Events & Classes

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Ecological Restoration Work Party: Core Area and Curtis Prairie

    Saturday, August 23 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Meet at the front steps of the Visitor Center.

    Ecological restoration emphasizes creating and managing healthy native plant communities. Saturday work parties are organized as drop-in opportunities (individuals need not register in advance).

    Activities include cutting brush from remnant and restored areas, removing invasive plants, and burn unit preparation. You’ll learn about the Arboretum and its plant communities. Tools and training provided. We encourage volunteers from all backgrounds and experience levels. All tools, equipment, instruction, and refreshments are provided. Participants are advised to wear long pants, sturdy shoes, work gloves and other seasonally appropriate clothing. Insect repellent is also quite useful. Youths 12-17 are welcome when accompanied by a parent or guardian, with advance arrangements.

    For more information: 265-5214 or mlfarrior@wisc.edu.

  • CLASS

    Introduction to Rain Gardening

    Saturday, August 23 • 1 pm – 3:30 pm

    This class will cover design, placement, plants, and planting of rain gardens. Instructor: Molly Fifield-Murray. Fee: $18 ($16 FOA). Registration require

  • EARTH PARTNERSHIP FOR FAMILIES

    Listen to the Buzzzzz of the Prairie

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

    Join us to listen to the late summer sounds of the prairie and discover birds, grasshoppers, crickets, bumblebees and maybe even the rustle of a snake slithering through the grass. Ongoing drop-in activities at the Visitor Center from 12:30-3:30, naturalist-led hike from 1:30-2:30.
  • WALKS

    Sample of Dane County in 1834

    Sunday, August 24 • 1 pm – 2:30 pm

    Restored prairie, savanna and wetlands near the Visitor Center provide an example of what Dane County looked like in the 1830s. Restoration was an unknown adventure when started here in 1934. Many different experiments have resulted in what is here today.

  • WALKS

    Prairies and Savannas on the Grady Tract

    Sunday, August 31 • 1 pm – 3 pm

    Now is a good time to see the contrast between the sandy, dry West Knoll and wet-mesic Greene Prairie. Meet in the Grady Tract parking lot located at the southeast corner of the Beltline and Seminole Hwy intersection

  • SPECIAL EVENT

    Labor Day – Visitor Center Closed

    Monday, September 1 • 9:30 am – 4 pm

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Ecological Restoration Work Party: Wingra Oak Savanna.

    Saturday, September 6 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training are provided, and groups are welcome with advance notice. Meet at the gravel parking lot along Arbor Drive just off Monroe Street. For more information contact Marian Farrior at 608.265.5214 or mlfarrior@wisc.edu. Work parties are cancelled in bad weather.

  • WALKS

    Night Walk

    Saturday, September 6 • 7:30 pm – 9 pm

    Last choruses of night calling insects, migrating birds and autumn skies enrich this first night walk of the fall.

  • WALKS

    Curtis Prairie Walk

    Sunday, September 7 • 1 pm – 2:30 pm

    The tall–grass prairie is at its peak both of height and color. Big bluestem could be more than 8 feet tall and will have turned a beautiful red color for fall.

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Arboretum Ecological Restoration Work Party: Core Area and Curtis Prairie

    Saturday, September 13 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training are provided, and groups are welcome with advance notice. Meet at the front steps of the Visitor Center. For more information contact Marian Farrior at 608.265.5214 or mlfarrior@wisc.edu. Work parties are cancelled in bad weather.

  • WALKS

    Fall Flowers in Grady Oak Savanna and Greene Prairie

    Sunday, September 14 • 1 pm – 3 pm

    Enjoy a late summer walk through goldenrods, asters, sunflowers and gentians. Meet at the Grady Tract parking lot located at the southeast corner of the Beltline and Seminole Highway.

  • WALKS

    Family Walk: Fun with Fungi

    Sunday, September 14 • 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

    This family–friendly walk is about mushrooms growing in the natural areas and wood chip mulch of the gardens.

