This week marks the fifth annual Leopold Festival, an event that takes place on the Les Cheneaux Islands in honor of Aldo Leopold, one of the founders of wildlife ecology and a dedicated conservationist.
Leopold spent a large part of his childhood on Marquette Island, one of the 36 islands in the area. There he grew to love and appreciate the natural world, which contributed to his lifelong dedication to the protection and preservation of wildlife.
Leopold spent his days on the islands observing wildlife, making lists of birds, and drawing maps.
During the festival this year, attendees will be able to follow in his footsteps, doing activities involving everything from observing bees and birds to identifying orchids and carnivorous plants.
Elliot Nelson, one of the festival’s organizers, says Leopold was deeply engaged with his surroundings. According to Nelson, “what we’re trying to help inspire others to do is to have that same love and appreciation for the amazing natural world around us.”
The Aldo Leopold Festival runs May 30 to June 2 on the Les Cheneaux Islands, about 30 miles northeast of the Mackinac Bridge. Registration information and a full event schedule can be found on the festival’s website.