• Thursday, February 20

    Gardening for Hummingbirds
    Winter Enrichment Lecture

    9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

    Kathi and Michael Rock, hummingbird enthusiasts. Fee: $10. Register by February 17.

  • Saturday, February 22

    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. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Sunday, February 23

    If Trees Could Talk
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Aldo Leopold’s essay “The Good Oak” tells us that trees are a source of history and knowledge. Join a naturalist to walk in a forest looking for clues of the past through keen observation of trees and other elements of nature. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, February 23

    February Findings
    Family Nature Program

    1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

    Come prepared for discovery on a nature scavenger hunt in a “quiet” Wisconsin winter month. Walk, 1:30–2:30 p.m., indoor activities, 2:30–3:30 p.m. Designed for families with children ages 3–11. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Thursday, February 27

    From Military Facility to Green Space—The Transformation of the Badger Army Ammunition Plant
    Winter Enrichment Lecture

    9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

    Charlie Luthin, executive director, Sauk Prairie Conservation Alliance. Fee: $10. Register by February 24.

  • Sunday, March 1

    In Leopold's Footsteps
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Learn where conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Arboretum’s first research director, conducted famous phenological research from 1935–45 and established the first restorations of Wisconsin’s natural ecosystems. This walk is a prelude to Aldo Leopold Weekend events (March 6–8). Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Wednesday, March 4

    Using Fire to Manage Habitat
    Public Talk

    7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

    Mike Mossman, wildlife ecologist, and Michael Hansen, Arboretum land care manager, will talk about prescribed burns for land management and the effect on wildlife, especially breeding birds. Jill Metcoff will talk about photographing fire and sign her books. “Firelines: Humans and Habitat Renewal,” an exhibit of Metcoff's black-and-white photography, will be on view. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Thursday, March 5

    Invasive Jumping Worms: The Impact of a New Soil Invader
    Winter Enrichment Lecture

    9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

    Brad Herrick, ecologist, UW–Madison Arboretum. Fee: $10. Register by March 2.

  • Friday, March 6

    Following Oliver, Nature Poetry Workshop, session 1
    Class

    10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Explore the poetry of Mary Oliver and other nature writers. Learn new techniques and receive feedback in an inspiring and supportive environment. Weather permitting, there will be an outdoor class component. Class is meant for participants who want to write regularly. Reading material provided, but you are encouraged to bring your own. Instructor: Troy Hess. Fee: $15 per session. Register for any or all sessions (also March 13, 20, and 27). Register by March 2.

  • Friday, March 6

    Green Fire Movie Night
    Special Event

    7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

    Kick off Leopold Weekend by watching the Aldo Leopold documentary Green Fire, followed by group discussion and reflection. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center. Presented for Aldo Leopold Weekend.

  • Saturday, March 7

    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. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Saturday, March 7

    15th-Annual Madison Reads Leopold
    Community Event

    9:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.

    Free public reading from A Sand County Almanac and other works by conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Arboretum’s first research director. Readers from the community will share Leopold’s eloquent statements about humans’ relationship to the natural environment. Come for your favorite essays or stay all day. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center. Presented for Aldo Leopold Weekend.

  • Sunday, March 8

    Awakening Land
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    We will look for buds swelling, the return of birds such as sandhill cranes and turkey vultures, and signs of mole and worm activity in the thawed soil. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, March 8

    Living like Leopold
    Family Nature Program

    1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

    Explore Leopold’s values about caring for the land and its inhabitants. Learn how restoration ecology is shaped by his land ethic. Walk, 1:30–2:30 p.m., indoor activities, 2:30–3:30 p.m. Designed for families with children ages 3–11. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Monday, March 9

    Supermoon
    Night Walk

    7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

    The March full moon is called Raccoon Breeding Moon by the Ho-Chunk. This year it is a full supermoon, when the full moon is also near its closest approach to Earth during its orbit. Learn about the night sky and listen for owls and other nocturnal animals. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Thursday, March 12

    Fungal Armaments and Warfare: How Battles between Microbes Leads to Drug Discovery
    Winter Enrichment Lecture

    9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

    Nancy Keller, professor, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, UW–Madison. Fee: $10. Register by March 9.

  • Friday, March 13

    Following Oliver, Nature Poetry Workshop, session 2
    Class

    10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Explore the poetry of Mary Oliver and other nature writers. Learn new techniques and receive feedback in an inspiring and supportive environment. Weather permitting, there will be an outdoor class component. Class is meant for participants who want to write regularly. Reading material provided, but you are encouraged to bring your own. Instructor: Troy Hess. Fee: $15 per session. Register for any or all sessions (also March 6, 20, and 27). Register by March 9.

  • Saturday, March 14

    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. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Sunday, March 15

    Looking for the Green
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Mother Nature always begins to show some green around this time of year. Search for the many hues of green on this naturalist-led walk. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Friday, March 20

    Following Oliver, Nature Poetry Workshop, session 3
    Class

    10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Explore the poetry of Mary Oliver and other nature writers. Learn new techniques and receive feedback in an inspiring and supportive environment. Weather permitting, there will be an outdoor class component. Class is meant for participants who want to write regularly. Reading material provided, but you are encouraged to bring your own. Instructor: Troy Hess. Fee: $15 per session. Register for any or all sessions (also March 6, 13, and 27). Register by March 16.

