Oak Savanna Restoration Ties UW Arboretum to Madison Neighborhood

The sun shines through the golden-hued foliage of oak trees at the Arboretum. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)

The sun shines through the golden-hued foliage of oak trees at the Arboretum. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)

“If you want to get a neighbor’s attention, start cutting down some of their favorite trees.

That was a lesson the University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum quickly learned 25 years ago as it began an ambitious oak savanna restoration project along its northwestern border. As Arboretum staff worked to free ancient oaks from overgrown trees, the nearby Dudgeon Monroe neighborhood voiced concerns over the changes to the natural area they had come to consider their own. Early tensions quickly eased as the Arboretum recruited volunteers and leaders from the neighborhood to partner in restoring this endangered ecosystem.

The Wingra Oak Savanna still thrives today, supported by neighborhood volunteers and an expanding list of community partners that help maintain and expand the restoration. A tour on Aug. 20, meeting at the parking lot at Arbor Drive and Monroe Street. at 1 p.m., will explore the site and the plants and animals that live there.”

Read the full UW News story by Eric Hamilton, August 10, 2017

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