Although he was a prolific writer, Leopold taught the most through example. To get away from the “bigger and better society,” as he put it, Leopold would venture with his family to “the Shack,” a renovated chicken coop that sat on acres of rundown land on the Wisconsin River. Leopold and his family would reside in “the Shack” during breaks from school, and together they filled their time and the once-barren land by planting trees. Slowly, wildlife came from forests nearby, and the desolate property became a natural oasis.
Leopold’s contributions to society continued after his death in 1948 when an assemblage of his essays was published as A Sand County Almanac. More than 2 million copies of his almanac have been sold. Leopold’s children, Starker, Luna, Nina, Carl, and Estella, also kept their father’s legacy alive through environmental advocacy.
Leopold’s bench design, a seat that blends in and exists peacefully among gardens, represents Leopold’s view of how humans should interact with nature. His life reminds us to sit quietly, observe our surroundings, and recognize we are all a part of “the land.”