Lakeshore Nature Preserve Master Plan Update

This project will update the 2006 Master Plan for the UW-Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve.

This 300 acres is situated on Ho-Chunk ancestral lands and stretches along four miles of Lake Mendota shoreline from the Limnology Building to the Village of Shorewood Hills. The Preserve attracts more than eighty research and teaching projects annually and supports the University’s mission of teaching, research and outreach in countless ways and is a respite to many.

This planning process provides the opportunity to review the Preserve’s infrastructure, land use, broad land management strategies, and protection of its distinctive natural, cultural, and educational features. Taking an updated look at the needs and opportunities of the Preserve will lead to prioritized recommendations for the next ten years.

The master planning process steps generally include:

  • Setting planning goals
  • Reiterating the mission, vision, and guiding principles
  • Inventory and analysis of the existing facility conditions of both land and amenities
  • Inventory and analysis of land uses,
  • Identify issues/needs and opportunities,
  • Provide draft plan and final plan documents for public review,
  • Engagement of stakeholders throughout the planning process.

Stakeholder/Public Sessions 

To develop a master plan that best serves the University and community, surveys and stakeholder input collected during the Preserve Strategic Plan will be reviewed and coupled with public engagement.

Currently three public sessions are planned to be in a hybrid of in-person/online arrangement and include the opportunity for online remarks.

PUBLIC SESSION #1, November 30, 2021 | 6:00 pm at Memorial Union: present and collect comments on draft goals and guiding principles, existing conditions, issues, needs and opportunities.

PUBLIC SESSION #2, early spring, 2022:  present and collect comments on draft recommendations developed in response to public engagement session #1, site analysis, staff and committee input; also collect comments on prioritization criteria.

PUBLIC SESSION #3, late spring, 2022:  present and collect comments on the draft master plan.

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Preserve Mission & Vision


The Lakeshore Nature Preserve shelters natural environments and cultural resources through active learning, research, and outreach in a place of respite and well-being.


To foster biodiversity on campus and cultivate lifelong environmental engagement.


Total Project Costs $105,000
Funding Source:
Gift/Grant $105,000


Background/Context 09/2021
Inventory/Analysis 09-10/2021
Planning Framework 10/2021
Public Session 1 11/2021
Issues/Opportunities 11/2021
Draft Recommendations & Prioritization 02/2022
Public Session 2 02/2022
Draft Master Plan Report 04/2022
Public Session 3 04/2022
Final Report 06/2022

Project Team

Occupants Campus Community
User Reps Gary Brown, Laura Wyatt
UW PM Rhonda James
UW System Maura Donnelly
Engagement A/E Urban Assets


Users of the Preserve:

  • Current & former permit holders
  • Students, Staff, Faculty
  • UW-Madison Alumni
  • Madison & Shorewood Hills community members
  • UW-Madison Eagle Heights & U Houses community members
  • Outdoor UW
  • Eagle Heights & University Houses Community Gardens
  • CALS research plot users
  • F.H. King Students for Sustainable Agriculture
  • Greenhouse Learning Community
  • Aaron Bird Bear, UW-Madison Director Tribal Relations
  • Ho-Chunk Nation – Bill Quackenbush, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer and Nehomah Thundercloud, Executive Director Tribal Education Department, and representative on Native Nations-UW Tribal Advisory
  • UW-Madison Physical Plant – Grounds

Special Interest Groups:

  • Indigenous Place Making task group – Dan Cornelius, Omar Polar, Catherine Reiland
  • Wisconsin Historical Society archaeological staff


  • Friends of the Preserve Board
  • Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association
  • Preserve donors
  • Preserve volunteers and volunteer stewards
  • FP&M Physical Plant (Waste & Recycling, Custodial, Grounds)
  • UW-Madison Police Department
  • FP&M Transportation Services
  • UW-Madison Arboretum

UW Groups:

  • Allen Centennial Garden
  • Botany Garden
  • UW School of Veterinary Medicine
  • UW Child Care & Family Resources
  • UW Office of Sustainability-Jake McCulloch
  • UW-Madison Recreation & Wellbeing Leadership
  • UW-Madison Housing leadership
  • Wisconsin Union Leadership
  • UW-Madison Athletics
  • UW-Madison UWell program (UHS/OHR)
  • UW-Madison Hospital Wellness staff
  • FP&M Wellness Committee
  • School of Medicine and Public Health, Nursing, Pharmacy

UW-Madison Student Focused related Groups:

  • Associated Students of Madison (ASM)
  • UW-Madison Multicultural Student Center
  • UW-Madison Ctr for Leadership & Development
  • (including Registered Student Organizations)
  • UW-Madison Div. of Diversity, Equity & Ed Achievement
  • WunkSheek, UW-Madison indigenous students’ group
  • UW-Madison Social Sustainability Coalition

UW-Madison Governance Groups:

  • Faculty Senate/University Committee
  • Academic Staff Assembly
  • University Staff Congress
  • Joint Campus Area Committee
  • Campus Planning Committee


  • Groundswell Wisconsin
  • Clean Lakes Alliance
  • Madison Audubon Society

Have a thought or question about the Lakeshore Nature Preserve for the project team?

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