Athletic Events Policy

Running, biking and walking event organizers may apply to use the UW–Madison Arboretum's paved roads for events under the following conditions:

  1. Please read the full Athletic Events Policy before applying for a permit. Contact Denise Westphal, or (608) 262-2746, for a permit application. Applications must be submitted no more than eight (8) months and no less than two (2) months in advance of the event to:

    UW–Madison Arboretum
    Athletic Event Permits
    1207 Seminole Highway
    Madison, WI 53711

    Your application must be accompanied by a map of your course, your first-aid plan & volunteer plan.

    If any event involves using outdoor space where there are liability concerns, other University offices will be notified. These “Event Alert” recipients have 5 days to respond with questions/concerns. If potential questions/concerns are identified, the Arboretum will initiate meetings to clarify the questions, with the aim of confirming the event as soon as possible.*

  2. The event course must be on the paved road.

  3. The proposed use must not interfere with or detract from the teaching, research, and public service missions of the institution or the use of the facilities by organizations associated with the institution. (This part of the policy repeats section 21.04(b) of UW System Administrative Code).

  4. Event organizers are responsible for communicating the UW–Madison Arboretum's Athletic Events Policy to all participants and for compliance during the event.

  5. Liability for any event-related incidents rests with the event organizer and organizers must make arrangements for appropriate medical support for the event. Prior to printing your application forms your “release of liability” language must be approved by UW–Madison’s Risk Management Office.

    Risk Management
    21 N. Park Street, Suite 6101
    Madison, WI  53715
    (608) 262-8926
    FAX: (608) 262-9082

  6. Although not required in all cases, Risk Management reserves the right to require special events insurance for the event when warranted, and to require the University (special language required)** be named as an additional insured under that policy. Events insurance is also available through the Risk Management Office.

  7. Event organizers must station at least ten (10) event personnel along the course to ensure that participants follow the regulations. You may check with us for instructions about locating your volunteers.

  8. Suitable safety personnel must be stationed along the course. We require you to consult with UW police for events of 500 persons or more, and suggest that for all other events.

    UW Police Department
    1429 Monroe Street
    Madison, WI 53711
    Lt. Jason Whitney: (608) 265-3189

    Cost of police services must be borne by the organization sponsoring the event.

  9. For safety of all roadway users, run/walk participants must use the north lane (facing traffic), travel from west to east (from Seminole Hwy to Mills Street), and stay as far to the side of the road as possible. (Exceptions: Runners will travel east to west for Madison Marathon, Half-marathon and Mini events. Cyclists must bike in the north lane, travel from east to west in the same direction as other vehicular traffic (from Mills Street to Seminole Hwy), and stay as far to the side of the road as possible. Participants must yield to emergency vehicles and allow other vehicles to pass.

  10. Music, food, loud speakers and animals (except guide dogs) are not permitted. Inline skates, roller skates, skate boards, roller skis and similar wheeled devices are not permitted.

  11. A 30 in. x 30 in. sign, facing oncoming traffic, must be erected at Seminole Highway stone wall entrance and the Mills Street entrance just east of the bridge, cautioning motorists and other Arboretum visitors that an athletic event is in progress and to be alert for participants.

    Signs should be removed immediately after the event.

  12. Cones, flags or other removable mile markers and Directional Signs may be used. Road painting or other persistent markings are not permitted and will be considered graffiti.

  13. Water stands, if needed, must be placed at designated locations near the:

    • Wingra/Gallistel parking lot
    • Curtis Prairie parking lot
  14. Portable toilets, if required, must be located at a designated area in the Wingra Springs parking lot.

  15. Within two (2) hours of the event's conclusion, the event organizers shall remove from the Arboretum all litter and other evidence of the event.

  16. Any expenses incurred by UW–Madison Arboretum as a result of the event will be the responsibility of the sponsoring organization. See UWS 21.04 (2).

  17. Infringement of these rules may affect future eligibility for permits.

  18. All event participants must be out of the Arboretum by dusk.

Days not Available for Athletic Events

(Subject to change due to Arboretum events)

  • Weekdays before 4 p.m.
  • Sunday afternoons, due to public tours.
  • Second (2nd) and fourth (4th) Saturday of each month before 12:30 p.m., due to Core Area Volunteer Work parties.
  • Fourth (4th) Sunday afternoon of each month, due to Earth Partnership for Families programs.
  • First three (3) weekends of May, due to heavy visitation for warbler migration, Native Plant Sale, blooming crabapples, lilacs, and woodland wildflowers.
  • Last weekend of September and first three (3) weekends of October, due to heavy visitation for fall color.
  • The first Saturday of June, due to Friends of the Arboretum (FOA) Annual meeting.

*University of Wisconsin–Madison Facilities Use Guidelines G-14

**"The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, its Officers, Agents, and Employees are named as Additional Insureds regarding the (put name & date of your event here)..."