Aldo Leopold chairsInstructor:  Matt Labrenz

Date of the class: Sunday, June 11, 2023

Time of the class: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Location: Pioneer Park - Outdoors near Workshop
(We will have overhead protection in case of rain, but please dress for the weather.)

Have you heard of a Leopold Bench? It is a chair designed by Aldo Leopold, a U.S. settler-colonial conservationist and author of A Sand County Almanac. Leopold began making his benches in the early 1940s from materials scrounged along the banks of the Wisconsin River. He placed them around the woods on his farm in central Wisconsin, which occupied unceded Ho-Chunk ancestral Lands, so folks could sit and observe and contemplate. The benches were meant to be outdoor furniture that would weather and blend in with the surroundings, eventually returning to earth.

Leopold BenchWith the help of Folk School instructors, you, too, can build one of these benches to put outside, in the woods, on the porch, or even in your home. They are simple and fun to make, and will last for years. They also can easily be lifted and turned to face different outlooks.

In this outdoor, hands-on workshop each person will make their own bench out of Alaska white spruce milled locally, in Goldstream Valley, which is unceded traditional territory of lower Tanana Dene Peoples.

Participants will use hand tools to measure angles, saw boards, plane and bevel edges, and drill holes. This is a youth-friendly project and adults are welcome to bring a young companion (one per adult) and work as a team building one chair.

This class will be held outdoors so please dress accordingly.

Age range: 18 and up. (Youth welcome with a co-learning adult – one per adult. Adult/child teams should register together and will work together to build one chair.)

Minimum number of students: 5

Leopold BenchMaximum number of students: 10

Cost: $60

Materials fee: $45

Contact: Matthew Labrenz:

Pre-registration: This event is pre-registration only. Please register by 2 days before the event. Registration will be closed after this time. 




Leopold Bench Leopold Bench

Are you interested in this class, but can’t take it? Tell us why!
Is the reason financial? We have scholarships available.