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Ecological Restoration Work Party: Grady Tract.

    Saturday, September 20 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Meet at the parking lot at the southeast corner of Seminole Hwy and the Beltline frontage road. For more information: 265-5214 or mlfarrior@wisc.edu Work parties are cancelled in bad weather.

  • GARDEN TOURS

    Native Plant Garden Tour: Fall in the Native Plant Garden

    Saturday, September 20 • 1 pm – 2:30 pm

    Color, fruits, seeds, late blooming plants, late-season insects—we will find these and more in the varied native plant gardens around the Visitor Center.

  • SPECIAL EVENT

    Native by Design: Gardening for a Sustainable Future

    Sunday, September 21 • 8:45 am – 4:30 pm

    Experts will lead you step-by-step through developing, maintaining, and improving your garden. Beginners through experienced gardeners are welcome. Come with questions, learn from fellow gardeners, and go home with inspiration and practical resources. Lunch provided. Dress for the weather.

    Keynote address by Doug Tallamy, Professor and Chair, Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware, and author of Bringing Nature Home: How you can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants.

  • WALKS

    Ecosystem Sampler

    Sunday, September 21 • 1 pm – 2:30 pm

    See what is going on in the restored woodlands, wetlands and prairies near the Visitor Center.

  • WALKS

    Night Walk: Equinox

    Monday, September 22 • 6:30 pm – 8 pm

    Watch the sunset on the autumnal equinox on this naturalist–led tour and learn more about this annual occurrence

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Ecological Restoration Work Party: Core Area and Curtis Prairie

    Thursday, September 25 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training are provided, and groups are welcome with advance notice. Meet at the front steps of the Visitor Center. For more information contact Marian Farrior at 608.265.5214 or mlfarrior@wisc.edu. Work parties are cancelled in bad weather.

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Ecological Restoration Work Party: Core Area and Curtis Prairie

    Saturday, September 27 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training are provided, and groups are welcome with advance notice. Meet at the front steps of the Visitor Center. For more information contact Marian Farrior at 608.265.5214 or mlfarrior@wisc.edu. Work parties are cancelled in bad weather.

  • SPECIAL EVENT

    Living with the Land Author Series: Stephen A. Laubach, author of Living a Land Ethic: A History of Cooperative Conservation on the Leopold Memorial Reserve

    Saturday, September 27 • 2 pm – 3 pm

    Laubach will read from his book and examine how the Leopold Reserve demonstrates an innovative effort in private conservation connected to the modern land trust movement. He will also share unexpected findings from his research including rare video footage of Aldo Leopold fly-fishing in northern Wisconsin

  • EARTH PARTNERSHIP FOR FAMILIES

    Nature’s Transformers

    Sunday, September 28 • 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm

    Come learn about transformations insects make throughout their lives and the fascinating stories that go with them. Learn about insect homes and the changes that take place within. Drop-in activities at the Visitor Center with a naturalist led walk at 1:30.

  • WALKS

    Grady Grasslands: West Knoll Oak Savanna and Greene Prairie

    Sunday, September 28 • 1 pm – 3 pm

    We will look for the five species of gentian that grow here as well as asters and goldenrods. Meet at the Grady Tract parking lot located at the southeast corner of the West Beltline and Seminole Highway.

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Ecological Restoration Work Party: Wingra Oak Savanna

    Saturday, October 4 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training are provided, and groups are welcome with advance notice. Meet at the gravel parking lot along Arbor Drive just off Monroe Street. For more information contact Marian Farrior at 608.265.5214 or mlfarrior@wisc.edu. Work parties are cancelled in bad weather.

  • WALKS

    Night Walk: Under the Autumn Moon

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

    On a night of the waxing gibbous moon, join the naturalist to enjoy nature in late fall.

  • WALKS

    Woodlands

    Sunday, October 5 • 1 pm – 2:30 pm

    Return to the restored woodlands with the naturalist to observe the beginning of fall color.

