Dear Reader,

This summer, the Nature Net team (Brenna, Betsy, and I) decided that we would like to take some time to highlight all of the wonderful things our member sites do to promote environmental education and to share many of the exciting programs and events offered to families like you.  With 16 member sites, it is often difficult to keep up with all that each site has to offer, they’re doing so many incredible things!  My goal is to visit each of our member sites throughout the summer months so I can get a better idea of what opportunities exist for families at each site.  I will be posting “Nature Net Site Spotlight” blog posts throughout the rest of the summer.  I hope that you and your family will find this helpful in planning activities for the summer months and beyond.



Nature Net Intern

Olbrich Botanical Gardens


My Visit:

During my visit to Olbrich Botanical Gardens, I spent the majority of my time exploring the 16 acres of outdoor display gardens.  There is just so much to see!  Here is a little more about two of my favorite gardens: the Rose Garden and the Thai Pavilion and Garden.

Rose Garden

080The Rose Garden is one of Olbrich’s largest gardens.  I absolutely loved the design and stonework throughout.  The garden is full of 065fountains and a large tower, which is an excellent way to take in views of the gardens from above.  I was very interested in the sustainability aspect of Olbrich’s Rose Garden.  They are dedicated to reducing water, chemical, and care demands.  The Rose Garden also features a rain garden, which once again helps make the Rose Garden more environmentally friendly.019


Olbrich’s Thai Pavilion and Garden

037The Thai Pavilion and Garden is both beautiful and 025unique!  The pavilion was given as a gift to UW-Madison from the Thai Government and Thai Chapter of the Wisconsin Alumni Association, and is the only authentic Thai pavilion in the continental United States.  Another interesting fact about the garden is that every plant is Wisconsin-hardy, but many of the plants are pruned to give them a Thai-style look.  The garden is tucked away from everything else, giving visitors a true sense of being in a lush, tropical garden!  I had a blast taking in the pavilion’s incredible architecture and exploring the garden.  I would highly recommend the trek out to see this incredible outdoor display.031

Programs and Events offered at Olbrich Botanical Gardens:

There are so many events taking place throughout the summer at Olbrich.  Here are a few to check out!  Visit Olbrich’s event page to view even more classes and workshops.

Upcoming Events:

Olbirch’s Blooming Butterflies ~ July 15-August 9, 10 am-4 pm daily

Concerts in the Gardens ~ Tuesdays, June 23-July 28, 7 pm

Guided Garden Strolls ~ Sundays, June-September, 1:30 & 3 pm

Classes for Children and Families:

  • Toddler Story and Stroll
  • Little Sprouts Gardening: Stories in the Garden
  • Flower Fairies
  • I Wonder… Series
  • Breakfast for the Butterflies

Click here for more info!