Spring Volunteer Trainings

The Arboretum is delighted to once again offer spring trainings for volunteers in essential roles that care for the land and engage with the public.

Restoration Team Leader Training

Work party group holding trash bags filled with invasive species.
Restoration work party

Do you enjoy working with others while taking care of the Earth? If so, we encourage you to become a restoration team leader. You will develop professional ecological skills, practice the land ethic, and give back to your community.

Restoration team leaders make significant contributions to Arboretum land management. They play an important role in caring for the prairies, oak savannas, wetlands, and forests; foster community engagement; and work with volunteers. They also gain invaluable personal and professional experience as they learn about native ecosystems and plants, restore and maintain native landscapes, and develop leadership and communication skills. Team leaders get to know the Arboretum and how it works in every season.

Restoration team leaders:

  • lead and supervise volunteers at Saturday morning work parties
  • restore native ecosystems and improve habitat for wildlife and endangered species
  • keep accurate records and communicate with staff
  • develop professional leadership and land management skills

The extensive training includes working outdoors, online and in-class time, and Adult First Aid/CPR/AED Certification. We ask for a big commitment, and we provide a unique and enduring opportunity in leadership and ecological restoration.

Training dates: March 29 (evening), April 1(full day), April 2 (full day), April 27 (evening), May 4 (evening), May 11 (evening), May 13 (full day)

The application deadline is March 22, 2023, and the cost is $100.

For more information contact Marian Farrior, (608) 265-5214, marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

Volunteer Steward Training

Naturalist Kathy Miner leads a tour of Wingra Oak Savanna for steward training.
Naturalist Kathy Miner leads a tour of Wingra Oak Savanna for steward training.

2/16/23 update: steward training is full.

Volunteer stewards serve as goodwill ambassadors, sharing information about Arboretum programs and work, explaining rules, and helping visitors. Stewards also assist staff with monitoring trail conditions and phenology. Each steward patrols at least four hours per month, exploring every part of the Arboretum and assisting visitors from across the Midwest and beyond. If you enjoy telling friends and strangers about the Arboretum, want to learn more about the Lost City, are curious about the research projects taking place here, and want to make a positive difference – consider becoming a volunteer steward.


  • independently patrol the trails in all seasons
  • positively influence visitor experience
  • record trail conditions and visitor interactions after each shift
  • help protect the Arboretum

Steward training will take place on March 29 (evening), April 1 and 2 (full days). The application deadline is March 22, 2023. There is no cost for steward training.

For more information: Contact Stephanie Petersen, (608) 262-2746, smpetersen2@wisc.edu.