UW Arboretum https://arboretum.wisc.edu Restoring Land and Enriching Lives Thu, 21 Feb 2019 17:53:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Arboretum Celebrates Aldo Leopold Weekend with Madison Reads Leopold and Other Events, March 1–3 https://arboretum.wisc.edu/news/arboretum-news/mrl-2019/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mrl-2019 Mon, 18 Feb 2019 16:15:49 +0000 https://arboretum.wisc.edu/?p=12661 Madison Reads Leopold is a community event celebrating the enduring written works of the great conservationist. In honor of Aldo Leopold Weekend, the UW–Arboretum will host the 14th-annual public reading of A Sand County Almanac and other Leopold writings on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at the Visitor Center from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. The first weekend in March was designated as Aldo Leopold Weekend in 2006.

Starting at 9:30 a.m., former Madison mayor Dave Cieslewicz will kick off the event with a reading of “January Thaw.” Throughout the day, an eclectic mix of public figures and community readers will give voice to Leopold’s keen observations and eloquent conservation philosophy. The readings will include the well-known January–December “calendar” essays, as well as other pieces chosen for their relevance to the Arboretum, UW–Madison, and the state. Listeners are welcome to drop in for favorite essays or stay all day.

Readers include Madison Poet Laureate Oscar Mireles; radio personalities Jim Fleming and Chuck Quirmbach; Madelyn Leopold, daughter of Luna Leopold and granddaughter of Aldo; Mark Miller, Wisconsin state senator; a 5th grader from Randall School; a staff member from the USDA Forest Products Laboratory, where Leopold worked when the family first moved to Madison in 1924; plus students, educators, naturalists, writers, representatives of community organizations, and “plain citizens.”

Arboretum director Karen Oberhauser will lead off the afternoon readings with excerpts from the speech Aldo Leopold gave at the Arboretum’s dedication ceremony on June 17, 1934. Leopold was the Arboretum’s first research director and closely involved in its design; his words are as timely, eloquent, and inspiring today as when he penned them.

At approximately 2 p.m., arts and education consultant Jon Becker will narrate Leopold-related selections from Earth Day Portrait. Created by jazz pianist and composer John Harmon, Earth Day Portrait is a symphonic setting for texts by John Muir, Aldo Leopold and Gaylord Nelson.

First published in 1949, A Sand County Almanac has prompted generations of people to take better notice—and care—of the natural environment. 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the publication of the environmental classic.

Madison Reads Leopold is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be available in the visitor center lobby. Brown-bagging is permitted but food must remain in the Visitor Center. Leopold archive materials and artifacts from the UW’s extensive collection will be on display.

A full schedule of readers and essays is available on the Madison Reads Leopold page. Reading times are approximate; listeners wishing to hear a particular reader should arrive at least 10 minutes before the scheduled time.

Also for Leopold Weekend:

  • Friday, March 1, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.: Green Fire Brown Bag. Watch and discuss the Aldo Leopold documentary film over lunch. BYO food and beverage. Free, no registration required.
  • Sunday, March 3, 1–2:30 p.m.: In Leopold’s Footsteps. Learn about Leopold’s phenological work and role at the Arboretum. Free naturalist-led walk.
  • Sunday, March 3, 1:30–3:30 p.m.: Celebrating Aldo Leopold. As a boy, Leopold read, explored the land, kept notes, and drew sketches. During this family nature program we will investigate the Arboretum and create journals for observations and drawings. Designed for families with children ages 3–11.

Leopold Weekend in Wisconsin began in Lodi in 2000, and six years later it became a designated state observance. The first weekend in March was chosen because Leopold appended the date “4th March, 1948” to his Almanac foreword. It would be his last writing for the work, since he died unexpectedly six weeks later.

Considered the birthplace of ecological restoration, the UW–Madison Arboretum is a teaching and research facility that conserves and restores land, advances science, offers public outreach, and benefits from community involvement. The 1,200-acre grounds in Madison are home to protected prairies, woodlands, wetlands, savannas, springs, shoreline, a notable horticultural collection, and Wisconsin native plant gardens. The Arboretum also offers more than 17 miles of walking trails and 4 miles of biking road as well as hundreds of learning and volunteer opportunities. The main entrance is at 1207 Seminole Highway. The Visitor Center is open weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekends from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Arboretum admission is free.

