Historical place

UW Arboretum designated a national historic site


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The University of Wisconsin arboretum was listed as a National Historic Site this week, recognizing its historical significance in the field of ecology.

The list officially recognizes the Arboretum as the birthplace of ecological restoration, which returns a piece of land or ecosystem to its previous, usually more natural state. For the Arboretum, this restored pre-European plant communities, such as the vast grass meadows and savannah oaks found there today.

“What I find really exciting about this designation is that it recognizes our past, and it also truly recognizes our future because it says what we do here has made a difference over time, this which is a continuum, ”said Karen Oberhauser, director of the Arboretum. noted. “So I really like the connection between the past and the present in the future. “

Shortly after its opening in 1932, the Arboretum Committee, under the leadership of Aldo Leopold, unknowingly introduced the new ecological concept of ecological restoration.

When the Arboretum first opened, it was just 246 acres and was intended to be a nature reserve and sanctuary for a growing Madison. Today, it includes 1,200 acres where ecological research is carried out by UW students and faculty, plus a place where the community can experience nature.

The Arboretum joins the list of over 150 historic places in Madison and 2,400 in Wisconsin.

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