A “Tribute to the Life and Work of Woodswoman Anne LaBastille” will be presented in a program by Adirondack native and friend Leslie Surprenant at 1 p.m. Sept. 30 in Herkimer College’s Sarkus-Busch Theater, CC 247, in the Robert McLaughlin College Center.
Anne LaBastille (1933-2011) was an author and ecologist who is best known for her “Woodswoman” book series, a set of four memoirs spanning four decades of her life in the Adirondack Mountains and chronicling her relationship with the wilderness. Inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden,” LaBastille purchased land on the edge of Twitchell Lake in the Adirondacks, where she built a log cabin in 1964. She became a licensed New York State Guide in the 1970s and gave wilderness workshops and lectures for more than 40 years. She was on the Adirondack Park Agency Board of Commissioners for 17 years and traveled around the world and worked with many non-profit organizations to study and alleviate the destructive effects of acid rain and pollution on lakes and wildlife.
Leslie Surprenant is an Adirondack native and grew up in Eagle Bay, where she became a long-time friend of LaBastille. Retired from a 35-year career with the Department of Environmental Conservation in 2016, she is working hard to create a lasting LaBastille legacy and develop a special tribute to help share the remarkable life of this trail blazer with LaBastille’s fans and to inspire new generations.
The program is free and open to the public. It is being co-sponsored by the Herkimer County Historical Society, the “Women Belong in History Books” Committee, and Herkimer College during Fall Fest Alumni Weekend. For more information, call 315-866-6413.