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Field Trips

Mid-week conference field trips include:

Menominee Nation: Tour of world-renowned MTE sustainable forestry operations and sustainability-oriented tribal college, history museum, and lunch/recreation along falls of the Wild & Scenic Wolf River.

Aldo Leopold Center:

Tour the Leopold shack and ALF green building/headquarters. During a guided tour of the historic Leopold Shack and Farm, participants will learn about the history and philosophy of Aldo Leopold, walk through landscapes that inspired A Sand County Almanac, and see the famous property where one of our nation’s first attempts at land restoration was launched. A knowledgeable tour guide will lead participants on a mile of easy walking trails through restored prairie, amongst pine trees planted by Aldo and his family, along the picturesque Wisconsin River, and inside Leopold’s “refuge from too much modernity” – the Shack.

Just a mile from the Leopold Shack is the Leopold Center, which serves as a visitor center as well as the Aldo Leopold Foundation headquarters. When the Leopold Center opened in 2007, it was among the “greenest” buildings in the nation – a 21st century reflection of Aldo Leopold’s land ethic. A tour of the building and grounds showcases how energy-efficient design, alternative energy technologies, and the use of local materials earned the Leopold Center its LEED Platinum certification and serves as an inspiration for others who wish to “live on a piece of land without spoiling it.”

Necedah Wildlife Refuge and Roche-a-Cri State Park: Necedah National Wildlife Refuge has one of the largest savanna restorations taking place in Wisconsin.  On the way back, the trip will stop to visit and hike in Roche-a-Cri State Park, which among other things protects a 300-foot-high rock outcropping and Native American petroglyphs and pictographs, and dining at a classic Wisconsin supper club.

Post-conference field trips include:

Horicon Marsh: Hiking, canoeing, birding, and learning about this unique product of social and ecological processes, the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the U.S. Horicon Marsh is a world-renowned destination for bird watching and a place with a fascinating environmental history. We propose to deviate from the regular field trip schedule and depart Oshkosh at 7:00 am to take advantage of bird watching opportunities. On the bus, Jim Feldman will talk about history of the marsh—dammed to create the world’s largest human-made made lake in 1847; then ditched and drained to support agriculture; then a burning wasteland as the exposed peat spontaneously combusted; then restored in the 1930s and now the largest cattail marsh in the country and a Wetland of International Importance under the United Nation’s Ramsar Convention. Horicon Marsh is also one of the premier birding destinations in the Midwest. The early departure will allow us to be on one of the marsh trails with our guide, Madison birding expert Kim Kreitinger, by 8:00 am with approximately 2 hours for birdwatching. We will then travel to the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s Horicon Marsh Visitor Center in Mayville, WI, to meet with USFWS Visitor Services Specialist Erin Railsback to discuss the current management priorities and challenges for the marsh. People can eat lunch at the visitor center, explore some of the exhibits and nearby trails on their own, and then return to Oshkosh on the bus.

Kayaking – Scenic Door County is about a 1.5 hour drive from Oshkosh. Much of it is a peninsula with Green Bay (the water body) on its Western shore and the in-land sea of Lake Michigan on its Eastern shore. Opportunities for kayaking and other fun abound.