If you frequent the Arboretum, you may have noticed some new faces recently. We are pleased to welcome and introduce three new staff members to our administrative and land care units.
Brad Freihoefer started as the visitor center manager in late January. Brad joins the Arboretum from Iowa State University, where they served as a cultural center director for over a decade. Raised in Baraboo, Wisconsin, Brad cultivated their love of the outdoors around the Baraboo bluffs.
Brad enjoys assisting others and aims to provide a memorable experience for visitors. They say, “I look forward to exploring new ways to enhance the visitor experience and I’m grateful for the opportunity to welcome guests from around the world. I love working alongside such talented and knowledgeable colleagues dedicated to restoration ecology who provide numerous opportunities for visitors to be inspired, learn, and engage in the land ethic.”
Julia Czaplewski joined the Arboretum in May as a horticultural specialist. She earned her bachelor’s degree in botany, focusing on taxonomy and environmental ethics, from UW–Stevens Point in 2021. Previously, she interned at The Boerner Botanical Gardens and Farmshed’s Growing Collective, a Stevens Point agricultural nonprofit.
In her new position, Julia looks forward to increasing her taxonomic knowledge and building other skills. She says, “I’m excited to learn more about taxonomy and collection recordkeeping and to expand my knowledge of horticulture. I also feel fortunate to develop other skills by working with the land care staff, specifically seed collection and prescribed burns.”
Balin Magee started as a natural resource specialist in June. He earned bachelor’s degrees in forest management and Spanish from UW–Stevens Point in 2020. Before joining the Arboretum, he worked with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Dane County Parks, and a private restoration company.
Balin hopes to broaden his restoration work to new areas. He says, “I really look forward to exploring wetland restoration at the Arboretum. And I’m always aiming to deepen my understanding of the interconnection that is inherent in nature.”
In addition to new staff, more than twenty UW–Madison students are working at the Arboretum this summer. This talented group provides much needed help in the education, land care, and research units, and they gain valuable hands-on experience. It’s always a privilege to work with students and we greatly appreciate their contributions.
—Scott Dyke, communications specialist