Public invited to UW Family Gardening Day on May 6

With the advent of spring comes warmer weather—and gardening season. Area gardeners and gardeners-to-be are invited to gather ideas for their plots at the UW Family Gardening Day on Saturday, May 6, on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus. The free, family-friendly event runs from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Activities will be hosted at Allen Centennial GardenD.C. Smith Instructional GreenhouseSteenbock Memorial Library and the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI).

“Family Gardening Day is a great chance to explore campus, meet students and scientists excited to share their work, and get a few seedlings to kick off the gardening season,” says Allison Bender, outreach coordinator with WEI.

Each location will host a variety of displays and demonstrations, including hands-on activities with seeds, plants and soil. Attendees can ask about the specific insects and diseases affecting their plants, plus discover books for all ages about gardening, plants, soil, water and more. There will be plants and seeds available for people to take home for their own gardens (while supplies last).

Children 12 years and under can complete a “passport” by getting stamps at all four UW Family Gardening Day locations. A completed passport will earn them a free ice cream at the Babcock Dairy Store at nearby Babcock Hall, which will be open during the event.

All gardening day locations are within about three blocks from each other on the west side of the UW–Madison campus. Allen Centennial Garden, Steenbock Memorial Library and the D.C. Smith Instructional Greenhouse are located at 620, 550 and 465 Babcock Drive, respectively. The Wisconsin Energy Institute is at 1552 University Avenue, just south across Campus Drive from the greenhouse and Babcock Hall, which is at 1605 Linden Drive.

Free parking is available on campus in Lot 34 at 1480 Tripp Circle; in Lot 36 just west of Steenbock Library; in Lot 40 behind Babcock Hall; and in Lot 41 at 1820 University Avenue near the WEI. Or try the Madison B-Cycle with a convenient station right on Babcock Drive. Use the promo code SCIENCEISCOOL for half off a one-month pass.

For more information, visit or contact Johanna Oosterwyk at or (608) 262-3844.