The faculty of the UW Fond du Lac and the Gottfried Arboretum encourage the public to visit and use the grounds of the Campus. They have expressed that they wish more people would enjoy this area that they so carefully tend and maintain. Please be respectful of property and landscaping so this beautiful playground remains a public treasure.
Geocaching rules say you must sign the log to get credit for the find.
The cache is in the Gottfried Arboretum, a beautiful prairie with views of the Ledge. There are 42 acres of native prairie land along Taycheedah Creek and two wildlife ponds. Over 60 species of birds have been seen using this area. The Arboretum has two separate walking paths with benches, one path has signs showing you the different types of plant ecosystems found in Wisconsin. Other areas also have interpretive signs describing native florae and fauna, etc.
History of the Gottfried Arboretum:
The project began in 1990 when a group of students and staff at UW-Fond du Lac approached Dean Bradley Gottfried with an idea to establish a prairie on campus. The majority of the land surrounding the campus was open lawn which provided no ecological benefit and was costly to mow and maintain. With the help of Bill Volkert, a naturalist with the Department of Natural Resources in Horicon, and the UW-Madison landscape architecture program, a plan was prepared and in 1992 the first 20 acres of native prairie grasses and wildflowers were planted by volunteers. Since then the prairie has grown to include an additional 22 acres, a formal arboretum, interpretive hiking trails, a bike path, a shelter with an informative kiosk, two native wildflower display gardens, and a wildlife pond. All projects have been funded with private donations and grants.
Today the Gottfried Prairie and Arboretum is managed by a board comprised of educators, ecologists, and wildlife enthusiasts in conjunction with UW-Fond du Lac and the Fond du LacCounty Board.
The prairie is home to many species of invertebrates, birds, and small mammals, but the mission of the Gottfried Prairie and Arboretum extends beyond maintaining a wildlife habitat. The board offers a monthly series of environmental programs on a wide variety of topics, including seed collecting; minimizing the spread of invasive plants; identifying birds and insects; and establishing a native wildflower garden at home.
The Gottfried Prairie and Arboretum also hosts an annual Prairie Fest, held the last Saturday in July. Prairie Fest is a family event with activities for children, prairie tours, arts and crafts, and educational programs. Prairie Fest is an opportunity for families to come and enjoy may different kinds of programs for free.
The cache is located by the beacon, there is no need to disturb any vegetation..
Permission to place this cache was given by Bethany Rusch, assistant dean of administrative services of UW FdL and by Sally Scott, executive director of Gottfried Arboretum.