by Alice D'Alessio
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2020
Paper: 978-0-87020-950-5 | eISBN: 978-0-87020-951-2
Library of Congress Classification QH105.W6D34 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 333.7415309775

On a gray and drizzly day in 1983, writer Alice D’Alessio and her math professor husband, Laird, made their way down a curving, tree-lined driveway on their way to a picnic. They were visiting 110 acres of land in Wisconsin’s unglaciated Driftless Area that Laird had inherited from his parents. Emerging from the trees, Alice had her first glimpse of the valley that would become a twenty-five-year labor of love for the couple.
In Tending the Valley, Alice chronicles their efforts to return the land to its natural prairie state and to manage their oak and pine woods. Along the way they joined the land restoration movement, became involved in a number of stewardship groups, and discovered the depths of dedication and toil required to bring their dream to fruition. With hard-earned experience and the evocative language of a poet, D’Alessio shares her personal triumphs and setbacks as a prairie steward, along with a profound love for the land and respect for the natural history of the Driftless.