2017 Native Plant Sale

The Gottfried Prairie and Arboretum is pleased to offer a plant sale for the 2017 growing season. Native plants can be purchased individually (minimum of two per species) or as part of a complete garden plan designed by Connie Ramthun. Download our brochure and order form for more information. Prepaid orders must be received by March 24th for May 13th pick up at UW-Fond du Lac.

Download the 2017 Plant Sale Order Form



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.

Educational Programs

A Burning Need: Aldo Leopold, Restoration and the Big Picture of Fire as a Management Tool in Wisconsin

Jed Meunier
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 7 pm
Room UC114 UW-FDL

As with his position on predators, Aldo Leopold also changed his mind on the role of fire in maintaining forests and other fire-dependent systems. In this transformation, Leopold became an early advocate of fire as a management tool and initiated some of the first formal restoration attempts of fire-dependent communities. Many groups now are heavily invested in using prescribed fire to conserve and restore systems, primarily prairie and savanna which are greatly diminished. Rarely however, do we put our work into the context of regional or statewide opportunities and challenges. This talk is just that; a statewide fire needs assessment which aims to prioritize prescribed fire to maintain a full suite of fire-dependent communities in Wisconsin over the coming decades. It will also explore how Leopold's Shack and Sand Counties fit into this picture.
Jed Meunier is an ecologist and research scientist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources studying forest and fire ecology. His dissertation research was on fire ecology in northern Mexico aimed at guiding forest management and restoration in northern Mexico and the U.S. southwest, very much in line with what Aldo Leopold had himself promoted seven decades prior. Jed received his M.S. in the Wildlife Ecology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Department his great-grandfather started in 1933, where he studied the effects of hunting on declining American woodcock populations. Jed has not lacked sources for inspiration; his mentors and role models include his grandmother, Nina Leopold Bradley, and her siblings. Jed's course, both personally and academically, is very much entwined with the mission and legacy of his family and the Aldo Leopold Foundation where he serves on the board of directors.
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