Public invited to UW Family Gardening Day on May 4

With spring weather knocking at the door, gardening season will be here soon. Area gardeners and anyone with an interest in plants and science are invited to gather ideas at the UW Family Gardening Day on Saturday, May 4. The free, family-friendly event will be held on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus and runs from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Activities will be hosted at Allen Centennial GardenD.C. Smith Instructional GreenhouseSteenbock Memorial Library and the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI).

Each location will host a variety of displays and demonstrations, including hands-on activities with seeds, plants and soil. Attendees can build a terrarium, learn about monarchs, try their hand at flower pounding, ask questions about their own plants, discover books for all ages and more. There will also be plants and seeds available for people to take home for their own gardens (while supplies last).

Children 13 years and under can complete a “passport” by getting stamps at the UW Family Gardening Day locations. A completed passport will earn them a free vanilla ice cream at the Babcock Dairy Store at nearby Babcock Hall, which will be open from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

“Family Gardening Day is a great way to jumpstart your spring, get some plants for your garden, do activities with your family, and enjoy some ice cream after exploring campus,” says Isaac Zaman, horticulturist at Allen Centennial Garden. “Come enjoy new activities in the garden and learn from our fun student groups while you enjoy all the new spring growth!”

All gardening day locations are within about three blocks of 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. Find parking lot locations on the campus map. Or try the Madison B-Cycle with a convenient station right on Babcock Drive.

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