“Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins as in art with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language. The quality of cranes lies, I think, in this higher gamut, as yet beyond the reach of words.”
—Aldo Leopold, “Marshland Elegy,” A Sand County Almanac.
You can register now to attend the second annual Great Midwest Crane Fest—”celebrating community and conservation”—in Baraboo, Wisconsin (near Wisconsin Dells), Friday and Saturday, November 10-11, and revel in one of nature’s most-adored mainstage shows.
It’s like stepping back in time to watch a natural phenomenon that we almost lost forever. Early last century, only a few dozen cranes remained in Wisconsin. Today, this annual gathering stands as one of conservation’s outstanding success stories. Thousands upon thousands of majestic, bugling sandhill cranes once again follow their primordial, pre-migratory urge and congregate annually on the Wisconsin River’s banks and islands just behind the world-famous Leopold family Shack and farm.
“So, so spectacular,” said one first-year festivalgoer. “I always thought I’d have to go to Nebraska’s Platte River to witness such an eye-popping display of winged wildness. But here it is, right in our own backyard!”
The festival will feature lectures, workshops, food, crane art, and tours of each organization’s world-class attractions.
The International Crane Foundation will provide guided Cranes of the World tours through its recently renovated grounds, where visitors can view all 15 species of cranes living in re-created environs from around the world, including its rarest, the Whooping Crane. In addition, there will be a special screening of the film, “Mates for Life,” in the theater at the Visitors Welcome Center.
At the Aldo Leopold Foundation, visitors will enjoy hiking trails through restored prairie and savanna landscapes, crane congregation viewing from blinds in nearby fields and along the Wisconsin River, and guided tours of the Leopold Shack and farm, a National Historic Landmark and place of inspiration behind Aldo Leopold’s poetic, conservation masterwork, A Sand County Almanac.
For the schedule of events, ticket prices, and to register, view the festival website. Limited parking will be available at the International Crane Foundation on Shady Lane Road and the Aldo Leopold Foundation on Levee Road. In addition, overflow parking will be available at the nearby Ho-Chunk Gaming, and complimentary shuttles will circulate between parking and both locations throughout the festival.
Special thanks to our presenting sponsor, Culvers, and to our Friend sponsors, Ugly Biscuits Bed and Breakfast and Wegner CPAs.