  • SPECIAL EVENT

    Trolley Tours

    Sunday, October 5 • 1:30 pm – 3 pm

    Free, narrated tours aboard the Badger Trolley begin at the Visitor Center. Free tickets available day of tours only at the Visitor Center. Tours last 45 minutes. View the Arboretum in beautiful fall color and learn more about the Arboretum’s history and purpose

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Core Area and Curtis Prairie

    Saturday, October 11 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training are provided, and groups are welcome with advance notice. Meet at the front steps of the Visitor Center. For more information contact Marian Farrior at 608.265.5214 or mlfarrior@wisc.edu. Work parties are cancelled in bad weather.

  • GARDEN TOURS

    Longenecker Horticultural Gardens Tour: Featuring Fall

    Saturday, October 11 • 1 pm – 3 pm

    Don’t miss the lovely range of fall color in our woody plant collection. Leaves, fruits and form will be highlighted in this tour, led by Laura Wyatt, WDNR Urban Forester.

  • SPECIAL EVENT

    Living with the Land Author Series: Cindy Crosby, author of “Pulling Weeds: Community” in The Tallgrass Prairie Reader

    Saturday, October 11 • 2 pm – 3 pm

    Crosby will discuss how working with a restoration group on the tallgrass prairie helped show the power of letting other people into your life, learning from them, and the things that can be accomplished as a community that you can’t do on your own.

  • WALKS

    Woodlands

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

    Enjoy what is usually the peak for fall color in the restored woodlands of the Arboretum.

  • SPECIAL EVENT

    Trolley Tours

    Sunday, October 12 • 1 pm – 3 pm

    Free, narrated tours aboard the Badger Trolley begin at the Visitor Center. Free tickets available day of tours only at the Visitor Center. Tours last 45 minutes. View the Arboretum in beautiful fall color and learn more about the Arboretum’s history and purpose.

  • WALKS

    Family Walk: Why do Leaves Change Color?

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

    Families can learn how to appreciate and understand the wonder of fall color in native trees and prairie grasses.

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Ecological Restoration Work Party: Grady Tract.

    Saturday, October 18 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Meet at the parking lot at the southeast corner of Seminole Hwy and the Beltline frontage road. For more information: 265-5214 or mlfarrior@wisc.edu Work parties are cancelled in bad weather.

  • SPECIAL EVENT

    Trolley Tours

    Sunday, October 19 • 1 pm – 3 pm

    Free, narrated tours aboard the Badger Trolley begin at 1, 2 and 3 p.m from the Visitor Center. Free tickets available day of tours only at the Visitor Center. Tours last 45 minutes. View the Arboretum in beautiful fall color and learn more about the Arboretum’s history and purpose.

  • WALKS

    Red Lanterns

    Sunday, October 19 • 1 pm – 2:30 pm

    Blackberry leaves turn bright red this month; according to Aldo Leopold, these show the best place to look for woodcock and grouse when hunting. We don’t have grouse here, so we will look for fall color, migrating white–throated sparrows and other fall delights.

  • SPECIAL EVENT

    Living with the Land Author Series: Richard Quinney, author of A Sense Sublime

    Saturday, October 25 • 2 pm – 3 pm

    Quinney’s books combine photography with autobiographical writing.

  • EARTH PARTNERSHIP FOR FAMILIES

    Bats, Spiders, and the Wise Old Owl

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

    Join us to learn about the animals associated with the dark nights of Halloween. Explore their habitats and discover the hidden stories of nature’s mysterious creatures. Drop in for activities in the Visitor Center. Naturalist led walk at 1:30.

  • WALKS

    Autumn Woodlands

    Sunday, October 26 • 1 pm – 2:30 pm

    Fallen and falling leaves, mushrooms and other delights are possible this time of year.

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Ecological Restoration Work Party: Wingra Oak Savanna

    Saturday, November 1 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training are provided, and groups are welcome with advance notice. Meet at the gravel parking lot along Arbor Drive just off Monroe Street. For more information contact Marian Farrior at 608.265.5214 or mlfarrior@wisc.edu. Work parties are cancelled in bad weather.

