Lodging & Transportation


Room blocks have been reserved at the following hotels:

Listed hotels are an easy, short walk to The Pyle Center and dining options. Additional hotels in walking distance include:

The Holiday Inn on John Nolen Drive offers a shuttle service to campus.

Breakfast will be provided at Lowell Center on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for all participants.

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Packing Checklist

We’re suggesting you bring a few things to optimize your experience in Madison, WI.

  • Your electronic device(s). We’re trying to go as paper-less as possible, so are encouraging everyone to access handouts and other information online. Unlike most conferences, we won’t be asking you to turn off your cell phones (but do be considerate and turn the ring volume down or set to vibrate).
  • Writing tablet, water bottle, carrying bag. To keep costs low (and reduce environmental impacts) we’re not providing any official swag. Most of us already have enough unused canvas tote bags from previous conferences and don’t really need another – and in that vein we actually will have an assortment of these items from previous MG and other conferences and pens that anyone can take should they have forgotten to bring and need one of those items!
  • Comfortable shoes. We’re not including meals to allow you to sample the numerous wonderful nearby restaurant options, so you’ll need to walk to find food, although there are many really good choices within just a few minutes so it need not be a strenuous hike. See https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/emg2018/eat/ for restaurant recommendations.
  • Rain gear. We really hope to have the kind of perfect weather we’re having now: high temperatures of 76-83F, humidity of 40-50%, and bright blue skies decorated with fluffy white cotton balls – but it’s just as likely that we’ll have showers or thunderstorms at times, so come prepared in case nature doesn’t cooperate at meal times. Lows this time of year are generally in the high 50’s-low 60’s.
  • Casual attire. There’s no need to dress up; shorts are fine. But the Pyle Center can be overly air-conditioned, so think about bringing a light sweater or long-sleeved shirt to layer if you tend to get chilled easily.
  • A shirt, sweater, cap or other item representing your University. On Tuesday, just for fun, we’ll ask everyone to wear their own University-logo wear.
  • Your best horticulturally-themed garb. We’re designating Wednesday for everyone to wear their best, most fun or most crazy outfit featuring plant designs or artwork. (no demerits if you don’t want to join in, though, and Thursday won’t have a dress theme)
  • Thinking cap. The agenda of this conference is a bit of a departure from the average, and we’re trying to explore some higher-level concepts rather than just share what we’ve been doing in our own programs (there should be plenty of time for that during the networking-friendly intentionally long lunch times and dinner excursions).

Navigating the Madison Airport

The Dane County Regional Airport, built in a Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced prairie style, is a comfortably small facility, with only one exit from the second level concourse across from Gate 7. Once you exit the secure area, you’ll head down the escalator or stairs. Go to the right if you need to pick up checked luggage. There are only three carousels here, and generally they only use the first two (sometimes the information posted on the displays doesn’t match what they actually do!). The rental car desks are across from baggage claim so you can be doing the paperwork for your vehicle if you’re getting one while waiting for your luggage (and it can be a surprisingly long wait considering the small size of the airport if several flights arrive around the same time, especially if you’re on American which uses the gates furthest from the baggage claim).

See “Getting to Your Hotel”, below, for transportation options from the airport.

For the trip home you can get current flight departure information on the Dane County Regional Airport website. Since it’s such a small place, an hour is usually more than sufficient to get checked in and through security. If you are there extra early, there’s a small Art Court with changing displays across from the Delta ticket counters. The regular security line is up the stairs/escalator to the left of the Delta ticket counters; the stairs/escalator to the TSA PreCheck line is at the other end of the terminal, past the American ticket counter and some empty spaces, opposite Door #1. Depending on the time of your departure you may want to get coffee (Ancora Artisan Coffee & Tea) or local beer (Vinoteca Wine & tapas), or sit down for a nice meal at Mad Town Gastropub or grab some food to go at Metcalfe’s Local To Go. All of these food service establishments are in the Central Food Court between gates 7 and 8. And take advantage of free Wi-Fi throughout the airport before your departure!

Getting to Your Hotel

From the Airport

Taxi cab and ride share services are readily available from the airport. For taxis, follow the signs in the baggage area and exit at north end of the airport (door #7) to find cabs waiting just outside the door.

Ride share services such as Uber and Lyft are supposed to pick you up from the median between the terminal and parking structure between doors 3 and 4 (although they might go directly to the curb in front of the terminal). The cost is around $30 and will be the most convenient way to get between your hotel and the airport.

Hotel shuttle buses also stop at the median, at the shelter across from door #5.

The only public transportation is Madison Metro Transit System (bus), with the bus stop on the median across from door #6. For service from the Airport to downtown Madison or the UW campus area, passengers should board buses reading “Route 20 – North Transfer Point.” Route 20 runs between the North Transfer Point and East Towne Mall via the Airport every thirty minutes during weekdays, and hourly weeknights, weekends and holidays. You’ll have to transfer to another line, probably “Route 2 – West TFR PT: Via Sherman”, but confirm with the driver or the transit planner on the Madison Metro website. The trip should take 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the time of day for the bargain price of $2.00, but you’ll have to walk about 0.3 miles or 5-6 minutes to get from the bus stop at State & W Gorham to get to the conference hotels.

Additional information on ground transportation from the airport.


For those opting to drive to the conference, the hotels offer parking options for registered guests (please inquire directly with your hotel for details, fees may apply).  Additional parking is available in nearby city ramps for a fee.  There is limited street parking in this area.

If you need more options, please don’t hesitate to email us to discuss!

Getting Around Madison

Getting Around Madison

All conference activities and many dining options are within a short walk of the conference location.

But if you want to get around like a local and experience the great outdoors vibe of Madison from a different perspective, you can rent a bike or boat!

  • Madison is the unofficial bike capital of the Midwest and boasts more bikes than cars! Miles of well-maintained networks of paths and bike trails make this a fun and safe place to ride. With 40+ stations across the city, Madison BCycle, the city’s urban bike-sharing program, makes it convenient to get around Madison on a bike. Bikes can also be rented for longer times from area bike shops.
  • You can also get out on the water with a rental canoe, kayak or paddleboard at nearby Brittingham Park (and other locations and from other outfitters).

If driving, beware that there are LOTS of one-way streets around the Capitol and that parking can be a real challenge (best bets are the numerous parking ramps in the Capitol area). And like anywhere else in the Midwest, it’s road construction season with lots of orange barrels and many streets closed so your preferred route may not be accessible!