Take a look at a Vineyard book shelf and you’re likely to find The History of Martha’s Vineyard by Charles Banks or Moraine to Marsh by Anne Hale. For conservationists, Aldo Leopold’s book A Sand County Almanac published in 1949 is equally iconic.
“I think anybody can be inspired by what he wrote,” Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation director Adam Moore said this week. “It’s one of the key pieces of literature in our environmental history in this country.”
On Saturday, Sheriff’s Meadow and the Vineyard Conservation Society have partnered together to show a documentary on Mr. Leopold’s life and his influence on the conservation movement. The film, Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time, will be screened at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center at 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 for non-members and $7 for film center members.
A graduate of the Yale School of Forestry, Mr. Leopold was one of the early advocates for keeping the wilderness in its natural state. Over his tenure, he helped designate several national forests as preserved wilderness areas, published textbooks on wildlife management and became the country’s first professor of wildlife management and ecology at the University of Wisconsin. A Sand County Almanac was published posthumously.
The film is the beginning of a new series of educational programs offered by Sheriff’s Meadow.
“What we’d like to do is have events like this that have an educational value to them,” Mr. Moore said. The new program is being funded by a grant from the Edey Foundation and will include films, lectures and guided walking tours.
The outreach effort will get students out of the classroom, too. Rebecca Solway, a West Tisbury School teacher, is leading the school programs and creating a site specific curriculum to use at Cedar Tree Neck Sanctuary in West Tisbury.
“Teachers can go out there, use the trail and have students learn about things that are complimentary to what the teachers are trying to do in the classroom,” Mr. Moore said. “We hope it can reinforce the concepts that they’re trying to convey.”
The program will begin at Cedar Tree, the organization’s landmark property, with an eye towards creating similar programs at other properties. The school program will begin next fall.
“We hope students come away knowing the lands and knowing that it’s part of their heritage and here on the Island to use and enjoy. We want them to develop personal connections to the land.”