Watch Us Grow! 16 Big Trees Planted in New Urban Forest Demonstration Area at the Forest Exploration Center

In collaboration with Wudeward Urban Forest Products, the Forest Exploration Center officially broke ground to launch the first of many educational plans for the open spaces of the property.

The new Urban Forest interpretive area will include exhibits and guided demonstrations. Visitors will explore the beauty, form and structure of this diverse selection of trees fit for the urban environment and discover that urban forests, like their rural forest counterpart, are also dynamic ecosystems that provide critical benefits to people and wildlife.

Our fine partners at the Wisconsin DNR’s division of Urban Forestry selected the tree species and designed the planting space. Species were chosen as those best to thrive in urban environments and represent the wide range of possibilities available to visitors interested in learning more about identifying, planting, and caring for trees in their own neighborhood.

The trees were a generous donation from Wudeward Urban Forest Products, who designated the Forest Exploration Center as the latest recipient of their “Trees First. Wood Next” tree planting program in partnership with Johnson’s Nursery. 

Dwayne Sperber, the owner of Wudeward, emphasized the intent of the program: 

“The more we learn about the essential qualities and importance of our living urban and community trees, the better we become at bringing those beneficial, healthful characteristics into our built environments through the use of renewable urban forest products,” said Sperber. “We are proud to share this initiative with the Forest Exploration Center.” 

Johnson’s Nursery provided and delivered the stock. Each tree was planted with the enthusiastic volunteer efforts of HGA Architects and their families, Forest Exploration Center board members and Johnson’s Nursery staff.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Forest Exploration Center president, Tom Gaertner at 414-465-2086 or email

To become a steward, learn more about trail access, property rules and educational components of the trail, visit the webpage here.  

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