This fall we are offering in-person classes as well as virtual classes. We will continue to monitor COVID spread and follow public health guidelines. If needed, we may change some classes to virtual or cancel those that can’t be held virtually. Event capacity is limited.

Masks are required indoors in UW–Madison buildings. We will continue to update events and public health guidance as needed. See COVID-19 updates for additional information about Arboretum operations.

  • Saturday, October 2

    Ecological Restoration Work Party
    Wingra Oak Savanna

    9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at Arbor Dr. parking lot, off Monroe St. Event capacity is limited, please arrive by 9 a.m. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Sunday, October 3

    Nature Hike
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Learn about the land; plants, animals, and fungi; phenology; and ecological practices and concepts. Geared for adults, these longer walks may cover some sloping terrain. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and come prepared for weather and insects. Walks take place rain or shine, except in unsafe weather. Free, no registration required. Event capacity is limited. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Tuesday, October 5

    The United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
    Virtual Talk

    7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

    Hazel Thornton, Programme Officer for the United Nations (UN) Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre. 2021 marks the start of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Join us as we explore the how, what, where, when, and why of this global movement that aims to tackle poverty, combat climate change, and prevent mass extinctions through the restoration of degraded ecosystems. Free. Register by October 1: https://go.wisc.edu/5j3bp0.

  • Thursday, October 7

    Birds of the Arboretum
    Virtual Class

    9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

    Arboretum birds range from the tiny hummingbird to the majestic bald eagle. Some stay year-round while others pass through in spring and fall. Chuck Henrikson, an avid birder and citizen scientist, monitors birds at the Arboretum weekly, all year long, rain or shine. He logs his sightings with eBird and writes birding reports for Journey North. He will share his knowledge and love of birds in this webinar. Register by October 3. Fee: $20.

  • Saturday, October 9

    Ecological Restoration Work Party
    Core Area and Curtis Prairie

    9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at the Visitor Center. Event capacity is limited, please arrive by 9 a.m. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Sunday, October 10

    Family Nature Walk
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    This walk is a fun and fascinating way for families with children elementary age and younger to explore the natural world. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and come prepared for weather and insects. Walks take place rain or shine, except in unsafe weather. Adults must attend. Free, no registration required. Event capacity is limited. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Tuesday, October 12

    Building an Ecosystem of Equity: Advancing Climate Justice to Protect People and Create a Prosperous Planet
    Virtual Talk

    7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

    Dr. Jalonne L. White-Newsome, founder of Empowering a Green Environment and Economy, LLC. Dr. White-Newsome will discuss how not leading with equity and justice can contribute to degraded ecosystems, climate, and public health. She will outline seven simple principles practitioners and community leaders can follow to prevent, halt, and reverse ecosystem degradation. Free. Register by October 8: https://go.wisc.edu/5f0k0c.

  • Thursday, October 14

    Bluebirds
    Virtual Class

    9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

    Learn about the fascinating life of bluebirds, bluebird behavior, the reasons for bluebird decline, and restoration efforts. Instructor: Sylvia Marek, Arboretum naturalist, who created the Arboretum’s bluebird trail and has monitored it for more than 20 years. Register by October 11. Fee: $20.

  • Saturday, October 16

    Ecological Restoration Work Party
    Grady Tract

    9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at Grady Tract parking lot, southeast corner of Seminole Hwy. and W. Beltline Frontage Rd. Event capacity is limited, please arrive by 9 a.m. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Saturday, October 16

    Full Moon Night Walk
    Walk

    6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

    Hear the last insects calling in the grasslands and see migrating birds on their way south. We will walk under the waxing moon (full moon is October 20), looking and listening for animal life and sky shadows. Free, no registration required. Event capacity is limited. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, October 17

    Nature Hike
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Learn about the land; plants, animals, and fungi; phenology; and ecological practices and concepts. Geared for adults, these longer walks may cover some sloping terrain. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and come prepared for weather and insects. Walks take place rain or shine, except in unsafe weather. Free, no registration required. Event capacity is limited. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Tuesday, October 19

    Lindsay Heights: An Urban Restoration Story
    Virtual Talk

    7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

    Francesca Dawson, community advocate and mentor. Poverty, predatory lending, food deserts, and low unemployment created community challenges in this Milwaukee neighborhood. Learn how people of all ages organized to reclaim and redevelop their community and address the most pressing economic, environmental, and health issues. Free. Register by October 15: https://go.wisc.edu/8303w9.

  • Thursday, October 21

    Owls
    Virtual Class

    9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

    Learn about Wisconsin’s twelve owl species, focusing on the three that nest in Madison, and how to identify these elusive birds of prey. Habitat, calls, courtship, hunting, and eating will be discussed. Instructor: Sylvia Marek, Arboretum naturalist. Fee: $20. Register by October 18.

  • Saturday, October 23

    Ecological Restoration Work Party
    Lost City

    9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at Martin Street parking lot, off Fish Hatchery Road. Event capacity is limited, please arrive by 9 a.m. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Sunday, October 24

    Garden Stroll
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

    This gently paced stroll through the gardens is well-suited for a multi-generational outing. Learn about plants, animals, and fungi; phenology; and ecology. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and come prepared for weather and insects. Walks take place rain or shine, except in unsafe weather. Routes are wheelchair accessible when weather allows. Free, no registration required. Event capacity is limited. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Tuesday, October 26

    Re-Indigenizing the UW–Madison Campus
    Virtual Talk

    7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

    Daniel Cornelius, outreach specialist and deputy director, Great Lakes Indigenous Law Center, UW–Madison Law School. Since 2019, cross-campus collaborations have resulted in the establishment of an Indigenous Research Garden and sugarbush at the Arboretum. These collaborations are part of larger efforts to better incorporate Indigenous perspective and practices into the campus landscape and course curriculum. Free. Register by October 22: https://go.wisc.edu/1dd46l.

