Arboretum Classes

Classes at the Arboretum offer in-depth coverage of topics and explore ways humans interact with the environment, delving into natural history, conservation, restoration, Arboretum history, and the arts. For paid classes, refunds will be given while registration is open, minus a $10 service fee.

Advance registration is required. You will receive two automated email acknowledgements after you register: One is a payment confirmation, the other is a registration confirmation listing the class you’re attending. Save these emails for your records.

A few days before virtual classes, you will receive an email with a calendar invite and a link to access the talk.

Summer 2022 Classes

This spring we are offering outdoor and indoor in-person classes. We will continue to monitor COVID spread and follow guidelines. Currently, masks are required indoors in UW–Madison buildings. If needed, we may change some indoor classes to virtual or cancel those that can’t be held virtually. See information listed under each class. Registered participants will receive updates about the class status.

Ponds, Pines and Birds–Finding Mary Oliver
Friday, June 24, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Mary Oliver has given us hundreds of poems featuring ponds, pines, and birds, all of which we can find at the Arboretum. We’ll read Mary Oliver poetry as inspiration and find our own topics to write about from the trail. Instructor: Troy Hess, volunteer team leader. Outdoor class, come dressed for weather. Class takes place rain or shine, except in unsafe weather. Make-up date: July 1. Fee: $20. Meet at the Visitor Center.

Register by June 20»

Reading the Landscape – Prairies and Savannas
Saturdays, July 9 and 23, 9–11 a.m.

In this two-part class (July 9 and 23), explore the hidden treasures of Curtis Prairie, Greene Prairie, and the Grady Tract oak savannas. Learn to identify plants, distinguish the characteristics of prairies and savannas compared to woodlands, and find out about the restoration and management of these communities. Instructor: Sylvia Marek. Outdoor class, takes place rain or shine except in unsafe weather. Weather make-up date: July 24. Fee: $40; Meet at the Visitor Center.

Register by July 4»

Annual Learning Programs

Native Gardening Conference

Held every September at the Arboretum, the Native Gardening Conference promotes sustainable gardening practices and use of native plants in home landscapes. We inspire and inform gardeners, homeowners, and landowners to create and maintain native gardens or small-scale restorations on their own property. The program welcomes people with a range of interests and experience.

Winter Enrichment

The Arboretum’s long-running Winter Enrichment series offers lectures for naturalists in the greater Madison area as well as for volunteers, friends, and community members. The ten-week series runs February to April. See the Winter Enrichment page for more information.

Friends of the Arboretum Luncheon-Lectures

The Luncheon-Lectures series, organized by Friends of the Arboretum, presents monthly talks with a catered lunch. Friends receive priority registration, but talks are open to anyone as space allows.