Note: Out of concern for the health of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Visitor Center will be closed and Arboretum events are cancelled until further notice. We are accepting applications for future volunteers but not training and placing new volunteers at this time. Contact the volunteer coordinator for an application. COVID-19 updates»
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.
- Second Saturday: Core Area and Curtis Prairie. Meet at the Visitor Center. *Note: The May 9 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. To check if the work party is cancelled due to the weather, call (608) 262-1491 after 8:15 a.m. on Saturday morning for a message.
Are you interested in building your ecological restoration and leadership skills? Become a restoration team leader and lead Saturday morning work parties. See the volunteer positions for more information.