A new look for Lodi Reads Leopold

by Free Speech on February 8, 2010

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

Lodi, WI

Each year, the Lodi Reads Leopold committee works to find ways to make Aldo Leopold’s writings relevant and interesting to modern Lodi residents.

Participants have hiked, built benches, watched movies and more – all in addition to the ever-present readings from Leopold’s “A Sand County Almanac.”  This year, the group is taking the project to the streets by coordinating an outreach project for Leopold’s ideas.

“Leopold’s 1949 book has always been at the heart of the Lodi Reads Leopold events, and the words still seem to apply to our lives,” said Patti Herman, Lodi Reads Leopold committee member. This year, the group is hoping to apply fresh perspectives through a series of events from now through the end of March.

Rather than a single day of readings, for this eleventh annual event, the readers will make Lodi Reads Leopold an interactive program by taking “A Sand County Almanac” into the places where Lodi residents live and meet. To do that, LRL volunteers will be attending the March meetings of many local organizations. Volunteer readers will give a 15-minute presentation, including a reading and a brief personal perspective.

“We’re very excited to have this opportunity to discuss Leopold across the community,” Herman said. “We expect there will be some people for whom this will be their first experience hearing Leopold read aloud, and they’re in for a treat!”

Additionally, a community forum event will be held Saturday, March 6, during the statewide Aldo Leopold Weekend. “Homegrown Meals: How can Lodi citizens eat nutritional and locally-produced food?” is the topic. The forum will be held from 10:30 until noon at the Lodi Woman’s Club Public Library.

Confirmed panelists will include D&D Piggly Wiggly co-owner Duane Westlie, Lodi Canning Company President Bob Goeres, Lodi Farmer’s Market Manager Gail Lamberty and Lodi School District Food Service Director Paula Larrabee. According to emcee Bill Haupt, the forum will address nutritional, environmental and economic concerns relating to the local food movement.

“This is a topic that seems to be gaining steam as a movement in Wisconsin and throughout the country,” Haupt said. “Given our strong agricultural culture and resources, it seems natural for us to examine this topic and the potential benefits it can provide to our community.”

Leading up to the forum discussion, the Lodi Public Library will host a book discussion on Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food.” Anyone who has read the book and would like to discuss it can join in at 7 pm on Monday, February 22 at the library.

“We’re sure that many topics of conversation from the book discussion are likely to overlap with the panel discussion,” said library co-director Trish Priewe. “This way, over a span of the next month or so, people will be able to read a book, think about and discuss their impressions of the book, and then attend the forum to discover new avenues and local approaches to implementing those same ideas.”

Lodi Reads Leopold began in 2000 when a group of local citizens met to read aloud from “A Sand County Almanac.”  Since then, the idea has spread to other communities and also spawned state legislation that designates the first full weekend in March as Aldo Leopold Weekend to celebrate the life and works of this Wisconsin conservation leader. To learn more about Lodi Reads Leopold, visit www.lodireadsleopold.org.

If your group would like to participate in this Leopold outreach project and has not been contacted, please contact Patti Herman at 592-5666 or billpatti@charter.net to schedule a reader/presenter. For more information about the community forum, please contact Bill Haupt at bhauptlodi@aol.com. To reserve a copy of “In Defense of Food” or for more information about the book discussion, contact the Lodi Public Library at 592-4130 or www.lodipubliclibrary.org.

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