COVID-19 Operations Update

Under the guidance of the University of Wisconsin-Madison leadership in response to the spread of COVID-19, Upham Woods will be focusing on providing day-use and outreach experiences for Wisconsinites this summer.  You can learn more about our responses and updates on this webpage. Our COVID-19 program catalog can be found here.

We’re Hiring Fall Teaching Naturalists!


Environmental Education in Wisconsin and Community Understanding of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Issues

Upham Woods continues to follow through on our commitments made to our community on June 5th, 2020 which can be found here. On July 23rd, we hosted a community conversation about systemic racism in environmental education to help gauge our community understanding on the issue. Participants were asked to complete a survey afterward and we had 28 respondents. Almost 1 in 4 respondents reported that they did not understand how the history of environmental education in Wisconsin in connected to current inequities in the field and 82.4% of respondents reported that they were knowledgeable about the history of environmental education in Wisconsin. 1/3 of respondents disagreed that they had the resources and support needed to create a more inclusive field. A full summary of our findings can be found here.


Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center provides educational opportunities to youth, youth leaders, and adults through programs focused on environmental and leadership education.

Operating since 1941, Upham Woods is a model residential outdoor learning center, managed by the University of Wisconsin – Madison Division of Extension. The center sits on a prime location on the Wisconsin River, two miles north of the Wisconsin Dells, offering an excellent “river classroom” to study both the natural and cultural history of Wisconsin. The center rests on 318 total acres of forested land, including a 210-acre island called “Blackhawk Island.” The facility consists of 14 buildings including a fully equipped nature center and a raptor enclosure housing educational birds of prey. The center supplies lodging for 200 people, meals, and outdoor education year-round for youth and youth leaders, including environmental lesson plans, summer camp programming, leadership workshops and other conferences.

EE in Wisconsin Video

“Find Environmental Education in Your Community,” a video project made possible by North American Association of Environmental Educators, Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education, Environmental Protection Agency, and University of Wisconsin-Extension. Check out the video here.