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.
Designing a Native Landscape: What Do I Need to Know About the Plants?
Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 7 pm
Room UC-114 University Center
Carol will discuss reducing your lawn and the importance of choosing the right native plants for the right environment. She will show us ways of integrating native plants into your home landscaping and talk about what to look for when choosing native plants.
Carol is a teacher of landscape design and native plant communities at the North Campus of MATC and is the principal owner of Carol K. Bangs & Associates, a landscape design firm in Mequon, WI. Her passions are teaching and preserving our native plants and their environment. She has been studying native landscape communities since 1978. The Mequon Park Board, the Board of the Ozaukee Land Trust, The Wild Ones, Milwaukee North Chapter, and the MATC Landscape Horticulture Advisory are some of the service work she has done for the community.
Saturday, July 27, 2013, 10 am to 3 pm
Gottfried Prairie and Arboretum Grounds
Experience the beauty of the Gottfried prairie at the peak of the summer bloom at the 12th annual Prairie Fest. There will be speakers on many nature-related subjects, children's activities, prairie tours and outdoor exhibits as well as the annual Rain Barrel Auction. The event is free and food will be available for purchase during the entire event.
Enjoying the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Fond du Lac County
Saturday, August 10, 2013, 11 am to 2 pm
Room A-219 Henken Room
Bob's talk and outing will focus on citizen enjoyment of the dragonflies and damselflies of eastern Wisconsin through understanding the many fascinating aspects of their biology, ecology, and behavior. He will also give tips about identifying them and information about how folks can become involved in Wisconsin's statewide dragonfly and damselfly survey.
Bob DuBois is an aquatic ecologist with the Bureau of Endangered Resources in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. He leads citizen monitoring efforts for dragonflies and damselflies through the Wisconsin Odonata Survey, curates the collection, manages the WDNR Odonata website, and recently founded the new Wisconsin Dragonfly Society. He has published field guides to the Damselflies of the North Woods and Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Rocky Mountains.