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 31st for May 13th pick up at UW-Fond du Lac.

NOTE: The plant sale order deadline has been extended to March 31st.

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

Natural Capital

Thomas Eddy
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
Room UC-114 UW-FDL


Thomas will share a number of varied photographs that exemplify ecosystem services that humans depend on.  There will also be a demonstration on "focus stacking", which is a close-up technique that allows for remarkable depth of field with the subject.  Most of these photography examples are wildflowers.
Thomas is a retired public educator (Green Lake School District, 35 years) and continues to teach as an adjunct biology professor for Marian University, Ripon College, and UW Colleges.  He is a founding member of the Green Lake Conservancy land trust where he serves as VP for Conservation.  In addition, he is President of the Botanical Club of Wisconsin and is an appointed member of Wisconsin's Natural Areas Preservation Council.

Art In the Prairie

Wednesdays, June 21, June 28, July 5, July 12 9:30 am-11:30 a.m.
Meet at the Gottfried Prairie and Arboretum Shelter


Our 4 week nature-inspired art camp for youth ages 8-12. Each week, kids will explore different parts of the Gottfried while using nature to inspire art, crafts and fun. Guest artists offer a variety of technique and
vision. Sessions are weather permitting and pre-registration is required.
Fee of $20 for supplies is requested. Call 920-940-8869 for
more information.

Bring Back the Pollinators

Carrie Caselton Lowe
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
Room UC-114 UW-FDL


Native pollinators are in serious decline with some on the brink of extinction. Come learn the issues around pollinators, some pollinator biology, as well as ways you can support and build pollinator habitat. This class is educationally sponsored by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat.  www.xerces.org  

Carrie Caselton Lowe, MS, studied insect and plant ecology at the University of Iowa and University of Idaho. Her graduate school research focused on insect and plant interactions in agricultural settings, and she continues to train in the field of insect ecology with the Xerces Society of Invertebrate Conservation. Carrie lives her passion for ecology and sustainable agriculture by working on an organic farm, teaching nature-based education, and serving as the Community Wellness and Nutrition Coordinator for the Plymouth School District.