* * *

Contact: Susan Day, Arboretum communications coordinator, (608) 265-3355 or susan.day@wisc.edu; or Kathy Miner, Madison Reads Leopold event coordinator, (608) 233-2425 or kathy.miner@wisc.edu.

]]>
Citizen Science Monitoring Program, Journey North, Finds a Home at the Arboretum https://arboretum.wisc.edu/news/in-the-media/journey-north-release/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=journey-north-release Tue, 05 Feb 2019 14:05:06 +0000 https://arboretum.wisc.edu/?p=15576 Spring might officially be more than a month away, but for some animals making a trek back north after wintering in the south, the spring migration has already begun. And for citizen scientists who track hummingbirds, monarchs, and American robins and other migratory birds, that means turning to Journey North to report their sightings.

Having celebrated its 25th year in 2018, Journey North, one of North America’s largest citizen science programs, is celebrating another milestone this year by moving to the UW–Madison Arboretum.

Read the full UW News story by Natasha Kassulke, February 5, 2019

]]>
Arboretum Citizen Science: Commitment and Growth https://arboretum.wisc.edu/news/arboretum-news/directors-note-feb-2019/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=directors-note-feb-2019 Tue, 05 Feb 2019 14:04:45 +0000 https://arboretum.wisc.edu/?p=15578 Director’s Note

When she was three, my daughter asked, “What does science mean?” I probably answered with something like: “it’s how we understand how the world works.” Luckily, our yard was full of butterfly cages for my research, which helped illustrate what I meant. Her question made me think about the ways that she naturally engaged in the scientific enterprise during most of her waking hours. I firmly believe that we are all scientists at heart—we observe our world and ask questions, and our worldview is influenced by our interactions with natural and human-created systems. Watching a child shape their own learning is an amazing experience. Ideally, this kind of engagement will extend long beyond childhood.

The word science comes from the Latin word scientia, which means knowledge. I like the Merriam-Webster definition of science: “the state of knowing; knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding.” Wikipedia’s article on science includes the following statement: “Science is based on research, which is commonly conducted in academic and research institutions as well as in government agencies and companies.” This definition is notable for who is left out of the scientific process. Some of us get paid to be scientists, but many other people make important contributions that increase the knowledge in the world (and challenge ignorance and misunderstanding). This is where citizen science comes in.

We often use the word citizen to refer to an inhabitant of a specific place. Thus, the term citizen science can broadly mean the engagement of anyone in science. Actually, most scientific research was conducted by amateurs prior to the late nineteenth century. People kept records of locust outbreaks in China at least 3,500 years ago. Victorian collectors kept careful field notes and curated specimens of butterflies collected from around the world. In North America, the oldest biodiversity monitoring project is the Christmas Bird Count, which started in 1900.

Monarch butterfly citizen science started in the 1950s, when Dr. Fred Urquhart at the University of Toronto engaged the public throughout North America in a quest to discover where monarchs spent the winter. My involvement with citizen science started in 1996, when I developed the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project at the University of Minnesota. Two other monarch monitoring projects—Journey North and Monarch Watch (both of which focus on migration)—also started in the 1990s. These three projects continue to engage the public and make significant contributions to our understanding of monarchs.

Citizen science does more than help us understand how the world works. In a rapidly changing world, we need more people to actively engage in science. The broad spatial and temporal scales of data collected by citizen scientists help us address conservation challenges, but public engagement has many other benefits. We know that monitoring natural systems strengthens connections between humans and nature. Citizen scientists also share their findings and feelings with their family, friends, and community, and they become more aware of the enterprise and value of science. I would argue that all of these are good things.

We are excited to announce that one of North America’s premier citizen science programs, Journey North, is moving to the Arboretum. Founded in 1994 by Elizabeth Howard, Journey North provides a platform for citizens of all ages to help track migratory species like monarch butterflies and hummingbirds. I have personally known Elizabeth for many years and share her commitment to fostering a program that provides data on migratory species and facilitates engagement in science for everyone.

The Arboretum is a fitting home for Journey North. Our staff expertise, partnerships, and the land itself make the Arboretum an ideal center for citizen science projects. As a university research and teaching unit committed to public engagement and education, we are able to create and share educational materials and engage professional scientists in developing protocols and data analysis.

