Volunteer restoration work parties take place the first four Saturday mornings of each month, all year. Ecological restoration is the practice of creating and managing healthy native plant communities. The Arboretum relies on – and deeply appreciates! – volunteer labor to help with this ongoing work. Weekly drop-in work parties are an essential part of our land care efforts.
Work parties are a great way to practice ecological restoration, learn about the Arboretum plant communities, and make friends. Activities include cutting brush from remnant and restored areas, removing invasive plants, and burn unit preparation.
We encourage volunteers from all backgrounds and experience levels. Tools, equipment, instruction, and refreshments are provided. Participants are advised to wear long pants, sturdy shoes, work gloves, and seasonally appropriate clothing. Be prepared to work at times on hands and knees. Groups and youths (ages 12–17, accompanied by a parent or guardian) are welcome with advance arrangements.
Work parties are 9 a.m.–12 p.m. on Saturday mornings. Locations rotate during the month as follows:
- First Saturday: Wingra Oak Savanna. Meet at the parking lot, on Arbor Drive just off Monroe Street.
Note: Monroe Street is under construction June–November, and only one eastbound (toward downtown) lane is open. Allow extra time to reach this parking lot. Starting June 2, the first Saturday work parties will take place in the Grady Tract.
- Second Saturday: Core Area and Curtis Prairie. Meet at the Visitor Center. *Note: The May 12 work party will be at Wingra Oak Savanna due to the Native Plant Sale.
- Third Saturday: Grady Tract. Meet in the Grady Tract parking lot, southeast corner of Seminole Highway and W. Beltline Frontage Road.
- Fourth Saturday: Core Area and Curtis Prairie. Meet at the Visitor Center.
- There are no work parties on the fifth Saturday in a month.
See our Getting Here page for area maps and directions.
Work parties are cancelled in case of severe weather (snowstorms, thunderstorms, temperatures below 10 degrees F or above 100 degrees F) or if the ground is too muddy or snow-covered.