Family Gardening Day Returns

With the advent of spring comes warmer weather—and gardening season. Area gardeners and gardeners-to-be are invited to gather ideas for their plots at the UW Family Gardening Day on Saturday, May 7, on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The free, family-friendly event runs from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Activities will be hosted at Allen Centennial Garden, D.C. Smith Instructional GreenhouseSteenbock Memorial Library and the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI).

“Spring is here, and it’s time to get growing,” says event organizer Johanna Oosterwyk, manager of the D.C. Smith Instructional Greenhouse. “UW Family Gardening Day is a great way to kick off gardening season with activities and inspiration for the whole family.”

Each location will host a variety of displays and demonstrations, including hands-on activities with seeds, plants and soil. Attendees can ask about the specific insects and diseases affecting their plants, plus discover books for all ages about gardening, plants, soil, water and more. There will be plants and seeds available for people to take home for their own gardens (while supplies last). New this year, staff from Discovery Outreach will present their Saturday Science outreach activities, including Bacteria in Soil, and Plants and Robots.

This year marks 25 years of service for the D.C. Smith Greenhouse. To help celebrate this milestone, greenhouse staff will be giving away free houseplants (while supplies last) at the event.

For children 12 years and under, there will be a “passport book” they can complete – by getting stamps at all four UW Family Gardening Day locations – to earn a free ice cream at the Babcock Dairy Store at nearby Babcock Hall, which will be open during the event.

Allen Centennial Garden, Steenbock Memorial Library and the D.C. Smith Instructional Greenhouse are all located within two blocks of each other at 620 Babcock Drive, 550 Babcock Drive and 465 Babcock Drive, respectively. The Wisconsin Energy Institute is located at 1552 University Avenue. Babcock Hall is at 1605 Linden Drive.

Free parking is available in Lot 34 at 1480 Tripp Circle; in Lot 36 just west of Steenbock Library; and in Lot 41 at 1820 University Avenue near the WEI.