Our expanded Arboretum citizen science team includes the following people:

  • Jessica Ross: citizen science coordinator
  • Nancy Sheehan: citizen science coordinator, Journey North program
  • Brad Herrick: ecologist, coordinates dragonfly and invasive earthworm monitoring
  • Susan Carpenter: native plant gardener, coordinates bumble bee monitoring
  • Stephanie Petersen: ranger, coordinates phenology monitoring
  • Karen Oberhauser: director, coordinates monarch butterfly monitoring

The best thing about citizen science is that anyone can be involved. Whether monarchs, bees, dragonflies, worms, birds, or something else strikes your fancy, we welcome you to join an Arboretum citizen science team!

—Karen Oberhauser, Arboretum director

]]>
New Citizen Science Staff https://arboretum.wisc.edu/news/arboretum-news/new-citizen-science-staff/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-citizen-science-staff Tue, 05 Feb 2019 14:03:53 +0000 https://arboretum.wisc.edu/?p=15615 The Arboretum has added two staff members to the research program in the last six months. Jessica Ross started as the citizen science coordinator in mid-September after spending several years in Chicago’s ecological sciences community. She earned her MS in botany, ecology, and conservation from Northwestern University in 2017. Her thesis research, conducted at the Chicago Botanic Garden, focused on fungal communities in the Yucatan. She also got involved with Chicago Botanic Garden research on soil microbial and plant communities of tallgrass prairies and worked on restoration projects in prairies, oak savannas, and wetlands. While working with the Echinacea Project, Jessica managed and supported citizen scientists whose work contributes to a better understanding of habitat fragmentation, population ecology, and pollinators in the Midwest. She also worked with the Field Museum to study monarch butterfly populations in urban environments, and she helped to develop a sampling strategy based on the Integrated Monarch Monitoring Protocol, a tool used by citizen scientists nationwide to study monarchs. Through the Field Museum’s Women in Science Internship program, Jessica mentored young women interested in pursuing careers in the sciences.

Jessica is excited to play a role in continuing the long history of citizen science at the Arboretum. She says, “participating in citizen science, especially at the Arboretum, can be a really fun and accessible way to engage with the natural world. Anyone can make an observation, ask a question, and discover something meaningful and new.”

Nancy Sheehan is the new citizen science coordinator for the Journey North program, which has moved to the Arboretum. Previously, she had been the program coordinator at the Rock River Coalition, managing the citizen-based stream monitoring program. Nancy recruited, trained, and supported more than 200 volunteers to test water quality across the Rock River Basin using Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources standards. In 2014, She won the Stream Monitoring Award from the University of Wisconsin Extension and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in recognition of her work. Nancy also worked with various agencies and watershed groups to integrate volunteer stream monitors into a regulatory program called Yahara WINs (Yahara Watershed Improvement Network), spearheaded by the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District. Before the Rock River Coalition, Nancy worked for more than two decades as a consultant in natural resource education, outreach, and extension. She designed citizen-based monitoring projects and curriculum guides for clients that included area school districts and friends groups.

Nancy earned a master’s degree in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and has completed doctoral studies at the UW–Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. As a PhD candidate she conducted participatory research on natural resource use and land tenure in The Gambia, West Africa, where she had previously served for three years as a U.S. Peace Corps forestry extension volunteer.

Nancy says of her new position: “I am excited to be a part of the Journey North and UW–Madison Arboretum community of citizen scientists. Together we are gathering information, creating knowledge, and inspiring hope for the next generation.”

]]>
Volunteer Steward and Team Leader Trainings https://arboretum.wisc.edu/news/arboretum-news/volunteer-steward-and-team-leader-trainings/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=volunteer-steward-and-team-leader-trainings Thu, 31 Jan 2019 14:11:47 +0000 https://arboretum.wisc.edu/?p=15557 Volunteer stewards and restoration team leaders play an important part in caring for the land, fostering engagement, and working with others. The Arboretum is offering training opportunities to join these essential corps of volunteers.

Stewards

Stewards patrol trails four hours a month. They keep Arboretum lands safe and clean, track phenological sightings, and interact with visitors.

Stewards:

  • independently patrol the trails in all seasons
  • positively influence visitor experience
  • record trail conditions and visitor interactions after each shift
  • help protect the Arboretum

Training dates: March 31, April 6, April 13 (twenty hours total)
Application deadline: March 20

More information: Contact Stephanie Petersen, (608) 262-2746, smpetersen2@wisc.edu

Restoration Team Leaders

Restoration Team Leaders supervise other volunteers at restoration work parties, making significant contributions to Arboretum land management.

