Events & Classes

  • WALKS

    Early Migrants

    Sunday, March 29 • 1 pm – 2:30 pm

    Birds are returning from the south. Neo-tropical migrants spend the winter in Central and South America, then return here to nest.We will look for early migrants, and early nesters among our yearlong residents.

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Ecological Restoration Work Party: Wingra Oak Savanna

    Saturday, April 4 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at Arbor Drive parking lot, off Monroe Street.

  • WALKS

    Night Walk: Skydance

    Saturday, April 4 • 6:30 pm – 8 pm

    The American woodcock is a funny–looking bird that has an amazing spring ritual for attracting mates. We can never guarantee that wildlife will appear on cue, but we can usually hear and see woodcock performances near the Arboretum Visitor Center.

  • WALKS

    Transitions

    Sunday, April 5 • 1 pm – 2:30 pm

    Early spring can have variable weather, influencing plant awakenings and animal behavior. Walk with the naturalist to areas where changes are most evident.

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Ecological Restoration Work Party: Wingra Oak Savanna

    Saturday, April 11 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at Arbor Drive parking lot, off Monroe Street. NOTE: This work party has moved from the core area because of a scheduled run through the Arboretum.

  • WALKS

    Effigy Mounds in the Arboretum

    Sunday, April 12 • 1 pm – 3 pm

    The Arboretum contains rare, intact mound groups built more than 1,000 years ago. On this tour, which features the mounds in Wingra and Gallistel Woods, you’ll learn about these ancient earthworks and the humans who built them

  • WALKS

    Family Walk: All About Frogs

    Sunday, April 12 • 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

    In April frogs emerge from their winter homes and start calling from local ponds. Join us as we learn which frogs are active in the Arboretum.

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Ecological Restoration Work Party: Grady Tract

    Saturday, April 18 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at the Grady Tract parking lot at the intersection of Seminole Hwy. and the Beltline south Frontage Road

  • CLASS

    What Bird is That?

    Saturday, April 18 • 9 am – 12:30 pm

    An indoor and outdoor introduction to bird identification. Bring binoculars and a field guide. Instructor: Levi Wood, Arboretum Naturalist. Registration required.

  • WALKS

    For Love of the Earth

    Sunday, April 19 • 1 pm – 2:30 pm

    This week marks Earth Day, and John Muir’s birthday. Eighty years ago today, the first lilacs were planted at the Arboretum. Join the naturalist to search for signs of spring and renewal.

  • GARDEN TOURS

    Native Plant Garden Tour: Early Signs of Spring on Earth Day

    Wednesday, April 22 • 7 pm – 8:30 pm

    As trees and shrubs begin to leaf out, Dutchman’s breeches, twin-leaf and rue-anemones might be blooming in the woodland gardens. In our prairie gardens, we may find Pasque flower, prairie smoke and bird’s-foot violet.

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Ecological Restoration Work Party: Core Area and Curtis Prairie

    Saturday, April 25 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • CLASS

    Dragonflies

    Saturday, April 25 • 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm

    Dragonflies are a common sight on most lakes and ponds throughout the world from spring to fall of most years. Learn about their ecology,
    their role in ecosystems and their use as indicators of changes in water
    quality and climate. Instructor: Dr. Robert Bohanan.

  • EARTH PARTNERSHIP FOR FAMILIES

    Woodland Wildflowers

    Sunday, April 26 • 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm

    Explore the beauty of the maple woods in spring. Learn the names and lifecycles of spring ephemerals and discover how these flowers are pollinated. This program is a drop-in event starting at 12:30 p.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m. A naturalist-led hike will take place from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

  • WALKS

    Woodland Wildflowers

    Sunday, April 26 • 1 pm – 2:30 pm

    As spring progresses, more flowers emerge. We will look for windflower, troutlily, rue–anemone, and Virginia bluebells along the trails of our restored woodlands.

  • GARDEN TOURS

    Longenecker Horticultural Gardens Tour: Early Spring Flowering Woody Ornamentals

    Wednesday, April 29 • 7 pm – 8:30 pm

    This tour, led by Michael Jesiolowski, Horticulturist, will include the yellow and Little Girl Series magnolias, early lilacs and rhododendrons, and other spring flowering plants.

  • CLASS

    Photography Walk for Beginners

    Saturday, May 2 • 8:30 am – 10:30 am

    Join us to practice nature photography in a variety of ecosystems and light conditions after brief indoor instruction. Instructors: Arboretum naturalists Tom Pearce and Molly Fifield-Murray.

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Ecological Restoration Work Party: Wingra Oak Savanna

    Saturday, May 2 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Volunteer forrestoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at Arbor Drive parking lot, off Monroe Street.

  • CLASS

    All About Bluebirds

    Saturday, May 2 • 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

    Walk along the Arboretum’s 25–year–old bluebird trail in Longenecker Gardens and learn about Eastern bluebird life and behavior, reasons for bluebird decline, and our current restoration efforts. Dress for the weather.

  • SPECIAL EVENT

    Badger Trolley Tours

    Sunday, May 3 • 1 pm – 3 pm

    Free narrated Badger Trolley tours begin at 1, 2, and 3 p.m. See what’s in bloom in Longenecker Gardens, view prairie and woodland spring color, and learn about the Arboretum’s history and purpose. Tickets required, available day of tours. Visitor Center opens at 12:30 p.m.

