Currently Browsing: Colleges

Visiting the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum

Preserving the environment and its ecological systems is an important priority. This mission is at the center of the Arboretum—an area that spans over 1,200 acres built and tended to as the world’s primary site for the study of ecological restoration.

Back in the 1930s, the Arboretum was an abandoned area of huge fields and pastures. Scientists and researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison made the decision to restore the area back to its original state and return the plants and animals that once made the sprawling lands their habitat. According to their website, the main idea behind the Arboretum is to re-establish the “original Wisconsin.” From then on, the university was able to recreate several ecological communities and allow the area to thrive. Today, there are several forest types, wetlands, savannas, and tallgrass prairies in the Arboretum.

Visitors to the Arboretum can also find several gardens that houses unique horticultural collections. In particular, the sprawling area has three different gardens open for tours during the spring, summer, and fall—Longenecker Horticultural Gardens, Viburnum Garden, and Wisconsin Native Plant Garden. In these gardens, one can find an abundant number of shrubs, flowering trees, and other types of flora unique to Wisconsin.

Since the area is primarily a research facility meant to help scientists understand ecological restoration, anyone visiting the Arboretum is urged to keep its plants and wildlife protected. For one, it’s important to remember that plants and any other natural materials in the area should not be collected and kept. It’s also important that visitors keep to the Arboretum’s assigned trails. Going off the designated walkways can risk damage to the plants and wildlife that make the place a unique and memorable destination.