Over the last several months I’ve watched a couple of interesting prairie, land restoration and land ethic films. The first of these was ‘Greenfire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time.’ A documentary about environmentalist Aldo Leopold, how he grew into an environmentalist, the land ethic he lived by, and the work he performed. In addition the movie covered the influence he’s had on people and how he inspired people to pick up his torch and save their own little piece of the environment. ‘Greenfire’ has been played on Wisconsin Public Television several times and is available through the Dane County Library System. To find screening or by a copy of the DVD you can go to Aldo Leopold Foundation’s page for Greenfire.
The other film I recently watched was ‘America’s Lost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie.’ It traces the history of the tallgrass prairie from pre-settelment time until the present day. The movie outlines how the Native Americans lived in and took advantage of the tallgrass prairies; how the settlers plowed the prairies under for their fertile soil; and how today some of the tallgrass prairies are coming back to life. The UW Arboretum has the distinction of being the first place to try to restore a prairie. It shows beautiful scenes from many restored prairies in the tallgrass region. If you would like to see ‘America’s Lost Landscape’ there will be a showing at Southwest Wisconsin Prairie Festival this Friday, September 7, 2012 – 7pm at Folklore Village. (This movie is also available from the library.)
If you can’t make the film showing on Friday you may still want to come out to the Southwest Wisconsin Prairie Festival on Saturday, September 8. There are lots of activities planned: guided prairie walks; children’s activities; music and barn dance; Jerry Apps will speak, 4-H photography exhibit; adult art and photography lessons; and informational displays and talks. I know I plan to attend!