Prairie gardening with native North American wild flowers is part of the movement toward more sustainable gardening. Prairie landscapes are natural to Midwestern regions of North America, but today very little original prairie remains.

The New England aster, golden rod, and other native plants and grasses are the fabric of an original Wisconsin ecosystem. These endangered prairie landscapes, adapt to our temperate climate, require less maintenance and watering. The longer roots of prairie plants provide improved, slow rate water infiltration. Insects and birds also flourish in this type of habitat. Prairies provide balance to our fragile environment, benefiting us all.

Approximately 10 years ago the Facility Services-Buildings and Grounds department, student organizations, and volunteers began establishing prairie gardens in a number of locations across campus.

 AUP Prairie Architecture and Urban Planning Building, south and west faces- Wrapping the AUP building on two sides, this prairie was planted and is maintained by the student organization EcoTone.
 Downer Prairie burn 4_08 Downer Prairie- Located east of the Klotsche Pavilion, this is the largest prairie on campus. It is also the only prairie on campus that has been managed by regular burns.
 Lapham Prairie Lapham Prairie- Located near the southwest corner of Lapham, this prairie is managed by Tom Schuck of Biological Sciences.
 Kunkle Center Prairie Kunkle Center Prairie- Located inside The Children’s Center grounds, this prairie was planted in 2000 to provide natural boundaries on site that would also expose the children to this native ecosystem.