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Richard, George (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 59, Number 2 (Oct. 1957)

The Arboretum,   pp. 18-22


Page 22


On the highway near this pond is a caution to
motorists: Watch for Ducks! Many   people do.
The Arboretum has been a most important adjunct to the University's
widely-recognized research and teaching on field, forest, lake, stream.
Controlled burning keeps the prairie free from tree invasion, as of old.
Below, Disney photographer Tom McHugh, '481 filmed a prairie fire.
22
  open space into dense forest. This has      4
  always been the case, but before the
  white man's coming this tendency was
  to a large extent overcome through great
  prairie fires that burned out invading
  species yet left prairie vegetation intact.
  Today, the scientific Arboretum manag-
  ers return to this same weapon, and use
  controlled flames-plus some chemical
  control-to maintain nature's prairie
  balance.
    The Arboretum attracts wildlife-and
  it's no wonder that it does. Many differ-
  ent habitats offer food and sanctuary for
  185 species and subspecies of birds, op-
  possums, prairie moles, brown bats, rac-
  coons, weasels, skunks, foxes, squirrels,
  and even white-tailed deer. What's best,
  each species can be studied as part of an
  entire community of living things, in an
  area which duplicates as closely as pos-
  sible the presettlement Wisconsin
  landscape.
    Within a relatively few years, the Ar-
 boretum has proved its value as an out-
 door University laboratory. It has been
 the site already of about 80 research
 projects, and many are now in progress.
 While most of the area is given over to
 ecological plantings, some parts have
 been devoted to landscape design and to
 testing and display of horticultural
 plants. This is a boon to Wisconsin stu-
 dents majoring in landscape architecture,
 as well as to southern Wisconsin resi-
 dents who in the spring drive for miles
 to view the many varieties of lilacs in
 the Arboretum. Forest pathology, tree
 breeding, soil study, and limnology are
 other areas where the Arboretum has
 been of exceptional value. It's also a
 favorite field trip for botany classes.
   Currently the University's Arboretum
committee, under the chairmanship of
Albert Gallistel, is looking around for
means to finance some immediate needs
of the Arboretum. The situation is a bit
clouded because of the divided source of
funds to date. As noted, most of the Ar-
boretum's acreage was acquired as gifts;
however, general operation expenses are
appropriated by the Wisconsin Legisla-
ture. But whatever the fund source, the
committee sees the need for some further
land acquisition, an administration build-
ing (there's none now), greenhouses
and propagating facilities, and develop-
ment of suitable entrances.
  Wisconsin Alumnus, October, 1957


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