Restoration team leaders:

  • lead and supervise volunteers at Saturday morning work parties
  • restore native ecosystems and improve habitat for wildlife and endangered species
  • keep accurate records and communicate with staff
  • develop professional leadership and land management skills

Training dates: March 31, and select Saturdays and Thursday evenings through July (fifty hours total)
Application deadline: March 20
Cost: $100

More information: Contact Marian Farrior, (608) 265-5214, marian.farrior@wisc.edu

]]>
Gardening with Native Plants: Rain, Shade, and Wildlife Gardens https://arboretum.wisc.edu/news/arboretum-news/gardening-with-native-plants-rain-shade-and-wildlife-gardens/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=gardening-with-native-plants-rain-shade-and-wildlife-gardens Thu, 31 Jan 2019 14:10:41 +0000 https://arboretum.wisc.edu/?p=15570 Winter holds on in February, but its grasp softens through the month as icy landscapes begin to subtly turn toward spring. Garden tasks include finalizing our plant orders, checking storm damage, watching drainage patterns over frozen soil after snowmelt or winter rains, and dormant season pruning.

Whether you are planning a small garden or planting a larger acreage, it is always important to match plants or seed mixes to the appropriate site. Soil tests, observations of which species grow well on the site, shading, and factors like slope, aspect (which direction the site faces), and drainage can help determine which set of plants will be most successful.

Last year’s above average cumulative rainfall and flooding events highlight a role for more rain gardens in our landscapes. Flashy storms on impervious surfaces lead to overflowing catchment basins. Rain gardens or vegetated basins intercept runoff, hold it as it infiltrates through porous soils created by extensive root growth. Both of our native plant rain gardens functioned well during and after the August 20 flood. FOA is offering two rain garden mixes in the advance order sale—one flat of 32 small plants for full sun or light shade, and the other flat of 12 larger plants for shadier spots (not deep shade).

The rain garden mix for sun includes short to medium-sized flowering species for season-long bloom, such as southern blue flag iris (Iris virginica) in early season, bee balm (Monarda fistulosa) and culver’s-root (Veronicastrum virginicum) in mid-season, and New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae angliae) in late season. These plants will attract many pollinators as well. Fox sedge (Carex vulpinoidea) will provide structure and support for the forbs—it is a perennial sedge about 2 ft. tall with a rounded shape and distinctive seed heads. The shade mix includes shorter and taller plants that will spread through the garden by seed (e.g., sweet Joe-pye weed, Eutrochium purpureum) or rhizomes (Canada anemone, Anemone canadensis, and ostrich fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris).

Shade can be challenging in the garden, as varied conditions fall under that simple descriptor. The amount of shade, even under trees, varies with tree species, shape, and size. Conditions on the north side of a building can mimic shade even if no trees are present. Scattered trees may cast only light shade on a south or southeast facing slope. Shade garden plants in this year’s mixes include ferns, spring blooming flowers, forest groundcovers, and accents.

To support pollinators and wildlife in sunny areas, another garden mix includes plants 2–3 feet tall with profuse flowers blooming in sequence throughout the season. Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) provides structure and fall color in this mix.

FOA is accepting advance orders for these native plants through Feb 14. In addition to the mixes above, you can order native trees and shrubs, ground covers, and half or full flats of native wildflowers and grasses. Your advance orders will be available for pickup at the Arboretum on May 9, just a few days before the tent sale on May 11.

During the beginning of winter’s end, plan a new garden area or discover a few new plants to add to your existing plantings.

—Susan Carpenter, Arboretum native plant gardener

]]>
Call for Artists: Arboretum’s Steinhauer Trust Gallery, 2020 Exhibits https://arboretum.wisc.edu/news/arboretum-news/call-for-artists-2020/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=call-for-artists-2020 Thu, 31 Jan 2019 14:05:00 +0000 http://arboretum.wisc.edu/arboretum-news/call-for-artists-arboretum-steinhauer-trust-gallery-exhibits-2016/ The Arboretum is now accepting artists’ proposals for 2020 exhibits in the Visitor Center’s Steinhauer Trust Gallery. The submission deadline is March 31, 2019. Exhibits hang for two months, starting in January 2020. A juried committee will select the exhibits, and artists will be notified by mid-May.

The purpose of the Gallery is twofold: to celebrate through the visual arts Wisconsin’s natural heritage and the human connection to the land, and to showcase the creativity and talent of artists who draw their inspiration from nature.

