Ed Hasselkus Curator Endowment Campaign

The Arboretum has come a long way -- transforming run-down farm land to the world's first restored prairie and native woodlands. With Aldo Leopold as its first director, the Arboretum has made history in the field of restoration ecology since it was dedicated in 1934.

Depending on the season you visit the UW-Madison Arboretum’s Longenecker Horticultural Gardens, you may see one of 75 magnolia varieties in full bloom, or stroll through the most up-to-date flowering crabapple collection in the world. Here you may explore a diverse arborvitae collection, considered among the best in North America. While Longenecker’s woody plant collections draw local affection and international attention, they are not the heart of the gardens. Rather, if you visit any day of the week, spring through fall, you’ll find a tall gentleman in a tan sun hat, tool in hand, working in the gardens. With a genuine smile and deep enthusiasm, this legendary figure will help you locate any tree or shrub, relate the history of how it came to the gardens, and maybe even tell a joke.  This dedicated and knowledgeable man, the charm behind Longenecker Horticultural Gardens, is Professor Emeritus Edward Hasselkus.

Since 1966, Dr. Hasselkus has been the curator of Longenecker Horticultural Gardens, only the second curator in Longenecker’s 75 year history. Even though he officially retired in 1994, Professor Hasselkus has spent much of his time since then volunteering as the garden curator. Throughout his career, he’s mentored over 3,000 students who have become well known in the green industry and in horticultural teaching. In addition, many loyal volunteers describe his positive impact on their lives, through his eternal optimism and upbeat personality and his ability to teach anyone in any venue.

The Ed Hasselkus Curator Endowment Fund was initiated by Ed and Betty Hasselkus, and isgrowing through donors’ generous contributions. It will support future curators who will tend and shape Longenecker Horticultural Gardens so that it continues to teach, inspire and delight new generations of students, professionals and visitors.

Please join us in creating Longenecker Horticultural Garden’s future, through making a gift to the Hasselkus Curator Fund. Please make a a gift online or contact Susan Halverson at sghalver@wisc.edu or 608-262-2746 for more information. Your gift today will support the Gardens for many seasons to come. 

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