The Arboretum comprises 1,200 acres of remnant, restored, and buffer communities, including woodlands, savannas, prairies, wetlands, springs, and Lake Wingra shoreline. We also manage an additional 500+ acres of remnant natural areas throughout the state.

Land Management Goals and Challenges

Our overarching land management goal is to maintain, and, where feasible, increase native plant and animal diversity. We focus on preserving the integrity of our high-quality areas first. Then we restore adjacent lands to reduce pressure from invasive species and to create larger, more contiguous habitat.

Managing a natural area in an urban landscape presents many challenges including habitat fragmentation, invasive species, restrictions on use of prescribed fire, large influxes of nutrient- and sediment-laden stormwater, shading by woody species, and many others. Land care requires continual vigilance, and it is only through the efforts of experienced staff, dedicated volunteers, and our many partnerships that we can achieve our goals in light of these challenges.