  • Saturday, March 21

    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. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Saturday, March 21

    Phenology—Keeping Track of Nature
    Class

    1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

    March is the perfect time to tune into spring unfolding. Phenology—the study of periodic occurrences in nature—is both art and science, practiced for millennia across cultures and regions. Learn about different approaches, and even invent your own. Instructor: Kathy Miner, Arboretum naturalist. Fee: $20. Register by March 17. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, March 22

    Early Migrants
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Birds are returning from the south. Neotropical migrants spend the winter in Central and South America, then return here to nest. We will look for early migrants as well as early nesters among our year-long residents. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, March 22

    Muddy March
    Family Nature Program

    1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

    Learn about changes to plants, animals, and the ground we walk on as spring approaches. Walk, 1:30–2:30 p.m., indoor activities, 2:30–3:30 p.m. Designed for families with children ages 3–11. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Friday, March 27

    Following Oliver, Nature Poetry Workshop, session 4
    Class

    10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Explore the poetry of Mary Oliver and other nature writers. Learn new techniques and receive feedback in an inspiring and supportive environment. Weather permitting, there will be an outdoor class component. Class is meant for participants who want to write regularly. Reading material provided, but you are encouraged to bring your own. Instructor: Troy Hess. Fee: $15 per session. Register for any or all sessions (March 6, 13, and 27). Register by March 13.

  • Saturday, March 28

    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. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Sunday, March 29

    Reading the Early Spring Landscape
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    The arrival of spring is different every year. If you observe closely you’ll notice the variations. Get tips on what to look for as nature awakens from the long winter. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Saturday, April 4

    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. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Saturday, April 4

    Arboretum Mycoflora Project Workshop
    Citizen Science Training

    9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Discover the biology and ecology of fungi and participate in a mycoflora citizen science project. Learn to photograph and document fungi, take part in an outdoor bioblitz, and practice fungal identification skills. Long pants and closed-toe shoes required. Instructors: Jessica Ross, Arboretum citizen science coordinator, and Kathleen Thompson, Madison Mycological Society member. Free. Registration required by March 31. Email jnross4@wisc.edu to sign up.

  • Saturday, April 4

    Sky Dance
    Night Walk

    7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

    Listen for frogs and other night animals, like woodcocks performing their unique mating ritual. We can’t guarantee that wildlife will appear but if they do, it’s a treat to witness the woodcock’s fascinating sky dance. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, April 5

    Effigy Mounds
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    The Arboretum contains rare mound groups built more than 1,000 years ago. On this naturalist-led walk in Wingra and Gallistel woods, you will learn about these ancient earthworks and the people who built them. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, April 5

    Eco-Stroll
    Walk

    1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Learn about Arboretum history, land, and science on a gently paced walk. This shorter leisurely alternative to our weekly nature walks is well suited for a multigenerational outing. Route is wheelchair accessible. First Sunday of the month, April through October. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Saturday, April 11

    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. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Sunday, April 12

    Birds of the Arboretum
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Birds are returning from the south. Neotropical migrants spend the winter in Central and South America, then return here to nest. We will look for early migrants as well as early nesters among our year-long residents. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, April 12

    Frogs
    Family Walk

    1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Walk to nearby ponds and wetlands to listen for frogs calling and learn how they grow from egg to adult. Walk, 1:30–2:30 p.m. Designed for families with children ages 3–11. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Saturday, April 18

    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. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Sunday, April 19

    For Love of Earth
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Honor Earth Day (April 22) on an early spring walk to search for signs of renewal in the gardens and woodlands. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Saturday, April 25

    Spring Bird Hike

    7 a.m. – 9 a.m.

    You can see more than 170 bird species at the Arboretum during the year. Join us for a guided bird hike, with a focus on migrating spring birds. All experience levels welcome, binoculars recommended. Hikes cancelled for heavy rain or lightning. Free, no registration required, but to help us plan please share your interest via this form: https://arboretum.wisc.edu/visit/events/spring-bird-hikes/. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Saturday, April 25

    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. Presented in conjunction with Party for the Planet. Space is limited and advance registration is required, email Marian Farrior. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Saturday, April 25

    Magnolias
    Garden Tour

    1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

    Tour the Longenecker Horticultural Gardens extensive magnolia collection, and other spring flowering plants encountered along the way, with Michael Jesiolowski, Janesville Rotary Botanical Gardens’ director of horticulture. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Saturday, April 25

    Introduction to Wisconsin Geology
    Class

    1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

    Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by gaining a greater understanding of Wisconsin geology. Learn about the forces that shape the planet, geologic time, and how to identify rocks that can be found locally. Instructors: Sue Bridson and Stephanie Williams, Arboretum naturalists. Fee: $20, Register by April 21.

