Aldo Leopold Festival 2023

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Aldo Leopold Festival 2023

Les Cheneaux welcomes you to celebrate the legacy of Aldo Leopold — one of America’s most influential naturalists the 1st weekend in June.

By Hessel School House

When and where

Date and time

May 31 · 8am - June 4 · 12pm EDT


Hessel School House - Avery Arts & Nature Learning Center 3206 Cedar Street Hessel, MI 49745

Refund Policy

Contact the organizer to request a refund.
Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

About this event

  • 4 days 4 hours

Les Cheneaux welcomes you to celebrate the legacy of Aldo Leopold — one of America’s most influential naturalists. During our festival, May 31st – June 4th, 2023, you will enjoy a variety of nature-based activities including guided nature hikes, orchid and wildflower tours, birding trips and presentations, lectures, and much more. Experience the woods and water that formed Leopold’s early impressions of the natural world as we honor the mark he made on conservation and the environment. With your purchase of a festival pass you have access to over 60 different free events over the five day festival.

Festival Pass is $50.00 per person. The pass provides entry to all day time and evening programs, a majority of which have no additional fee. Some events have an additional cost which is shown. If the event you would like to attend is full, contact Hessel School House to be placed on a waiting list. Call 906.484.1333 or email:

To preview the schedule of events below prior to purchasing your festival pass, you can view the "agenda" section below, browse the add-ons section by day and time slot, or download our festival program. A FESTIVAL PASS IS REQUIRED TO ATTEND ANY OF THE ADD-ON EVENTS.

Please watch this short video to familiarize yourself with the registration process.




Wednesday is Adventure Day! Whether you want to immerse yourself in an “up-north” experience, take a deep dive into forest management, learn how to develop a personal land ethic or take better photos...

8:00 AM - 3:30 PM

A Day in "da Woods"

Ken Drenth

Rob Routledge

Kevin St. Onge

Steve Baker

A Day in “da Woods” Join Steve Baker, Rob Routledge, Kevin St. Onge, and Ken Drenth as they take you on a spring “hunting trip” through a section of state and private forest properties. Hunt for vern...

8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Using Leopold's Writings to Develop a Personal Land Ethic

Dr. Gail Luera

Aldo Leopold’s writings and life-long practice involved a close observation of the local environment over time. This phenological practice cultivated his land ethic. Using "A Sand County Almanac" as ...

9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Exploring Drummond Island's Maxont Plains Alvar

Bob and Sheridan Haack

We'll first visit the Drummond Island Tourist Association (DITA) office for a brief introduction to the island. You'll have an opportunity to carpool if you wish. Then we'll drive to The Nature Conse...

9:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Forest Management

karen Rodock, MDNR Forester

Dave Jentoft, MDNR, Wildlife Biologist

Michael Paling, ABC Birds, Forester

Managing State and private forests can be a rewarding experience. On this adventure, join a state forester, a state wildlife biologist, and a non-profit forester working with private land owners on m...

9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Forest Bathing

Maureen Stine, Certified Forest Therapy Guide

Forest Bathing is inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, which translates to Forest Bathing. Studies have demonstrated a wide array of health benefits, especially in the cardiovascular a...

2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Mindful Meditation in Nature

Sarah Banch

Numerous studies have shown time spent in nature improves our physical, mental, and emotional health. Immersing ourselves outdoors pulls us away from our disconnected, technology driven world and anx...

2:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Smartphone Photograpy

Sue Bakkila

The best camera is the camera you have on you – and today that is most often our smartphones. This workshop, a mix of both lecture and short photo walks, will help you take advantage of your phone’s ...

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to purchase a Festival pass to attend classes and workshops?
What should I bring for my outdoor activities?
Can I bring my pet to the festival.
Can I use bird call apps while on my tour?

About the organizer

Organized by
Hessel School House
$0 – $50