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UW-Madison Arboretum:Renowned for Research, Restoration, and Natural Beauty

One of the most beloved natural areas in the Madison area is the UW-Madison Arboretum. Located only about a mile south of the city center and the UW-Madison campus, the Arboretum comprises 1,200 acres of preserved natural spaces. The Arboretum property encompasses several unique features, including: • The world’s oldest restored prairie; • An extensive collection of other restored ecosystems; • The Longenecker Horticultural Gardens; and • A native plant garden surrounding the visitor center.

We’ll be visiting the Arboretum on Friday, June 24, as part of the 2022 Garden Bloggers Fling. Among others, three ecological thought-leaders are dedicated to the Arboretum’s work and gardens: Karen Oberhauser, director, who’s also a monarch butterfly expert; Susan Carpenter, native plant gardener, and an expert on the endangered rusty-patched bumblebee; and David Stevens, the Longenecker Gardens curator. Native plants likely to be blooming/peaking during mid-June at the Arboretum: Tradescantia ohiensis, Geranium maculatum, Anemone canadensis, Aquilegia canadensis, Baptisia alba, and Rosa spp., among many others. We’ll miss the peak of the horticultural garden’s crabapples, lilacs, and magnolias, but there may be a few late-blooming lilacs and magnolias.

In addition to its natural beauty and recreational opportunities, the Arboretum is also a place of learning and research. UW alumnus Aldo Leopold, known to many as the father of wildlife ecology, said the aim for the Arboretum was to re-establish the “original Wisconsin” landscape and plant communities that had been lost due to European settlement. Leopold, who was research director at the time of the Arboretum dedication, along with the Arboretum Committee introduced the new concept of ecological restoration.

The Arboretum is an oasis of nature surrounded by urban and suburban areas. Its stated vision: acting as a “global source of knowledge of and a model for restoring ecologically sustainable relationships between people and the land through integrative, innovative, and collaborative approaches in science, stewardship, education, and public engagement.” Join us as we explore the UW-Madison Arboretum at the 2022 Fling.


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