Ecology superstars are featured in the "Where's Aldo (Leopold)?" exhibit that opened Saturday in Reiman Gardens' Hughes Conservatory. Part of the gardens' yearlong Toys and Games theme, the exhibit is a play on the "Where's Waldo?" search-and-find puzzles.
Eight (nearly) life-sized busts are tucked among the tropical plants, flowering annuals and river birch trees on display in the conservatory. The black and white busts sport Waldo-like red and white striped scarves and hats knitted by gardens volunteers. The busts will be moved periodically, presenting a new search for returning visitors.
The eight ecology heroes featured in the exhibit are:
- Aldo Leopold, an Iowa native and conservationist known as the father of wildlife ecology
- Vandana Shiva, named a 2003 Time magazine environmental hero for promoting biodiversity in agriculture
- Norman Borlaug, an Iowa native and 1970 Nobel Peace Prize winner who founded the World Food Prize
- Rachel Carson, a marine biologist who authored a book about the threats of chemical exposure
- John Muir, the Sierra Club founder credited with launching the national park system
- Robert Bullard, an alum and environmental justice advocate for minority human populations located in polluted areas
- Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a 1993 Presidential Medal of Freedom winner for her work to preserve and protect the Florida Everglades
- Ed Pulaski, a U.S. Forest Service firefighter who saved nearly all of his crew during Idaho's "Great Fire of 1910"
Themed displays also are growing in the outside gardens. They include:
- "Herbs and Orbs" in the herb garden, featuring orb-shaped plants
- "Light Bright" in the campanile garden, featuring a grid of colorful plants with a dark backdrop
- "The Five Senses" in the children's garden, featuring plants to see, touch, smell, hear and (sometimes) taste
- "Fruit Ninjas" in the home production garden, highlighting the reproductive "fruit" of flowering plants