The oldest restored prairie in the world, this is the most accessible of the five prairies and savannas in the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, which contains re-created native landscapes including prairie, savanna, forest, and wetlands spread out over 1,200 acres. Land for the arboretum was acquired by the university in the 1930s and developed by conservationists that included wildlife ecologist and longtime Univer- sity of Wisconsin professor Aldo Leopold, who envisioned a reconstructed landscape of Wisconsin as it appeared pre-European settlement in the 1830s. The Civilian Conservation Corps played a pivotal role in the early development of the arboretum. Crews from the CCC provided labor that built the initial layout of the arboretum and established the different ecological communities on its grounds. More than 300 species of native plants are found in the arboretum, including many wildflowers. The rich tapestry of ecological communities also includes a wide spectrum of animal life, including birds, insects, amphibians, and reptiles, as well as mammals like coyote, rabbit, deer, skunk, woodchuck, vole, mole, mouse, shrew, rac- coon, opossum, and mink. The arboretum has a visitor center with exhibits on the natural history of the area as well as numerous activities for visitors.
© Michael Ream/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.