  • WALKS

    Spring Wildflowers on the Grady Tract

    Sunday, May 3 • 1 pm – 3 pm

    Naturalist–led hike to look for wildflowers in the oak openings and prairies of the Grady Tract. Meet at the Grady Tract parking lot.

  • WALKS

    Night Walk: Sunset Serenade

    Sunday, May 3 • 7:30 pm – 9 pm

    Naturalist–led hike to take in the sights and sounds of a late spring evening. Moon rises at 7:42 p.m., sun sets at 8:01. Meet at Visitor Center.

  • GARDEN TOURS

    Longenecker Horticultural Gardens Tour: Flowering Crabapples and Lilacs

    Wednesday, May 6 • 7 pm – 8:30 pm

    In this tour, Eileen Nelson, UW Dept. of Horticulture, will concentrate on flowering crabapples and present highlights in the Gardens’ large lilac collection.

  • FRIENDS OF THE ARBORETUM EVENT

    Native Plant Sale

    Saturday, May 9 • 9 am – 2 pm

    Come to the big tent to fulfill all your native–plant gardening needs.

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Ecological Restoration Work Party: Wingra Oak Savanna

    Saturday, May 9 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at Arbor Drive parking lot, off Monroe Street.

  • WALKS

    Mother’s Day Walk: Spring Sampler

    Sunday, May 10 • 1 pm – 2 pm

    Naturalist–led hike exploring the Arboretum’s woodlands, wetlands and prairie. Bring mom to see the wildflowers!

  • SPECIAL EVENT

    Badger Trolley Tours

    Sunday, May 10 • 1 pm – 3 pm

    Free narrated Badger Trolley tours begin at 1, 2, and 3 p.m. See what’s in bloom in Longenecker Gardens, view prairie and woodland spring color, and learn about the Arboretum’s history and purpose. Tickets required, available day of tours. Visitor Center opens at 12:30 p.m.

  • WALKS

    Family Walk: Spring Is Here

    Sunday, May 10 • 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

    Naturalist–led hike tailored to families with young children. We’ll explore the prairies, woodlands, or wetlands near the Visitor Center

  • GARDEN TOURS

    Longenecker Horticultural Gardens Tour: Azaleas and Rhododendrons

    Wednesday, May 13 • 7 pm – 8:30 pm

    On this tour, Dr. Deb McCown will discuss growing and caring for azaleas and rhododendrons in the Madison area.

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Ecological Restoration Work Party: Grady Tract

    Saturday, May 16 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at the Grady Tract parking lot at the intersection of Seminole Hwy. and the Beltline south Frontage Road.

  • WALKS

    Springtime on the Grady Tract

    Sunday, May 17 • 1 pm – 3 pm

    Naturalist–led hike to look for wildflowers on the former Grady and Henderson land. Meet at Grady Tract parking lot, southeast corner of Seminole Hwy and the West Beltline.

  • SPECIAL EVENT

    Badger Trolley Tours

    Sunday, May 17 • 1 pm – 3 pm

    Free narrated Badger Trolley tours begin at 1, 2, and 3 p.m. See what’s in bloom in Longenecker Gardens, view prairie and woodlands spring color, and learn about the Arboretum’s history and purpose. Tickets required, available day of tours. Visitor Center opens at 12:30 p.m.

  • GARDEN TOURS

    Longenecker Horticultural Gardens Tour: Spring Highlights

    Wednesday, May 20 • 7 pm – 8:30 pm

    Enjoy special spring beauty in our woody plant collection on this tour led by Eileen Nelson, UW Dept. of Horticulture.

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Ecological Restoration Work Party: Core Area and Curtis Prairie

    Saturday, May 23 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • EARTH PARTNERSHIP FOR FAMILIES

    Critters in the Pond

    Sunday, May 24 • 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm

    Join us to learn about the animals that live in Teal pond. Frogs, turtles, and tiny water critters are a few of the creatures that will be explored. This program is a drop-in event starting at 12:30 p.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m. A naturalist-led hike will take place from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

  • WALKS

    West Curtis Prairie and Noe Woods

    Sunday, May 24 • 1 pm – 3 pm

    The western portion of the Curtis Prairie is the site of the first–ever prairie restoration, begun by the Civilian Conservation Corps 80 years ago. Noe Woods has been studied since the 1930s to document changes in woodlands.

  • GARDEN TOURS

    Longenecker Horticultural Gardens Tour: Small Ornamental Trees

    Wednesday, May 27 • 7 pm – 8:30 pm

    This tour, led by Eileen Nelson, UW Dept. of Horticulture, will highlight some of the Arboretum’s interesting and unusual ornamental small trees.

  • WALKS

    Early Summer on the Grady Oak Savannas and Greene Prairie

    Sunday, May 31 • 1 pm – 3 pm

    Explore the mosaic of grasses dotted with color from phlox, blue-eyed grass, yellow star grass and up to 30 other species. Meet at the Grady Tract parking lot, southeast corner of Seminole Hwy and the West Beltline.