAY, FEB. 27th, and for the general public on Friday, March 13th.  Membership starts at just $50 and provides 10% discounts on summer camps and programs, free exhibit admission year-round, members-only events, and more – join or renew today!


Little Free Library Comes to ALNC

IMG_5636Across the world, Little Free Library has a presence on street corners, in driveways, and in parks. This little non-profit has been spreading throughout the world since its Wisconsin beginnings in 2010, and now the Aldo Leopold Nature Center has its own little free library. Throughout the city, you can see some small wooden schoolhouses a bit larger than a mailbox in front of houses or on bike paths. These little houses are filled with free books that anyone can borrow to read. The Little Free Library organization has sold thousands of these houses so that owners can put their favorite books in the small wooden box and share them with the world.

ALNC is now registered on the Little Free Library World Map that shows all of the 15,000 small schoolhouses full of books in the world. Some of the awesome books ALNC has placed in the Little Free Library are Wild About Wisconsin Birds by Adele Porter and Teaching Kids to Love the Earth, which goes hand in hand with our mission statement. IMG_3506The ALNC Little Free Library will be a resource for guides and books about science, learning, and the natural environment Leopold loved.

What is so unique about every Little Free Library is that it is a piece of neighborhood art. Every owner can paint theirs differently and put whichever books they want inside of it. Each Little Free Library is distinct and personal to the owner and the surrounding community. From Ghana to Brazil to the United States, each Little Free Library is a treasure to its community and ALNC is excited to start its own Little Free Library legacy. Take a book, leave a book, and read on!

Flat Stanley at ALNC

ALNC had a visitor this week…’Flat Stanley,’ a pen-pal type activity from a grade-school class in Maryland! Check out Flat Stanley’s photos and notes from his ALNC adventure!

stanley in the prairie rsDear Atilio and Ms. Diaz’s class,

 I finally made it to Madison, Wisconsin last night and met my new friend, Brenna. It’s really cold here (it was -8F when I got here last night!), so Brenna made me some winter clothes right away. Brenna works at a nature center museum, so she brought me with her today. It’s been so much fun!

First, we went for a nature walk through a native Wisconsin prairie. It was snowy, but very beautiful. I saw lots of birds and followed some animal tracks, including rabbit, squirrel, fox, and deer. There were lots of very tall grasses that I had to climb through. Brenna told me that the roots of these grasses go twenty feet deep into the ground and help to hold the soil in place. In the spring, summer, and fall, they bloom with beautiful flowers. Before lots of settlers came to the Midwest, a lot of the region used to be covered with prairies just like this one — these are the same kinds of grasses that used to tickle the bellies of buffaloes!

ice hockey!Then, we ran into some Wisconsin kids playing ice hockey on the pond — it was so much fun! Atilio asked what kind of sports people play in Wisconsin… well it turns out they enjoy the cold winters by playing hockey right on top of the frozen ponds and lakes! (I think they play lots of other sports too. I’ll see what else I can find out about that…)

We went inside the museum to warm up, and I explored the exhibit areas. They have some astronomy exhibits right now, so I got to fly around planet Earth like an astronaut, and then I landed on the moon — it was out of this world!

stanley leaving earthstanley on the moon

Wisconsin has been great so far, and I can’t wait to see what I’ll do this weekend. I’ll write more soon — stay tuned!

Your friend,
Flat Stanley

Get those Snowpants On and Get Outside this Weekend!

IMG_2561Winter in Wisconsin can seem dreary and endless, but it can also be a fantastic time to get outside with the family and enjoy nature together! Spending time outdoors, even in the Winter, is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for children and adults.

This Saturday is the perfect opportunity to dust off that snowgear and hit the trails at ALNC’s FREE Candlelight Snowshoe event!


Families are invited to join the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, City of Monona and the City of Madison for a candlelight evening snowshoe through the trails at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Woodland Park and Edna Taylor Conservation Park.

After snowshoeing, guests are invited to warm up by a roaring fire with a cup of hot chocolate and snack on some popcorn (available for $1 each). ALNC’s Climate Education Center will be open from 4 pm to 8 pm, with special FREE ADMISSION for ALNC Members and the public – this is a great opportunity to check out ALNC’s indoor spaces while you’re warming up!


This is a FREE event. Attendees are asked to bring their own snowshoes if possible however adult and child snowshoes will be available for use on a first come, first served basis and as supplies last.

Please note that all parking for this event is at Meriter Monona, 6408 Copps Avenue, with FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE to the event.

Location: Aldo Leopold Nature Center’s Monona Campus, 330 Femrite Drive, Monona
NOTE: all parking is at Meriter Monona, 6408 Copps Ave, with FREE shuttle service to the event.

Date/Time: Saturday, January 17 4 – 7 pm (ALNC exhibit hours open until 8 pm)


More Information: (608) 221-0404, ext. 0



Are You a Brainiac?



The Brainiac Bowl, coming up February 28th this year, is a lively science, history, culture and pop trivia contest in which teams match wits against each other and raise funds for environmental education programs for students of all ages at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center. Although there is passionate competition, trivia questions are varied on topic and level of difficulty so no one has to be a true “brainiac” to participate.

This is a great chance for families to spend some quality time together as a mean, lean, competing machine.  Or, companies, reward your hard working employees and yourself—while engaging in some fun leadership and team building skills. Plus it is a great way to beat the late winter doldrums, build employee morale and network with Madison’s movers and shakers! We have some great teams already signed up, including: CUNA Mutual, Aldo Leopold Foundation, The Burish Group, Phoenix Nuclear, The Great Dane, Skogen Engineering, Foley & Lardner, and a few teams of individuals, just to name a few.

Please let us know if we can count your team as one to be reckoned with in 2015. Plus, if you recruit another team–from your company, another company and/or family and friends—we can give you a $250 discount on your table. Come for the comradery and compete to take home the championship “pulsating” Brain trophy.

The Heavy Metals 1Recruiting another team is easy. Just click here to send an e-invite to your business friends, company rivals and/or family and taunt them to take the Brainiac Bowl challenge with you. If you are too chicken to participate, we would appreciate it if you would forward this link to anyone you think might enjoy a little intellectual jousting.

This extraordinary evening of high‐spirited fun features:

  • A delicious dinner, decadent dessert and cash bar
  • Two drink tickets per competitor for Great Dane beer and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Raffle for fantastic prize packages
  • Spirited trivia challenge for the Brainiac Bowl Championship and the infamous “pulsating” brain trophy
  • A Crazy Costume contest with cool prizes–get into the spirit by wearing individual or team costumes (optional but encouraged)
  • Chance for bragging rights as the winner of the “Prove You’re A Brain” and Butts & Brains contests
  • Opportunity to network with, and match your wits against, Madison’s smart movers and shakers—and your garden variety Einsteins
  • Photo op with your team and our wild and wacky emcee, the mesmerizing meteorologist, Mike Nelson

110 rs for facebookGet into the spirit of the evening by wearing wacky individual or team costumes to compete in the Crazy Costume contest. The trivia contest will challenge your mind and get your competitive and creative juices flowing. Form a team of eight of your friends or colleagues. Don’t have a team? We’ll match you up with like-minded folks for an unforgettable evening of friendly competitive revelry.

Tables: $1,000 for a table of eight
Individual Tickets: $125/person

To learn about the Brainiac Bowl 2015 corporate benefits, click here.  For more information and to register, please contact Kelley Van Egeren at 608-216-9373 or