Morning fog in Curtis Prairie

Morning fog in Curtis Prairie

Beginning even before the Arboretum’s dedication in 1934, Aldo Leopold and other visionary scientists created a pioneering place for research, land care, and ecological restoration.

Today, the Arboretum’s 1,200 acres in Madison include restored ecological communities, horticultural collections, native plant gardens, and more than 17 miles of trails. The Arboretum also manages more than 500 acres of outlying properties that preserve original native ecological communities. Robust environmental education programs offer enrichment for all ages.

Your contributions help us steward the land, sustain research initiatives, and provide a meaningful visitor experience. The majority of support for this work comes from individuals, organizations, and foundations. Please explore the giving options listed here or contact us.

Opportunities to Give

Give to a Fund

Invest in the Arboretum’s future with a gift to one of our designated funds. For detailed information, please contact Erica Lee by email or call (608) 263-7889.

Arboretum Endowment Fund. Provides general support for Arboretum programs and activities in areas of greatest mission-related need. Make a Gift »

Arboretum Research Fund. Sustain and carries forward the research tradition established by Aldo Leopold and others. Make a Gift »

Citizen Science/Journey North Fund. Supports research projects that rely on public engagement in the scientific process. Make a Gift »

Friends of the Arboretum Fund. Supports community education, land care, and visitor opportunities as prioritized by the FOA board. Make a Gift »

Kenneth W. Wood Environmental Education Fund. Sustains adult and youth public education programs. Make a Gift »

Land Stewardship Fund. Provides broad support for the management and maintenance of Arboretum land and ecosystems. Make a Gift »

Longenecker Horticultural Gardens Fund. Supports management of Longenecker Horticultural Gardens grounds and woody plant collection. Make a Gift »

Native Wisconsin Plant Garden Fund. Supports management of and learning opportunities in the Native Plant Garden. Make a Gift »

Commemorative Trees and Benches

A gift to the UW–Madison Arboretum in memory or in honor of someone is a wonderful opportunity to recognize a special person or occasion. Our naming gift opportunities include commemorative trees and benches.

We offer commemorative trees in Longenecker Horticultural Gardens and the Wisconsin Native Plant Garden. Trees in the collection can be designated for a donation of $5,000, which includes an engraved plaque for the tree. We have hundreds of specimens to choose from in a variety of settings. Commemorative trees may be designated at any time of the year. (Please note that we do not plant new trees for commemoration.)

Our commemorative benches are custom built by Keystone Ridge Designs, based on a design by local artist Mike Burns, MBMetalworks. These steel benches are permanently installed on concrete footings and come with an engraved oak leaf. Three locations remain in Longenecker Horticultural Gardens. A bench can be designated for a donation of $30,000 and will be available for installation beginning in summer 2024. (There are no bench locations in the Wisconsin Native Plant Garden at this time.)

For more information, or to set up a tour with a garden curator to discuss options, contact Erica Lee by email or call (608) 263-7889.

Planned Giving

To include the UW–Madison in your estate plan, please use the following legal name and ID number:

University of Wisconsin–Madison
c/o University of Wisconsin Foundation
1848 University Ave, Madison, WI 53726
Federal Tax ID: 39-0743975

Direct IRA rollover gifts to the Arboretum can:

  • be an easy and convenient way to make a gift from one of your major assets,
  • be excluded from your gross income (a tax-free rollover),
  • count toward your required minimum distribution.

Your gift must meet the following criteria to qualify:

  • You must be 70 ½ or older at the time of your gift.
  • The transfer must go directly from your IRA to the University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum (c/o the University of Madison Foundation). Your IRA provider can help you.
  • Your total IRA gift(s) cannot exceed $100,000.
  • Your gift must be outright.

For further information or to discuss your charitable goals, contact Erica Lee by email or call (608) 263-7889.

How to Give

Give Online

You can give online through the University of Wisconsin Foundation’s secure web server. The Foundation is the official gift-receiving organization for the UW–Madison and handles the financial transactions and stewardship of funds. All online donations to the Arboretum will go to Arboretum-designated accounts. The Opportunities section of this page, above, describes our current opportunities and provides specific links for giving to designated accounts.

Give by Mail

You can mail a check (payable to the UW–Madison Arboretum) directly to:

UW–Madison Arboretum
Attn: Erica Lee
1207 Seminole Hwy
Madison, WI 537

Please include complete contact information and a description of your gift intent. If you prefer, download and mail a Donation Form (PDF). If a specific fund is not indicated, your gift will benefit the Arboretum Endowment Fund (see priorities and funds, above). The Arboretum is a non-profit, tax-exempt unit of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, part of the State of Wisconsin.