Harford Historical Society hosts showing 'Green Fire,' award winning conservation film

The Historical Society of Harford County and the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation will host a screening of the award winning 2011 documentary film "Green Fire" Friday, Aug. 16, at 7 p.m. at the society's headquarters in Bel Air.

The film is Ken Burns-like look at the life of the late conservationist Aldo Leopold. Considered by many as the father of wildlife management and of the United States' wilderness system, Aldo Leopold was a conservationist, forester, philosopher, educator, writer, and outdoor enthusiast, according to the Aldo Leopold Foundation's website.

The historical society and MAEF have chosen to show the film as a way of introducing viewers to Leopold's connections to Harford County, explained Maryanna Skowronski, director of the society.

Between 1941 and 1954, Bel Air was the home of the nationally distributed agriculture and land conservation journal The Land.

Published out of the old Country Club Inn by residents Russell and Kate Lord, as the official voice of The Friends of the Land organization, the quarterly journal was edited by Russell Lord and illustrated by Kate Lord. The Country Club Inn was at Bond and Thomas streets, later the site of the old Polan shopping center and now the parking lot for the Mary E.W. Risteau District Courts building, Skowronski said.

Aldo Leopold was among the prominent artists and writers with an interest in land conservation and responsible farmland use whose works were included in The Land. Other well known contributors included Rachel Carson, author of "Silent Spring;" Gifford Pinchot, first chief of the U.S. Forestry Service and a governor of Pennsylvania; J.N. "Ding" Darling of waterfowl fame; Bill Mauldin, a prominent cartoonist; E. B. White, author of "Charlotte's Web," "The Trumpet of the Swan" and "Stuart Little;" John Dos Passos, Louis Bromfield, Henry Wallace, James Thurber and many others.

Tickets are $8 per person (teacher discount $6) and includes popcorn and soft drinks. Reservations are encouraged; however, tickets may be purchased at the door. For more information call the society at 410-838-7691. The society is at 143 N. Main St. in the old Bel Air Post Office.

Following the film screening, an informal panel discussion and question and answer session will take place. Participants will include Mary Umbarger Corddry, a former staff member of The Land and later a reporter for The Baltimore Sun; Peg Niland, executive director of the Harford Land Trust; Bill Amoss, chief of Agriculture and Historic Preservation for Harford County; Frank M. Lopez, DNR Forester; and Peggy Eppig from the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation.

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