The UW-Madison’s Lakeshore Nature Preserve is embarking on a comprehensive strategic planning process to help guide the use and on-going management of the Preserve over the next 10+ years. The goals of the strategic planning process include documenting the long-term desired impacts of the Preserve and the many academic and research activities it supports across the campus; reviewing the Preserve’s mission, vision, core values, and guiding principles; and engaging the many key stakeholders who use the Preserve on a regular basis in a visioning process. The strategic plan will also establish the basis for a 2020 update of the 2006 Lakeshore Nature Preserve Master Plan.
According to Preserve Director Gary Brown, “The Lakeshore Nature Preserve has never had a comprehensive, long-range strategic plan and now is an opportune time to develop strategies on how to move forward with this treasured place on campus. This is our chance to follow in the footsteps of Aldo Leopold, John Curtis, and John Muir who devoted their careers to studying, writing, and teaching about the importance of the natural world that exists around us, starting right here on the UW-Madison campus.” Leopold and Curtis helped form the iconic UW Arboretum in the 1930s after an earlier visit to Madison by famed landscape architect and city planner, John Nolen. Nolen in his 1911 plan for “Madison: A Model City” urged the university to develop a public arboretum for research and outreach, and supported the Madison Park & Pleasure Drive Association system which wound its way through the university’s Lakeshore Nature Preserve up to Eagle Heights Woods on the far northwest corner of university lands. The Preserve was initially overseen by the Arboretum and is now managed by staff in Facilities Planning & Management.
The 300-acre Lakeshore Nature Preserve is an outdoor laboratory, providing support for over 75 annual and on-going teaching and research projects across a variety of disciplines. From natural resources land management and invasive species control, to poetry and the performing arts, the Lakeshore Nature Preserve provides many of the university’s faculty, staff, and students with a place right on campus to do research, teaching, and outreach outside and in nature. The Preserve is also home to the iconic Picnic Point, Temin Lakeshore Path, a large collection of archaeological sites and American Indian mounds, along with many other landscapes indicative of the history and legacy of UW-Madison.