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Click here to go to a printable (PDF) quick facts sheet about UWO’s campus grounds.

UW Oshkosh’s 171-acre campus is located in Wisconsin’s Fox River Valley and hosts over 1,700 trees and shrubs. University Facilities Management staff apply a variety of approaches to manage the campus landscape. 

We aim to purchase plants from local sources but also encourage resilience by utilizing a wide genetic base within species.

Native prairie and woodland landscaping is installed whenever possible across campus, reducing the area under turf grass. Using plants that are adapted to Wisconsin’s geology and climate reduces the need for irrigation, mowing, and other inputs. It also provides food and habitat for native birds and pollinators. Conscious landscaping has earned UW Oshkosh a monarch way station designation by the butterfly conservation group Monarch Watch and wildlife-friendly habitat certification by the National Wildlife Federation! 

Monarch Waystation

  • The UW Oshkosh campus has been designated as a Monarch Way Station by conservation group Monarch Watch!
  • Milkweed plants, a monarch’s primary nectar source and home, are planted along 5-mile route that goes through campus

Native Plants

  • A grove of native bur oak trees north of the Arts & Communication Building
  • Prairie plantings along Halsey and next to the tennis courts
  • and plans are in the works for much more, including a waterfront restoration in Shapiro Park!

Green Roofs

  • Reduces volume and speed of runoff and filters rainwater
  • Provides insulation in winter and evaporative cooling in summer
  • Slows down and reduces volume of water runoff
  • Filters water for better water quality

Butterfly Gardens

UW Oshkosh has butterfly gardens on campus composed of native plants and shrubs to support local butterflies and other pollinators


  • Grounds engineered to retain stormwater in bioswales as part of green building design on campus
  • Reduce the volume and speed of the runoff, and improve water quality (materials tend to be tolerant to a range of conditions consisting of plants native to Wisconsin)
  • Home for many insects and local wildlife

Spring Ephemeral Gardens

  • Located near Halsey and Harrington with signage indicating the special plant life planted there
  • Home to a variety of wildlife species and pollinators
  • A species of significance planted here: Dwarf Lake Iris (an endangered species), a perennial native to the Midwest

Tree Campus USA

In addition to herbaceous plants and forbs on campus, UW Oshkosh has many native, ornamental, and fruit trees.  The interactive campus tree map shows the location and species of campus trees. The University has been awarded Tree Campus USA designation each year since 2010 for its continued efforts to preserve and plant new trees on campus.

We advocate conservation-positive landscapes by including endangered, threatened, rare, and endemic taxa and providing food, habitat (including artificial structures like bat and bird houses), and water for wildlife. To this end we limit our use of pesticides as much as possible and use organic fertilizers when necessary and possible. Existing invasive and exotic species are removed via attrition and replacement with native plantings as resources permit. Exceptions may be made for:

  • Academics (e.g., pedagogy and research)
  • Recreational turf areas (unless native turf grasses are available)
  • “Working landscapes” (e.g., vegetable gardens, orchards)
  • Historical/cultural gardens (avoid invasive species)
  • Replacing lost functional ecological elements where native plants are no longer possible

We reduce our water usage by maximizing precipitation benefits through the use of rain gardens and catchment basins, limit the use of supplemental irrigation once new plants become established, and using recycled or “gray” water as appropriate and as resources permit.

Tree Campus USA 2023 Arbor Day Observation

2023 tree planting ceremony to observe Arbor Day and UWO’s commitment to planting trees through our Tree Campus Higher Education membership. This was the 14th year for the Oshkosh campus to be a member of Tree Campus Higher Education. An oak was planted to replace the oak lost in a storm the year prior.

This was a broadcasted event and can be found on the TitanTV Youtube.

Sustainability Institute for Regional Transformations


UW Oshkosh
800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901

Contact Info:

(920) 424-0440
SIRT Office: 4483 Sage Hall