lush growth and blooming wildflowers in Native Plant Garden and Curtis Prairie

Curtis Prairie overlook (Photo: Bob Jaeger)

Adult education programs offer lifelong learning in ecological restoration, conservation, gardening, caring for the land, and living in harmony with nature. Many of these programs are free; some have a fee.

We offer a range of free guided nature walks—including weekly Sunday walks, night walks, seasonal bird hikes, and gently paced seasonal Garden Excursions. All are led by trained naturalist-educators and other experts. We also offer a series of public garden tours that explore many aspects of the horticultural and native plant gardens. Seasonal Saturday morning birding hikes are a great opportunity to look for and learn about birds.

We welcome community, educational, faith-based, professional, tourist, and other groups for private educational visits. We offer a range of standard topics, and groups can also request specialized tours in areas of staff expertise.

Arboretum classes delve into topics related to natural history, conservation, gardening, Arboretum history, and the arts.

The popular Winter Enrichment lecture series was designed as an educational program for naturalists in the greater Madison area. The program is also open to Arboretum volunteers, friends, and interested public.

Madison Reads Leopold is a community read-aloud celebrating the life and legacy of Aldo Leopold. The event features a diverse lineup of public figures and community members sharing Leopold’s eloquence and wisdom from A Sand County Almanac and other works.

The annual one-day Native Gardening Conference promotes sustainable gardening practices and use of native plants in home landscapes. The conference features expert-led workshops, a keynote speaker, and native plant garden tours.