The Friends of the Gottfried Prairie and Arboretum (FOGPA) welcome you to a hidden gem of Fond du Lac County! As a non-profit organization, FOGPA is committed to the preservation of the native plant community of wildflowers, grasses, and trees plus the promotion of the GP&A as a recreation and environmental education destination.
When the first settlers came to the Fond du Lac County area, it was covered by 36,000 acres of native prairie plus scattered forests and wetlands. These native grasslands were home to bison, prairie chickens, bobolinks and other wildlife. Due to the prairies being plowed in the mid to late 1800’s and other changes over the past 150+ years, most of the native prairie has been lost. At the Gottfried Prairie and Arboretum, adjacent to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Fond du Lac campus, a group of volunteers reestablished the native plants that once grew on this site.
At present, the Gottfried has over 50 acres of restored native prairie established with seed collected from remnants from some of the last remaining original prairie sites in Fond du Lac County. The diversity and scale of the site has attracted many species of invertebrates, birds, and small mammals that lived here at the time of early settlement.
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. The tension zone is the area of overlap of northern and southern Wisconsin plant communities, which occurs in the Fond du Lac area. It consists of southern hardwood forests, oak savanna, prairie, pine savanna, lowland forests, northern conifer- hardwood forests and boreal forests, plus their associated wildflowers.
Discover and explore not only the prairie and arboretum but also our interpretive trails, bike trail, and wildlife pond. To find out more details and maps, click on our Visit Us page.
Interested in events, educational opportunities, plant sales, or how to get involved with the Friends of the Gottfried Prairie and Arboretum? Click on the quicklinks below and follow us on Facebook.