Campus Green Spaces

In addition to the Plant Growth Facilities, UW Madison has a number of managed landscapes where you can commune with nature. Check them out!

Allen Centennial Gardens

This garden is free and open to the public, year-round. Hours: dawn to dusk

They offer garden memberships, classes, and a beautiful place to stroll and relax. The Victorian gothic house in the garden was one of the first buildings on campus, and was the residence for the first 4 deans.Takes volunteers & hires interns.

Lakeshore Nature Preserve

~300 acre natural area on the west end of campus includes marsh and woodlands. Open 4 am to 10 pm, year-round.

It is a lovely place for hiking, jogging, birding and picnicking. Includes the ever-popular PICNIC POINT You can also help maintain and enhance it; there are many volunteer opportunities.

Eagle Heights Gardens

One of the nation’s oldest operating community gardens. ~ 450 organic plots; many of the gardeners are international students living in the Eagle Heights housing nearby. You do NOT need to be a resident of Eagle Heights to apply for a plot though! Serves a very international community – gardeners speak ~60 different languages.

Wisconsin Institute for Discovery

A trans-disciplinary research institute that partners research, education and business. Located in the Discovery building which also has restaurants, workshops, and presentations open to the public. This building is also home to the Mesozoic Garden, and a tree-lined atrium.


A set of resources and programming for bioscience undergraduates all across UW-Madison. You can find it online and at Steenbock Library (garden level).

“The BioCommons is your place: to think • to play • to explore • to reach out • to try things • to get inspired • to find answers • to solve problems • to cross boundaries • to build community”

The Arboretum

The Arboretum comprises 1,200 acres in Madison, plus outlying properties throughout Wisconsin. Efforts to restore or create historic ecological communities have continued through the decades, and the Arboretum manages the oldest restored prairie along with an extensive collection of restored ecosystems.

In addition, like most arboreta, the Arboretum has traditional horticultural collections of labeled plants arranged in garden-like displays. These collections feature trees and shrubs of the world and represent the state’s largest woody plant collection. Some of these collections, such as lilacs and the pinetum, have been part of the Arboretum since its earliest years.

Trails: 7 a.m.–10 p.m.

Visitor Center: Mon.–Fri. 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat.–Sun. 12:30–4 p.m. Interested in volunteering?

The Botany Media Studio

Located at B318 Birge Hall, is a resource for faculty, staff and students of the Department of Botany. Studio services include, but are not limited to: illustration, photography, charts and figures, flyers and posters, brochures, web design. The studio is equipped with several Mac workstations, a 44-inch wide-format printer, a flatbed scanner, a 25-inch-wide laminator, and a dissecting microscope with digital camera (Leica EZ4D).

Wisconsin State Herbarium

Home to > 1.2 million specimens, this resource is the 10th largest herbarium in the U.S. All professional and amateur botanists, or members of the public, are welcome to make use of the Wisconsin State Herbarium. Visitors may examine

specimens once they check-in with and are oriented by a member of the Herbarium staff and receive instruction as to the proper handling of specimens. There are no charges for on-site study of the collections. The Herbarium is open most weekdays from 7:45am – 4:30pm, or by special appointment outside of these hours. Located in Birge Hall.

Newcomb Imaging Center (NIC)

Is a center for research and education in the Department of Botany which offers expertise, instruction, and access to instrumentation in modern microscopy to the community of scientists at UW Madison. Located in B150 Birge Hall, the NIC hosts teaching, research, outreach events, demos, and a meeting workshop. Typically per year there are over 1000 sign-ups to use our equipment with more than 100 different researchers and students making use of the Center. The NIC is managed and administered by a single 50% staff member.

Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic

The University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension Plant Disease Diagnostics Clinic (PDDC) provides assistance in identifying plant diseases and provides educational information on plant diseases and their control. PDDC clients include agricultural and horticultural producers (e.g., farmers, nursery owners), agricultural and horticultural professionals (e.g., crop consultants, arborists), home gardeners, Extension staff and Master Gardener volunteers, and state and local government (e.g., Wisconsin DNR, city and county foresters).

While the Plant Disease Diagnostics Clinic focuses on plant disease problems in the state of Wisconsin, any interested party is welcome and encouraged to take advantage of and participate in the Clinic’s educational services and activities.

Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center

The mission of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center is grand, but simply stated: to perform the basic research that generates technology to convert cellulosic biomass to ethanol and other advanced biofuels. With more than 400 scientists, students and staff representing a wide array of disciplines from microbiology to economics and engineering, the GLBRC’s collaborative spirit illustrates how