Arbor Day at the Boerner

Botanical Gardens Open

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee County Parks announced today that it will commemorate Arbor Day and open the Boerner Botanical Gardens with free admission April 28, at 10 a.m. The Botanical Gardens are located at 9400 Boerner Drive, in Whitnall Park.

During the Arbor Day celebration, officials will join K-4 students from West Allis Jefferson Elementary School and Parks staff in planting two trees. Being planted at the north end of parking lot islands are a Shawnee Brave Bald cypress and a Kindred Spirit hybrid oak, an English oak hybridized with a swamp white oak.

In keeping with the tree theme, visitors may explore the garden spaces to see early buds of the flowering crabapples.

  “Through our Parks, we continue to connect our children and their families to the natural world and to instill an environmental ethic,” said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. “Planting these trees is a symbol of our commitment to restore, protect, and preserve our natural environment.”

As part of the tree-planting ceremony, the schoolchildren will recite wishes they’ve written on slips of paper before placing them in the holes for the trees.

Free saplings, courtesy of Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful in partnership with the Argosy Foundation, will be available to 100 visitors. Varieties include red oak (Quercus rubra), bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa), and swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor).

After the ceremony, Dave Wanninger, a horticulturist with the Botanical Gardens, will lead a walk focused on the historical trees of the Botanical Gardens and the surrounding Arboretum. Some trees are on the list of Wisconsin Champion Trees.

Hours of the Botanical Gardens and Garden House are from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., seven days a week

From April 29-Oct. 29, admission is $5.50 for adults age 18 and up; $4.50 for students of any age with ID, Milwaukee County seniors age 60 and up with ID, and people with disabilities; and $3.50 for youths age 6-17.

First Tuesdays at The Gardens, the free-admission day for Milwaukee County residents, will be offered from May-September, except major holidays. In 2017, the free days are May 2, June 6, Aug. 1, and Sept. 5. To receive free admission, residents must show ID and proof of residency and must wear the official daily wristband.

The Boerner Botanical Gardens Arboretum occupies over 1000 acres in Whitnall Park and the adjoining Root River Parkway. The Arboretum has received Level II Accreditation from the Morton Register. The accreditation program recognizes arboreta for achieving professional standards to advance the planting and conservation of trees.

For more information, call Boerner Botanical Gardens at (414) 525-5601 or visit

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