The Cofrin Memorial Arboretum forms a natural boundary of 290 acres encircling the UW Green Bay campus and providing valuable habitat and ecosystem services as well as access for research, field trips, wildlife viewing and recreation. The purpose of the Arboretum is to restore and preserve some of Wisconsin's native ecological communities and to provide a place where people can enjoy and appreciate nature. Emphasis is placed on the protection, enrichment, and development of native Wisconsin plant communities and areas of special ecological significance. Forests, prairies, ponds, and creeks represent some of the major communities thriving in the Arboretum. The Arboretum also contributes significantly to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay environment, making it one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States.
Benefits of the Cofrin Arboretum extend to the campus and to community members. More than 6 miles of trails are open to the public for passive recreation such as hiking, biking (asphalt & crusher dust trails only), bird-watching, cross-country skiing, and simply meandering. School and non-profit organizations regularly conduct walks and bike rides to raise funds or draw attention to their causes. University and high school classes make use of the Arboretum for lab exercises, field trips, and student projects. Grants are available to UWGB students to conduct independent research on the arboretum lands.
The Arboretum provides food and shelter for wildlife, including an estimated 45 mammal species, more than 200 resident and migratory bird species, as well as significant populations of native amphibians, reptiles, insects, and other arthropods. The physical proximity to the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary increases the movement of wildlife between the Arboretum and the Sanctuary.
The Goals of the Arboretum are to:
- Preserve and maintain existing natural communities and develop or restore examples of other communities indigenous to northeastern Wisconsin
- Establish communities of non-indigenous species that can be expected to
- 1) survive in this climate and
- 2) provide educational benefits for students and visitors
- Promote opportunities and provide educational benefits for students and visitors and promote research in natural history, environmental science, ecological restoration, and related fields
- Coordinate planning and activities with other ecologically significant areas in northeastern Wisconsin
- Support recreational activities that foster an appreciation of nature and that do not threaten the integrity of the natural communities and educational opportunities for future generations
Management of the Arboretum is an ongoing process. In addition to trail and pond maintenance, ecological restoration activities to maintain native communities are a major part of the arboretum budget. Removal of invasive species, mowing and and prescribed burning of the prairie and oak savannah are part of the continuing effort to enhance the ecosystem function and beauty of the Cofrin Arboretum.
Application to conduct research on a UW-Green Bay natural area.