  • CLASS

    All About Owls

    Saturday, November 1 • 1 pm – 3 pm

    Naturalist Sylvia Marek will share insights to the world of owls.

  • WALKS

    Tour of the Lost City

    Sunday, November 2 • 1 pm – 3:30 pm

    While we always tour this area around Halloween, there is really nothing spooky about this abandoned dream of a Venice of the North. Learn more about this failed 1920s residential area and how understanding the land can be important for proper development. Program starts indoors with a brief overview of the Lost City project

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Ecological Restoration Work Party: Core Area and Curtis Prairie

    Saturday, November 8 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training are provided, and groups are welcome with advance notice. Meet at the front steps of the Visitor Center. For more information contact Marian Farrior at 608.265.5214 or mlfarrior@wisc.edu. Work parties are cancelled in bad weather.

  • SPECIAL EVENT

    Living with the Land Author Series: Michael A. Miller, co-author of Field Guide to Wisconsin Streams

    Saturday, November 8 • 2 pm – 3 pm

    Living with the Land Author Series: Michael A. Miller, co-author of Field Guide to Wisconsin Streams Fee:$5

  • WALKS

    Night Walk

    Saturday, November 8 • 6:30 pm – 8 pm

    The waning moon will light the way for this night walk. We will listen for animal activity and enjoy the night sky.

  • WALKS

    Autumn Woodlands

    Sunday, November 9 • 1 pm – 2:30 pm

    Fallen and falling leaves, mushrooms and other delights are possible this time of year.

  • WALKS

    Family Walk: Preparing for Winter.

    Sunday, November 9 • 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

    Join the naturalist on this short walk to see how the natural world is preparing for winter.
  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Ecological Restoration Work Party: Grady Tract.

    Saturday, November 15 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Meet at the parking lot at the southeast corner of Seminole Hwy and the Beltline frontage road.For more information see page 6.

  • WALKS

    The CCC and the Arboretum

    Sunday, November 16 • 1 pm – 2:30 pm

    In 1935 the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) arrived to set up the only CCC camp on a university campus. More than 200 men served here until the camp closed in 1941. Learn about their extraordinary efforts to restore the landscape of Wisconsin.

  • CLASS

    Creating with Patterns from Nature.

    Saturday, November 22 • 9 am – 3 pm

    Using patterns found in nature we will create holiday ornaments and gifts.
    Learn about the science and function of these patterns while having fun. Bring your own lunch. Materials will be provided. Registration required. Instructors: Marian Farrior and Amy Jo Dusick

  • VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS

    Ecological Restoration Work Party: Core Area and Curtis Prairie

    Saturday, November 22 • 9 am – 12 pm

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training are provided, and groups are welcome with advance notice. Meet at the front steps of the Visitor Center. For more information contact Marian Farrior at 608.265.5214 or mlfarrior@wisc.edu. Work parties are cancelled in bad weather.

  • EARTH PARTNERSHIP FOR FAMILIES

    Wonders of the White-tailed Deer

    Sunday, November 23 • 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm

    Come discover some fascinating facts about the white-tailed deer that live in our woods and prairies. Take a hike through their habitats and look for signs of their presence. Drop in for activities in the Visitor Center beginning at 12:30. Hike with naturalist at 1:30.

  • WALKS

    Thinking Like an Arboretum

    Sunday, November 23 • 1 pm – 2:30 pm

    Aldo Leopold’s essay “Thinking Like a Mountain” is the basis for this tour about the relationship between predators and prey, and the diversity of ecosystems.

  • WALKS

    Effigy Mounds in the Arboretum

    Sunday, November 30 • 1 pm – 3 pm

    Meet at the Wingra Springs Parking Lot. The Arboretum contains rare, intact mound groups remaining out of the hundreds built in our area 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 cultures that built them.