University of Wisconsin Arboretum


The UW Arboretum was founded on April 26, 1932, when the University Board of Regents accepted the deeds to 6 parcels, 246 acres of land on the southwestern end of Madison's Lake Wingra, creating the "University of Wisconsin Forest Preserve Arboretum and Wildlife Refuge."

In 1933, G. William Longenecker was named Arboretum Executive Director. Longenecker Horticultural Gardens would be named after him. Aldo Leopold was named Research Director. Leopold and other members of the first Arboretum Committee, especially Professor Norman C. Fassett of the Botany Department, proposed a research agenda around re-establishing "original Wisconsin" landscape and plant communities, particularly those that predated European settlement, such as tallgrass prairie and oak savanna. Between 1935 and 1941, crews from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) provided most of the labor to accomplish this task under the supervision of Ted Sperry, an ecologist and prairie plant root specialist who had studied with Arthur G. Vestal at the University of Illinois.


University of Wisconsin Arboretum Visitor Center.

University of Wisconsin Arboretum sign at Seminole Hwy entrance.

Entrance arch for Longenecker Gardens at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin.

Metal cutout parking sign at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin.

Metal cutout McCaffrey Drive road sign at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin.

Metal cutout sign at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin.

Metal cutout sign at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin on April 18, 2015.

Metal cutout sign at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum Monroe Street Parking lot near the Oak Savanna.

Metal cutout sign for Pine Collection in Longenecker Gardens at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum.


Below: Oak Savanna along north shore of Lake Wingra between Monroe Street and Ho-Nee-Um Pond.

Oak Savanna in the University of Wisconsin Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin on October 16, 2018.
Below: Curtis Prairie metal sign in the University of Wisconsin Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin on March 26, 2019.

Curtis Prairie metal sign in the University of Wisconsin Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin on March 26, 2019.
Below: Early crocus and snowdrops in the University of Wisconsin Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin on March 26, 2019.

Crocus in the University of Wisconsin Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin on March 26, 2019.

Snowdrops in the University of Wisconsin Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin on March 26, 2019.

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The University of Wisconsin Arboretum maintains more than 17 miles of trails through restored prairies, savannas, woodlands, and wetlands. The trail system offers visitors recreational, inspirational, and educational opportunities. It is also designed to facilitate the protection of landscapes, wildlife habitat, cultural resources, and ecosystem integrity. For more information visit the UW Arboretum website.

The Arboretum was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2019.


University of Wisconsin Arboretum Visitors Center on March 17, 2019.

Longenecker Gardens at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum on March 26, 2019.

Above: University of Wisconsin Arboretum in March, 2019.


Longenecker Gardens at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum on March 20, 2012.

Longenecker Gardens at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum on March 20, 2012.

Longenecker Gardens at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum on March 20, 2012.

Longenecker Gardens at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum on March 20, 2012.

Longenecker Gardens at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum on March 20, 2012.

Above: Longenecker Gardens at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum on March 20, 2012.


University of Wisconsin Arboretum on May 18, 2015.

Above: University of Wisconsin Arboretum on May 18, 2015.




Big Spring flowing into Lake Wingra in the University of Wisconsin Arboretum on March 3, 2019.

Above: Big Spring flowing into Lake Wingra in the University of Wisconsin Arboretum on March 3, 2019.


White Clay Spring flowing into Lake Wingra in the University of Wisconsin Arboretum on March 3, 2019.

Above: White Clay Spring (686 ft. east of Big Spring) flowing into Lake Wingra in the University of Wisconsin Arboretum on March 3, 2019.


White Clay Spring flowing into Lake Wingra in the University of Wisconsin Arboretum on March26, 2019.



Above: West Spring flowing into Lake Wingra in the University of Wisconsin Arboretum on March 26, 2019.


Wild turkey in Longenecker Gardens at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum on March 17, 2019.

Above: Wild turkey in Longenecker Gardens at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum on March 17, 2019.


Pussy Willow in Longenecker Gardens at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum on March 17, 2019.

Above: Pussy Willow in Longenecker Gardens at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum on March 17, 2019.


American Chestnut in Longenecker Gardens at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum on March 17, 2019.

Above: American Chestnut in Longenecker Gardens at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum on March 17, 2019.


Crabapple blossoms along the Ho-Nee-Um boardwalk in the UW Arboretum on May 17, 2018.

Crabapple blossoms along the Ho-Nee-Um boardwalk in the UW Arboretum on May 17, 2018.

Above: Crabapple blossoms along the Ho-Nee-Um boardwalk in the UW Arboretum on the north shore of Lake Wingra on May 17, 2018.


Crabapples along the Ho-Nee-Um boardwalk in the UW Arboretum on October 4, 2018.

Crabapples along the Ho-Nee-Um boardwalk in the UW Arboretum on October 4, 2018.

Above: Crabapples along the Ho-Nee-Um boardwalk in the UW Arboretum on the north shore of Lake Wingra on October 4, 2018.


Canada Geese in Ho-Nee-Um Pond in the UW Arboretum on October 4, 2018.

Canada Geese in Ho-Nee-Um Pond in the UW Arboretum on October 4, 2018.

Above: Canada Geese in Ho-Nee-Um Pond in the UW Arboretum on October 4, 2018.



Oak Savanna in the University of Wisconsin Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin on October 16, 2018.

Above: Oak Savanna along north shore of Lake Wingra between Monroe Street and Ho-Nee-Um Pond on October 16, 2018.


For more information visit the UW Arboretum website.


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