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Batt, James R. (ed.) / Wisconsin Academy review
Volume 20, Number 4 (Fall 1974)

Bradley, Katharine T.
Point of inflection: the Arboretum, Madison's special green patch,   pp. 28-29


Page 29


dation contributed $1,500. This
helps us reduce the pressures on
the Arboretum by assisting chil-
dren's groups to find appropriate
outdoor experiences elsewhere.
The tour program in the Arbore-
tum itself now functions as an
essentially self-supporting opera-
tion, for the Arboretum committee
last winter decided that it could no
longer spend Arboretum capital
on the program, and that guide
fees (at the rate of ten dollars per
guide per tour) should be paid
instead by the groups who use
the guides' services. Other financ-
ing for the program, including a
gift from our supportive organi-
zation, The Friends of the Arbo-
retum, and some interest on the
Arboretum trust funds, in addition
to the Evjue Foundation gift, makes
it possible for us to offer free pub-
lic tour~s every Sunday during the
active season from May until the
middle of September. Besides en-
hancing the visiting public's pleas-
ure in the property, these guided
tours are helpful in educating our
visitors in the special values and
fragility of the area.
  Another important gift of
$30,000 from the Rennebohm
Foundation will support the Ar-
boretum ranger position, and as
a result we expect to provide
seven-day ranger coverage of the
property for the next three years.
  A third gift this year is a be-
quest to the University by William
McKay, well-known Wisconsin
nurseryman. Because of Mr. Mc-
Kay's special interests, the Uni-
versity feels the use of this bequest
in the Arboretum to be appropri-
ate, and it will allow us to con-
struct a new operating center. We
shall finally be able to eliminate
the forty-year-old shacks built in
the early 1930s for a CCC camp
which worked in the area. This
new McKay Center will provide
space not only for guide-training
programs and for University and
University Extension classes using
the areas, but also for staff offices,
and for researchers' work space.
An important part of the building
will be public reception and lounge
facilities, something we have never
had before.
  Proposals for the building are
now proceeding through the ap-
propriate public agencies, and it
is hoped that by late this fall we
will have the architect's concepts.
                  Photo courtesy Epgi
   We expect to locate the new Mc-
   Kay Center in the present admin-
   istration area of the Arboretum,
   just beyond Professor Longe-
   necker's lilacs.
      The Arboretum's administra-
   tion today is very much concerned
   with achieving balanced use of the
   properties. Three kinds of activity
   -University teaching, research,
   and public education in conjunc-
   tion with managing our heavy
   visitor population-must be equi-
   tably provided for. Simultaneous-
   ly, we must devote more crew time
   and more budget to the manage-
   ment of developing plant com-
   munities, so that plantings of an
   earlier generation can mature into
   the varied ecosystems originally
   planned. Public pressures for
   things like grass mowing and
   trash removal have led to neglect
   of these developing areas. The
   gifts we have received this year
   will help us to maintain our prop-
   erties as well as support specific
   programs. The University of Wis-
   consin Arboretum in Madison is
   a very special place, and it ap-
   pears that with care and attention
   -and money-we will be able to
   preserve it.
ineering Services, Wis. Division of Highways
Rapid population growth has brought increasing pressures and problems to
the University of Wisconsin Arboretum. These
aerial photos document the encroachment of the city of Madison on the Arboretum
between 1959 (left) and 1972 (right). In
both photos, the sixty-acre expanse of the restored Curtis Prairie is bounded
by pine plantations, oak woods and openings,
and the Arboretum nursery. The Nakoma Golf Course is in the background.
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