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Wish You Were Here: Nature Spot

Hikes in the Arb. Picnics on Picnic Point. A jog along the Lakeshore Path, or evenings watching the stars on Observatory Hill. When you were on campus, where did you commune with nature?

June 19, 2020

Hikes in the Arb. Picnics on Picnic Point. A jog along the Lakeshore Path, or evenings watching the stars on Observatory Hill. When you were on campus, where did you commune with nature? UW–Madison’s campus is one of the most beautiful green spots among all the world’s universities, and we want to hear about your memories of time spent with earth, sky, plants, and animals.

Send us your memory or tag your posts #WhereBadgersBelong. (Include photos, please!) We’ll add them to this scrapbook.

Running through the arboretum no matter what season. - Kris Pflaging


Hanging out after windsurfing one evening, a tall, tan, very fit Nordic looking guy came and said he needed bodies for the big sailboat (the Maria?). I didn’t hesitate to volunteer. My job was to serve as ballast and “hike out” as needed. I never saw Erik or the Maria again (sniff), but I will go to my grave with a vivid recollection of doing backbends over the side of the boat and the blasts of spray from my fingers as Maple Bluff mansions blurred by — upside down! Utterly thrilling. Thanks for the memories, Hoofers — and Erik!
Jenny Pilling ’90, MA’92

Swimming from our sorority pier to a nearby fraternity pier where one member played the banjo and the rest of us drank beer and sang along
JoAnn Reid ’52
Danville, California

My son, who’s a prospective Badger, wanted to see the campus and the lake this summer. We were able to take a few nice photos of the sunset over Mendota even though we couldn’t get out onto the Terrace.
Thom Knutson ’90
Tucson, Arizona

I grew up in Madison, so I loved all the lakes. They always bring back great memories.
Jan Johnston ’53
Wadsworth, Ohio

In my junior and senior years I lived at the Surf apartment building on Mendota Court, about a block away from the Union. We were on the top floor, and I had a straight-on view of the capitol off my balcony and Lake Mendota on our left. I haven’t had a better view since. However, living on the lake had a downside — the crew teams practiced early six days a week, and the coxswain used a bullhorn to keep the rhythm.
Curt Andrus ’85
Lewisville, Texas

It was a tie between Picnic Point and the Memorial Union Terrace (for very different reasons). When I am back in Madison, I walk to Picnic Point from the Union every day and I spend a lot of time people watching and hanging out on the Terrace. 
Gerry Alfano ’75, MS’77

Racquetball courts at the SERF and a table by the juke box at Memorial Union so I could people-watch and study.
- Jenny Karpelenia ’88

I had forgotten how beautiful the view is from there. I have to say that Memorial Union was my favorite spot, year round. The Rat during inclement weather and the Terrace anytime the sun was out!
John McGowan ’90

When I was looking at colleges in 1976, I found a big tree that hung out over the water on the Lakeshore Path and fell in love with the spot. When the weather was good and I needed to think, that was my happy spot.

The arboretum was #2.
Tedd Snyder ’81

Does the arboretum count as a place on campus? 
- Bob Grueneberg ’71

Walking down Observatory Drive from Liz Waters (There were fewer buildings in the 60’s.) on a sunny October day heading to Camp Randall. The autumn leaves provided a beautiful landscape.
Jay Marie

The terrace and Lakeshore path!
Graves Eve

The band field in all its dusty glory and the study “cells” in the library where I could bask in the eerie quiet and really study. 
Cassie Rose Carbon Ellington ’01, MS’03

The Terrace, of course, and a close second, the Camp!
Beth Helmicks Schrader ’75

Lakeshore path!
Jane Peterson Wnuk ’69

Lakeshore path to Liz Waters...
Sue May

Helen C. White Library, The Terrace, Library Mall 
Betsy Finesilver Haberl ’04

Observatory hill! There is a really nice tree by waters that has pretty colors in the fall 
- Rachel Smith ’19

Terrace and Picnic Point!
Kathy Berkseth

Anywhere on campus - that’s my happy place ❤️ Picnic Point, Helen C White, MU Terrace amongst my fav
Nur Azlina Mohammed ’01

The Marching Band practice field!! So many friendships, memories and sweat were formed on that field over 4 years.
Tammy Coplien ’86

The lake. Lived in Liz Waters Freshman year and loved walking out t the peninsula.
Robyn Hammer-Clarey ’73

Lakeshore path below Liz Waters
Lisa Orth Mannion ’87

Still go to capital and walk down state memorial union stop and onto picnic point! Some improvements to the path and steps down to lake since 62–67 pharmacy
Bob Blint ’67

Many walks on picnic point & fav "make out" spot (not to be read by grandkids!)???

Pamela Bleimehl

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