  • Saturday, October 30

    Mounds of the Arboretum
    Class

    1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

    Earthen mounds with conical, linear, and animal shapes were built by Native people in southern Wisconsin. The effigy mound groups at the Arboretum are among the few remaining of hundreds built in our area more than 1,000 years ago. Learn about the mounds, the people who created them, and their environment. Takes place indoors, with an outdoor walk if weather permits. Instructor: Paul Borowsky, Arboretum naturalist. Meet at the Visitor Center. Fee: $20. Register by October 26.

  • Sunday, October 31

    Nature Hike
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Learn about the land; plants, animals, and fungi; phenology; and ecological practices and concepts. Geared for adults, these longer walks may cover some sloping terrain. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and come prepared for weather and insects. Walks take place rain or shine, except in unsafe weather. Free, no registration required. Event capacity is limited. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, October 31

    Touring the Lost City
    Walk

    2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

    In the 1920s, developers planned a “Venice of the North,” to be called Lake Forest. That land is now part of the Arboretum. Hike to the site of the failed subdivision, discovering construction remnants along the way. Portions of the hike require stepping over obstacles. Free. Space is limited, advance registration is required, opens October 1 and closes October 24 or when full: https://arboretum-lost-city-tour-2021.eventbrite.com. Meet outside the Visitor Center.

  • Thursday, November 4

    Poetry from the Anthropocene
    Class

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Contemporary eco-poetry is shaped by ideas associated with our current geological epoch called the Anthropocene: the unprecedented influence that humans have on the non-human natural world. Join us to explore works by African American and Native American poets as well as science-based poetry. Instructor: Troy Hess. Fee $30. Two classes, November 4 and 11. Register by October 28. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Saturday, November 6

    Ecological Restoration Work Party
    Wingra Oak Savanna

    9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at Arbor Dr. parking lot, off Monroe St. Event capacity is limited, please arrive by 9 a.m. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Sunday, November 7

    Nature Hike
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Learn about the land; plants, animals, and fungi; phenology; and ecological practices and concepts. Geared for adults, these longer walks may cover some sloping terrain. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and come prepared for weather and insects. Walks take place rain or shine, except in unsafe weather. Free, no registration required. Event capacity is limited. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Saturday, November 13

    Ecological Restoration Work Party
    Core Area and Curtis Prairie

    9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at the Visitor Center. Event capacity is limited, please arrive by 9 a.m. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Saturday, November 13

    History of the Arboretum's Lost City
    Class

    1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

    Learn about the fascinating history of the failed Lake Forest development project and the land that became part of the Arboretum. This two-part indoor class will explore the personalities involved, why the project didn’t succeed, and the status of the area now. Includes a video tour of the site. Instructor: Kathy Miner, Arboretum naturalist. Fee: $20 for session. Registration required by November 9. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, November 14

    Family Nature Walk
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    This walk is a fun and fascinating way for families with children elementary age and younger to explore the natural world. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and come prepared for weather and insects. Walks take place rain or shine, except in unsafe weather. Adults must attend. Free, no registration required. Event capacity is limited. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Saturday, November 20

    Ecological Restoration Work Party
    Grady Tract

    9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at Grady Tract parking lot, southeast corner of Seminole Hwy. and W. Beltline Frontage Rd. Event capacity is limited, please arrive by 9 a.m. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Saturday, November 20

    Full Moon Night Walk
    Walk

    6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

    Naturalists lead this walk under the Deer Running Moon. Hear night sounds and consider what may have inspired the Ho-Chunk people to give the November full moon this name (others call it the Frost Moon). Free, no registration required. Event capacity is limited. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, November 21

    Nature Hike
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Learn about the land; plants, animals, and fungi; phenology; and ecological practices and concepts. Geared for adults, these longer walks may cover some sloping terrain. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and come prepared for weather and insects. Walks take place rain or shine, except in unsafe weather. Free, no registration required. Event capacity is limited. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Saturday, November 27

    Ecological Restoration Work Party
    Lost City

    9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at Martin Street parking lot, off Fish Hatchery Road. Event capacity is limited, please arrive by 9 a.m. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Sunday, November 28

    Garden Stroll
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

    This gently paced stroll through the gardens is well-suited for a multi-generational outing. Learn about plants, animals, and fungi; phenology; and ecology. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and come prepared for weather and insects. Walks take place rain or shine, except in unsafe weather. Routes are wheelchair accessible when weather allows. Free, no registration required. Event capacity is limited. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Wednesday, December 1

    Ecopoetry – Following W.S. Merwin
    Class

    10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Lauded as one of the most important poetic voices of the last century, W.S. Merwin cultivated a uniquely spiritually tuned voice concerned with the state of nature, time, and human perception. This two-part indoor class (December 1 and 8) will be a conversation exploring ecology, eastern spirituality, and poetic technique. Instructor: Troy Hess. Fee $30. Register by November 24. Meet at the Visitor Center.