Widely recognized as the site of historic research in ecological restoration, the UW-Arboretum (administered by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education) includes the oldest and most varied collection of restored ecological communities in the world, including tallgrass prairies, savannas, several forest types and wetlands. It also houses flowering trees, shrubs and a world-famous lilac collection. Current research builds on an eight-decade legacy that began with planting experiments to restore pasture to prairie, transform farm fields to forest, and create wildlife habitat. Educational tours for groups and the general public, science and nature-based classes for all ages and abilities, and a wide variety of volunteer opportunities for groups, families and individuals are available.

In the early 1930s, the Arboretum was cultivated fields and pastures that had fallen into disuse. The university decided, early on, to try to bring back the plants and animals that had lived on the land before its development. Read more...

Tending the Arboretum's 1,260 acres and more than 1,266 acres in outlying properties requires an experienced staff of land managers, along with scientists, students and volunteers who restore and protect biological diversity and ecosystem functions. Read more...

Arboretum Photographs