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

Tracking Changing Seasonal Transitions with Phenology

Mark Schwartz
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 6:00 PM
Room UC-114 UW-FDL


Phenology is the study of recurring plant and animal life cycle stages, especially their timing and relationships with weather and climate.  Plant phenology can be measured in multiple ways on the ground, by satellite sensors, and other instruments.  This data provides tangible evidence of the impacts of climate change on the biosphere.  Citizen scientists can help record this crucial information though online resources provided by the USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN, www.usanpn.org). 

Mark D. Schwartz is a phenoclimatologist and distinguished professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  He is the current President of the International Society of Biometeorology, and co-founder of the USA National Phenology Network.  His research interests are focused on plant phenology‑lower atmosphere interactions during the onsets of spring and autumn in mid‑latitudes, detecting climatic change, and assessing vegetation condition with remote sensing imagery.  His scholarship includes over eighty peer-reviewed publications (mostly in journals), and a 2nd edition of the edited book Phenology:  An Integrative Environmental Science. 
Create a Winter Wreath and Swag's Photo

Create a Winter Wreath and Swag

11/10/2016
Halloween Hike's Photo

Halloween Hike

10/22/2016