Morning fog in Curtis Prairie

Morning fog in Curtis Prairie

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

Today, the Arboretum’s 1,200 acres in Madison is home to restored ecological communities, including tallgrass prairies, savannas, several forest types, and wetlands; horticultural collections; native plant gardens; and more than 20 miles of trails. The Arboretum also manages more than 500 acres of outlying research properties that preserve original native ecological communities. Robust environmental education programs offer enrichment for all ages.

Caring for the land and welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors calls for experienced and knowledgeable administrative staff, land managers, scientists, students, and volunteers. Continual work, supported by community contributions, is needed to 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. There are many ways to give. Please explore the options listed here or contact us.

Opportunities to Give

Current Funding Priority

Longenecker Horticultural Gardens Fence

The fence bordering LHG along Arboretum Drive is getting a makeover, thanks to a generous lead contribution from Leslie Ladd and Bill Hantke. The deteriorating decades-old woven-wire fence is being replaced with cedar split-rail. Leslie and Bill’s gift has provided for new entrance columns near the Pinetum and 400 feet of split-rail fence. An additional 2,200 feet of fence is needed to complete the project, and donations in any amount are appreciated. Help us reach our goal to enhance and protect Longenecker Horticultural Gardens – please call Mark Wegener at (608) 265-2540 to make a contribution to the fence campaign.

Give to a Fund

Invest in the Arboretum’s future with a gift to one of our designated funds.

Arboretum Endowment Fund

Provides general support for Arboretum programs and activities in areas of greatest mission-related need. Recent projects include trail and boardwalk improvements, garden maintenance, and publications for visitors. Make a Gift »

Land Stewardship Fund

This fund provides resources for the Arboretum to better manage and maintain the land and ecosystems in its care. Stewardship of these natural resources includes ongoing land restoration, native and horticultural garden care, suppression of invasive plant species, improvement of storm water monitoring and management, and property management and maintenance. Make a Gift »

Arboretum Research Fund

Helps sustain and carry forward the research tradition established by Aldo Leopold and others. The fund supports student, staff, and faculty research in restoration ecology, conservation, invasive species, ecosystem services, the urban-nature interface, public health, climate change, and more. Make a Gift »

Kenneth W. Wood Environmental Education Fund

This fund sustains adult and youth public education programs, including Sunday public tours, family tours and nature programs, classes, and Earth Focus Day Camp. Make a Gift »

Longenecker Horticultural Gardens Fund

Provides resources for the Arboretum to manage and maintain the Longenecker Horticultural Gardens grounds and woody plant collection, enhance the collection through purchase and installation of additional specimens, continue long-term plant disease assessment and treatment, and offer a continual display of superior landscape plants for education and public enjoyment. Make a Gift »

Commemorative Benches and Trees

Commemorative trees and benches offer on-site recognition in honor of special people or life events. Benches can be reserved with gifts of $15,000 or more, and trees can be designated for gifts starting at $3,000. For more information, contact Mark Wegener by email or call (608) 265-2540. (Please note these gifts can not be made online.)

Estate Gifts

An estate gift to the UW–Madison Arboretum creates lasting impact. We welcome gifts of assets, gifts by will, life-income gifts, charitable lead trusts, or gifts of retirement-plan benefits. For more information, contact Mark Wegener by email or call (608) 265-2540.

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: Mark Wegener
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.