The committee seeks work that complements the Arboretum’s mission and purpose, such as subject matter focused on plants, animals, and landscapes native to Wisconsin and/or the Midwest, and that considers the relationship between humans and the land. The selection committee consists of Arboretum staff and volunteers.

Individual and group submissions are welcome. For group submissions, please designate one person as the contact. We can only display wall-hung art. Artists must have enough material for 90 linear feet of wall space. For additional information, see the Steinhauer Trust Gallery web page.

Artists should send the following for consideration:

  • An artist’s statement (resume is optional)
  • A narrative explaining the focus, content, and inspiration of the exhibit
  • 6–8 images that accurately reflect the proposed exhibit. Images should be 100 dpi, 3,000 pixels on the long edge, saved at high-quality (8) jpeg compression.
  • Proposed number of works and their framed dimensions

Email images and text documents together as a compressed zip file to Katie Pfankuch (kpfankuch@wisc.edu), with the subject line “gallery submission.” The zip file should not be larger than 15 MB.

Or send proposals to:
Steinhauer Trust Gallery
University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum
1207 Seminole Highway
Madison, WI 53711

Note: Materials will not be returned.

]]>
Horticultural Garden Notes: Collection Inventory, Fall Color and Hardy Larches, and Volunteers Power Through https://arboretum.wisc.edu/news/arboretum-news/horticultural-garden-notes-collection-inventory-fall-color-and-hardy-larches-and-volunteers-power-through/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=horticultural-garden-notes-collection-inventory-fall-color-and-hardy-larches-and-volunteers-power-through Wed, 02 Jan 2019 19:53:01 +0000 https://arboretum.wisc.edu/?p=15475 Collection Inventory Field Check

Over the course of the fall, garden staff conducted an inventory field check for the approximately 4,000 accessioned plants in the Longenecker Horticultural Gardens living collection. The presence of each specimen was confirmed, map locations were verified for accuracy, and accession tags were located, checked, and made accessible. One hundred seven specimens were missing accession tags, and eighty-four lacked GPS coordinates. Continuing into the winter, GPS coordinates will be taken for specimens not previously mapped, and those missing accession tags will have new ones created and installed.  As in a museum, a verified and accurately mapped inventory is central to conserving the collection and ensures specimen accessibility for both staff and visitors. Inventory field checks will be planned at set time intervals and combined with formal plant evaluations such as plant health, height, and stem diameter.

Fall Color

Overall, fall color was lackluster this year due to unfavorable weather conditions, from an overly wet growing season to a cloudy and warm September. Trees did not develop the usual vibrant yellows and rich oranges and reds. Instead, many stayed green only to have their leaves freeze and fall after the temperature dropped to 22°F on October 21.

A few trees were undaunted by the weather and still lit up the Longenecker landscape. One was Larix gmelinii var. olgensis, known as the Olga Bay larch, native to Russia, China, and North Korea. This particular tree was grown from seed collected in Manchuria. It shone like a yellow beacon at the base of the pinetum, just south of the American chestnuts.

An anomaly among conifers, larches are deciduous and drop all their needles each fall and grow new ones the following spring. They are capable of outstanding yellow fall color. The Olga Bay larch is named for the Olga Bay in Vladivostok, Russia, where the first known botanical collection of the variety was made around 1930. It differs from the species in that its cones are slightly larger and its new shoots are coated with a dense orange-brown pubescence.

Larix gmelinii is known as the Dahurian larch and is the northernmost tree species in the world, growing on the tundra of Russia’s Taymyr Peninsula where it takes on a creeping prostrate form. It also has the ability to survive northeastern Siberian winters, the coldest on earth outside of Antarctica, with recorded temperatures as low as -90°F.¹ There are two Dahurian larches in the Longenecker Horticultural Gardens collection, derived from seed that was wild collected in China by the Beijing Academy of Forestry.

Volunteer Power

The record-breaking rain this year created continually saturated soils, pervasive weed seedlings, and excessively lush growth on many specimens. This, coupled with periodic flooding and an overabundance of mosquitos, made timely upkeep of the gardens more challenging than ever. And yet, with the help of volunteer coordinator Judy Kingsbury, the gardens were fortunate enough to host a record number of 258 individual volunteers who put in more than 1,200 hours keeping the gardens looking their best in spite of the weather. Ranging in age from middle schoolers to retirees, volunteers came from student and professional groups, 4H clubs, and Future Farmers of America, as well as individual plant enthusiasts. No matter their age or affiliation, all came with a can-do attitude and a desire to help. Many thanks to all who so graciously gave their time and energy to make the gardens a better place for all our visitors this year.

