Welcome to the Gottfried Prairie and Arboretum

At one time, most of Fond du Lac County was covered by prairie -- native grasslands that were home to bison, prairie chickens, bobolinks and other wildlife. At the Gottfried Prairie and Arboretum on the UW-Fond du Lac campus, a group of volunteers has reestablished the native plants that once grew on this site.

The project began in 1991, with the goal of representing the original plant communities of Wisconsin in a small arboretum. At present, volunteers have planted 42 acres of native prairie grasses and wildflowers, developed two wildlife ponds and planted 176 native trees and shrubs. Most of the wildflower seeds were collected from some of the last remaining original prairie sites in Fond du Lac County. To educate local residents there's an interpretive trail as well as six benches, two picnic tables, and a kiosk for recreation.

The Formal Arboretum is an innovative attempt to depict the native plants and plant communities of Wisconsin in a design representing the "Tension Zone" of our state. This is the area of overlap of northern and southern Wisconsin plant communities, which occurs in the Fond du Lac area. It consists of savannah, lowland forests and northern mixed forests, plus their associated wildflowers.

The Gottfried Prairie and Arboretum is named for Bradley Gottfried, former dean of UW-Fond du Lac, and a major force behind the project's initiation and development. Dean Gottfried's vision and persistence have resulted in the restoration of a portion of native prairie for county residents to enjoy.

A Plate for the Prairie

A fundraiser dinner at La Clare Farms honoring Ellen Flood will feature a locally sourced, three coarse meal (vegetarian option available). Space is limited. RSVP is a must! Contact wiscotmcd@hotmail.com for information.

Art in the Prairie

Wednesdays June 24th, July 1st, July 8th, July 15th from 10:00 AM to noon. 4weeks of exploring the arts in a natural setting. Nature walks and activities to inspire kids to get out in nature! Youth ages 8-12 welcome to sign up. There is a $20 total fee for supplies. Space is limited so contact wiscotmcd@hotmail.com for more information.

Educational Programs

Plants, Natural Communities and Climate Change

Craig Anderson
Wednesday June 17th, 2015 7pm
Room UC114 UW-FDL

The focus of this discussion will be on plants and their natural
communities including ecological function and processes. It will address
the use of natural areas in studying and measuring climate change on
plants and natural communities and in maintaining viable populations
of rare species. Adaptation, effective planning and preparation could
help wildlife, property, money and even lives. Learn more about how
scientists are investigating the potential impacts of climate change in

Craig is a state parks ecologist and the former chair of the WICCI
(Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts) Plants and Natural
Communities working group.
Green Fire's Photo

Green Fire

Snowshoe the Gottfried Prairie and Arboretum's Photo

Snowshoe the Gottfried Prairie and Arboretum