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 as well as paid classes, which explore restoration, native plants, and other topics in-depth. We also offer private guided tours for school groups, scout troops, and adult groups.

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. Fees will be refunded only if a class is filled or cancelled.

Upcoming Classes

Saturday, July 7, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. Identifying Summer Prairie Flowers. Learn techniques for identifying native wildflowers. This is a field class, please wear sturdy shoes and come prepared for weather and insects. Instructor: Sylvia Marek, Arboretum naturalist. Fee: $20. Register by July 2.

Saturday, August 4, 1–3 p.m. Insects and Spiders. We will cover the basics of insect and spider identification and learn about their ecological roles, and then spend time outside looking for them in the prairie and gardens. Indoors, with outside field time. Instructor: Lisa Andrewski, Arboretum naturalist. Fee: $20. Register by July 30.

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.