Video documentary about the beginnings of prairie preservation and restoration

Yellow Lady's Slipper Orchid
Photo by Charles Johannsen

Yellow Lady's Slipper Orchid

A filmmaker and board member of Sinnissippi Audubon (Rockford, IL) shot, produced and edited a documentary, "Aldo Leopold at Faville Grove", about the beginnings of prairie preservation and restoration.

In the 1930s and early 40s, Professor Aldo Leopold (known for  A Sand County Almanac ) undertook a study of upland game birds near Lake Mills, Wisconsin; a project which culminated with the saving of the first piece of virgin prairie as public land after he wrote a beautiful little essay, "Exit Orchis.". This video documents that story, with interviews with three of Leopold's children, graduate students, and others involved from 1935 until the present.

In 1960, Milwaukee Audubon purchased a buffer strip around the prairie to help protect it. In the last dozen years, Madison (Wisconsin) Audubon Society has coordinated efforts to purchase and restore hundreds of acres contiguous to the original prairie. Spokespersons for Madison Audubon describe the work.

An epilogue to the video documents the devastating flood damage of 2008; in which species loss was made less because of the extent of Audubon's restoration efforts.

The newsletter of the National Wildlife Institute called this documentary "worthwhile". It's available on Amazon.