Arboretum programs nurture the public’s interest in land care and living in harmony with nature. We offer many free walks, tours, and activities for the general public. Our paid classes explore restoration, native plants, and other topics in-depth.

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.

There is a fee for classes, and advance registration is required.

Refunds will be given while registration is open, minus a $10 service fee.

Upcoming Classes

Saturday, April 6, 1–3 p.m. Phenology—Tracking Nature. Tune in to signs of early spring. Phenology—the study of periodic occurrences in nature—is both art and science, practiced for millennia across cultures and regions. Learn about different approaches, and even invent your own. Instructor: Kathy Miner, Arboretum naturalist. Fee: $20. Registration closed. Meet at the Visitor Center.

Saturday, April 27, 1–3 p.m. All About Bluebirds. The Arboretum’s bluebird trail in Longenecker Horticultural Gardens is more than 30 years old. In this indoor/outdoor class, you’ll walk the trail and learn about bluebirds, their behavior, their decline, and restoration efforts. Dress for the weather. Instructor: Sylvia Marek, Arboretum naturalist. Fee: $20. Registration closed. Meet at the Visitor Center.

Saturday, June 8, 1–3 p.m. Arboretum Fungi. Discover the often-mysterious biology and ecology of fungi. In this workshop you will examine fungal morphology and microscopy, then team up for an outdoor “bioblitz” to search for fungi and contribute to a citizen science project. Dress for the weather. Instructor: Alden Dirks, founder and president, Madison Mycological Society. Fee: $20. SOLD OUT. Meet at the Visitor Center.

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

Since 1968, the UW Arboretum has offered Winter Enrichment lectures for naturalists in the greater Madison area. Originally coordinated by Rosemary Fleming for Arboretum naturalists, the program is now open to Arboretum volunteers, friends, and interested public as space allows.