  • Saturday, April 25

    Ecological Restoration Work Party
    Wingra Oak Savanna

    1 p.m. – 3 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. Presented in conjunction with Party for the Planet. Space is limited and advance registration is required, email Marian Farrior. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Sunday, April 26

    Woodland Wildflowers
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    If this is a typical spring, we may find bloodroot, wild ginger, bluebells, and Dutchman’s breeches (among other delights) along the trails of the restored woodlands. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, April 26

    Birds on the Move
    Family Nature Program

    1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

    Learn about spring migration and look for birds that may be arriving or just passing through. Walk, 1:30–2:30 p.m., indoor activities, 2:30–3:30 p.m. Designed for families with children ages 3–11. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Saturday, May 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. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Saturday, May 2

    Arboretum Mycoflora Project Workshop
    Citizen Science Training

    9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Discover the biology and ecology of fungi and participate in a mycoflora citizen science project. Learn to photograph and document fungi, take part in an outdoor bioblitz, and practice fungal identification skills. Long pants and closed-toe shoes required. Instructors: Jessica Ross, Arboretum citizen science coordinator, and Kathleen Thompson, Madison Mycological Society member. Free. Registration required by April 28. Email jnross4@wisc.edu to sign up.

  • Saturday, May 2

    Early Signs of Spring
    Garden Tour

    1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

    As trees begin to leaf out, Dutchman’s breeches, twin-leaf, and rue-anemones might be blooming in the Wisconsin Native Plant Garden woodland gardens, and prairie-smoke in the prairie gardens. Susan Carpenter will lead this tour. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Saturday, May 2

    All about Bluebirds
    Class

    1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

    The Arboretum’s bluebird trail in Longenecker Horticultural Gardens is more than 30 years old. In this indoor/outdoor class, you’ll walk the trail and learn about bluebirds, their behavior, their decline, and restoration efforts. Dress for the weather. Instructor: Sylvia Marek, Arboretum naturalist. Fee: $20. Register by April 27. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, May 3

    Spring Wildflowers in Wingra Woods
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

    Look for wildflowers in Wingra Woods and watch for other signs of renewal. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, May 3

    Eco-Stroll
    Walk

    1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Learn about Arboretum history, land, and science on a gently paced walk. This shorter leisurely alternative to our weekly nature walks is well-suited for a multigenerational outing. Route is wheelchair accessible. First Sunday of the month, April through October. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Thursday, May 7

    Light of the Moon
    Night Walk

    8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

    The Ho-Chunk call this full moon the Earth Drying Moon, as the ground becomes dry enough for planting. Walk by the light of the moon with a naturalist. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Saturday, May 9

    Spring Bird Hike

    7 a.m. – 9 a.m.

    You can see more than 170 bird species at the Arboretum during the year. Join us for a guided bird hike, with a focus on migrating spring birds. All experience levels welcome, binoculars recommended. Hikes cancelled for heavy rain or lightning. Free, no registration required, but to help us plan please share your interest via this form: https://arboretum.wisc.edu/visit/events/spring-bird-hikes/. Meet at Wingra Springs parking lot, off Arboretum Dr.

  • Saturday, May 9

    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. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Saturday, May 9

    Friends of the Arboretum Native Plant Sale

    9:20 a.m. – 2:20 p.m.

    Visit the big tent on the lawn in front of Curtis Prairie to shop for all your native plant gardening needs. Organized by Friends of the Arboretum, open to the general public.

  • Saturday, May 9

    Lilacs
    Garden Tour

    1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

    Established in 1935, the Longenecker Horticultural Gardens lilac collection is one of the largest in the country. Join David Stevens, Gardens curator, to explore lilac history, lore, culture, and color. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, May 10

    Ecosystem Sampler
    Walk

    1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Explore Longenecker Horticultural Gardens and Gallistel Woods in search of birds and blooms with a naturalist. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Sunday, May 10

    Wetlands
    Family Nature Program

    1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

    May is American Wetlands Month. Learn about wetland habitats and the animals that live in them. Walk, 1:30–2:30 p.m., indoor activities, 2:30–3:30 p.m. Designed for families with children ages 3–11. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Saturday, May 16

    Spring Bird Hike

    7 a.m. – 9 a.m.

    You can see more than 170 bird species at the Arboretum during the year. Join us for a guided bird hike, with a focus on migrating spring birds. All experience levels welcome, binoculars recommended. Hikes cancelled for heavy rain or lightning. Free, no registration required, but to help us plan please share your interest via this form: https://arboretum.wisc.edu/visit/events/spring-bird-hikes/. Meet at the Visitor Center.

  • Saturday, May 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. More information: (608) 265-5214 or marian.farrior@wisc.edu.

  • Saturday, May 16

    Crabapples
    Garden Tour

    1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

    With over 200 trees, the Longenecker Horticultural Gardens crabapple collection is the most up to date in the country. Learn why crabapples are the most planted flowering tree in the Midwest with David Stevens, Garden curator, as he highlights some of his favorite selections. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.