Pioneers of Ecological Restoration: The People and Legacy of the University of Wisconsin Arboretum

Paperback | July 11, 2012

byFranklin E. Court

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Internationally renowned for its pioneering role in the ecological restoration of tallgrass prairies, savannas, forests, and wetlands, the University of Wisconsin Arboretum contains the world’s oldest and most diverse restored ecological communities. A site for land restoration research, public environmental education, and enjoyment by nature lovers, the arboretum remains a vibrant treasure in the heart of Madison’s urban environment.
    Pioneers of Ecological Restoration chronicles the history of the arboretum and the people who created, shaped, and sustained it up to the present. Although the arboretum was established by the University of Wisconsin in 1932, author Franklin E. Court begins his history in 1910 with John Nolen, the famous landscape architect who was invited to create plans for the city of Madison, the university campus, and Wisconsin state parks. Drawing extensive details from archives and interviews, Court follows decades of collaborative work related to the arboretum’s lands, including the early efforts of Madison philanthropists and businessmen Michael Olbrich, Paul E. Stark, and Joseph W. “Bud” Jackson.
    With labor from the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s Depression, University of Wisconsin scientists began establishing both a traditional horticultural collection of trees and plants and a completely new, visionary approach to recreate native ecosystems. Hundreds of dedicated scientists and staff have carried forward the arboretum’s mission in the decades since, among them G. William Longenecker, Aldo Leopold, John T. Curtis, Rosemary Fleming, Virginia Kline, and William R. Jordan III.
    This archival record of the arboretum’s history provides rare insights into how the mission of healing and restoring the land gradually shaped the arboretum’s future and its global reputation; how philosophical conflicts, campus politics, changing priorities, and the encroaching city have affected the arboretum over the decades; and how early aspirations (some still unrealized) have continued to motivate the work of this extraordinary institution.

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Internationally renowned for its pioneering role in the ecological restoration of tallgrass prairies, savannas, forests, and wetlands, the University of Wisconsin Arboretum contains the world’s oldest and most diverse restored ecological communities. A site for land restoration research, public environmental education, and enjoyment by...

Franklin E. Court has volunteered at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum since 2007 and has given numerous presentations on its history. He is professor emeritus of English at Northern Illinois University.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:July 11, 2012Publisher:University Of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299286649

ISBN - 13:9780299286644

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Preface

Acknowledgments

List of Abbreviations

1. The Beginnings, John Nolen, Michael Olbrich, Paul E. Stark, and the "Prairie School of Landscape Design"

2. 1930–1932, Acquiring the Six Key Parcels of Land, Building the Arboretum Road

3. The Pre-Dedication Years; Aldo Leopold, G. William Longenecker, Edward M. Gilbert and the Politics of Governance

4. Two Directors: Leopold and Longenecker, The 1934 Dedication and the 1935 Arrival of the CCC

5. "Go Make a Prairie," Fassett's Early Planting Experiments and Sperry's Innovative Field Work

6. Late 30s Frustrations, the "Golden Years," Leopold's Efforts to Increase Staff and Funding

7. The 1940s, The Early Curtis Years, A Grady Tract "Forest Preserve?" Greene's Prairie, Post-War Challenges and Leopold's Death

8. The 1950s, Outside Threats and Challenges, The Grady Tract Fire, "The Beltline Cometh," "Rabbit Shoots" and Retirements

9. The 1960s, Losses and Gains, Last "Lost City" Lots, Building a Reputation, Troubled Times, A Shifting Focus

10. The 1970s, The Arboretum's "World Famous" Prairies, Conflicts in Leadership, a New Direction, New Appointments and A Visitor Center

11. The 1980s and Beyond, Restoration & Management Notes, a Restoration Ecology Legacy, "Earth Partnerships," Reflections

Notes

Works Cited

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Court’s history of the UW Arboretum is fascinating in its detailed depiction of some of the giants of ecological restoration, but is also an important reflection on the struggles of establishing, defining, and maintaining a new branch of science in an urban setting.”—Natural Areas Journal