—David Stevens, Longenecker Horticultural Gardens curator

 

  1. “Northern Hemisphere: Lowest Temperature.” World Meteorological Organization’s World Weather & Climate Extremes Archive, wmo.asu.edu/content/northern-hemisphere-lowest-temperature.
]]>
Land Care Report: Crew Tales from the Field https://arboretum.wisc.edu/news/arboretum-news/land-care-report-crew-tales-from-the-field/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=land-care-report-crew-tales-from-the-field Wed, 02 Jan 2019 17:03:27 +0000 https://arboretum.wisc.edu/?p=15471 After a growing season filled with rain and mosquito bites, the Arboretum natural areas crew has been busy preparing for winter. Tree thinning and seed collection set the stage for future restoration projects. In this report, we highlight some of our most satisfying current projects.

Roaring chainsaws and fallen trees were a common scene this fall. Since early October the crew has been restoring the oak savanna landscape that was historically found on the Grady Tract. From 2013–17, forestry mowing on eighty acres removed a thick tangle of buckthorn, honeysuckle, and Oriental bittersweet, revealing widespread maple, black and red oak, black cherry, and black walnut trees. In a healthy oak savanna ecosystem, fire would have naturally kept the majority of those individuals from establishing, but the absence of fire over the decades allowed them to grow and spread. Many of the trees were removed following the forestry mowing, but not all. So we have continued working to accomplish what fire would have—removing those trees so that more fire-tolerant species such as bur and white oaks can flourish. We also hope that the removal of these trees facilitates better prescribed burns and more wildflower diversity in the future.

Lodde’s Mill Bluff after clearing cedars
Lodde’s Mill Bluff after clearing cedars

We are also excited to be restoring and expanding a small hill prairie at Lodde’s Mill Bluff, one of our eleven outlying properties, located in Sauk County near the Wisconsin River. Lodde’s is a twelve-acre site, mostly forested, with the exception of a few small pockets of remnant prairie near the top of the bluff, almost three hundred feet above its base. In the absence of fire, eastern red cedar has encroached on much of the existing prairies, so we have been removing them to bring in more sunlight for the prairie plants and existing bur oaks. The plants, including prickly pear, butterfly milkweed, purple prairie clover, lead plant, little bluestem, and candle anemone, will benefit from the increase in sunlight following cedar removal. In the future, we hope to introduce prescribed burning to maintain and expand the prairie.

A big part of our job is collecting seed to help fill in our current restoration areas. Seed collection begins in May and it continues throughout the fall. This past season we collected seed from over eighty species gathered from the main Arboretum property and several outlying properties. Seed collecting is essential for our restoration projects and allows us to add more diversity to our landscapes. Once the seeds are collected, we lay them out to dry in our seed room. After the seed is dried, we run it through a hammer mill to separate the seed from the rest of the plant material. The seed is weighed and divided into seed mixes that are appropriate for specific habitats, including a range of prairie types, savannas, and woodlands. We hope to finish making our different seed mixes by early winter and spread it throughout our restoration sites before the first major snowfall.

Even though the growing season has come to a close, our work is far from over. Clearing undesirable trees and making seed mixes help lay the groundwork for many of our other restoration activities. It is often cold and physically tiring, but worth it when spring comes around. On top of all of the restoration activities, the crew has also been repairing service roads, removing snow, and preparing our equipment for the winter ahead. If you have time, please check out our work in the Grady Tract and ask us questions if you see us out there. We love talking to visitors about restoration and the work we are doing.

—Isaac Bailey, Tom Bresnahan, and Lance Rudy, Arboretum restoration technicians

]]>
Art on View: Traces in the Snow https://arboretum.wisc.edu/news/arboretum-news/art-on-view-traces-in-the-snow/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=art-on-view-traces-in-the-snow Wed, 02 Jan 2019 16:57:00 +0000 https://arboretum.wisc.edu/?p=15488 “Traces in the Snow,” a portfolio of original watercolors and limited edition prints of watercolors by Richard Fayram, will be on view in the Steinhauer Trust Gallery in January and February.

Fayram’s watercolors focus on winter landscapes along the Wisconsin Ice Age Trail. He considers snow to be the parchment for winter landscape stories, where shadows and sunlight dance, wind sculpts ever-changing shapes and patterns, and bird calls occasionally echo.
]]>