National Wildlife Week with Frederic Leopold

Sometimes when digging through the archives, we find amazing connections from the past. While sorting through materials in the Frederic Leopold Papers collection for the AvIAn project, a letter written to Frederic Leopold from a student was found, discussing the day he had spent with the Sperry Elementary students during National Wildlife Week in 1973. Fortunately for us, we have copies of a newspaper article from that very day!


Frederic Leopold was a wildlife conservationist from Burlington, Iowa. When he was not working for the family desk business, he was studying birds in his own backyard. Frederic developed a deep interest in the dwindling wood duck population and focused his efforts on keeping them in the area. Frederic Leopold was also the younger brother of Aldo Leopold, another famous conservationist from the time.


Black and white image of an article from the Mediapolis New Era in 1973 showing a group of students at the Sperry school

Article from the Mediapolis New Era, Thursday, March 29, 1973 MS 113 Box 1 Folder 2

Black and white image of Leopold with students from the Sperry school

Article from the Mediapolis New Era, Thursday, March 29, 1973 MS 113 Box 1 Folder 2

Leopold was invited to speak to the students of Sperry Elementary about the work that he does and brought along slides to show them. The students even prepared a wood duck shaped cake on his behalf!


This year, National Wildlife Week fell during March 11-15, and has been recognized yearly since its start in 1938. The week was started to raise public awareness for the wildlife around us every day. To learn more about National Wildlife Week, check out this article published by the National Wildlife Federation.





A letter to Frederick Leopold from a Sperry student (1)A letter to Frederick Leopold from a Sperry student (2)

A letter to Frederick Leopold from a Sperry student