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Upcoming events

    • October 10, 2023
    • 9:30 AM
    • 2003 University Bay Drive, Madison
    • 11


    Lakeshore Nature Preserve: History and Future Plans


    Join us for an autumn walk through the woodland, prairie, savanna, and gardens of the UW-Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve. We will start at the entrance to Picnic Point then walk to Frautschi Point and back.  Discover some of the history of this beloved UW-Madison campus landscape, hear and see some current ecological restoration and management projects, and learn about recent planning efforts including a master plan update and plans for a new outreach center.

    Parking Instructions and TrailheaD

    Park in Lot 130 (2000 University Bay Drive). This parking lot is located across the street from the entrance to Picnic Point. Parking passes will be provided by our walk leader, Bryn Scriver, the UW-Madison Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator

    Meet just inside the entrance to Picnic Point, across the road from Lot 130.


    On the walk you must be able to climb small hills for 10 yards covered with loose gravel.

    guest policy

    Members must register their guests. During the early weeks of registration, each PLATO member is entitled to bring one non-member guest per trip. (Members may bring more than one  guest near the registration deadline date if openings are available. Check with trip organizer.)  PLATO membership is $60.00/year.

    covid policy

    If you would feel more comfortable wearing a mask, please do so.

    If you are feeling poorly or currently have symptoms of COVID, please call us to cancel your participation.

    Length, Difficulty, and Pace of Walk

    This will be a 2 to 2.5 hour walk covering about 2 miles at an easy pace. There are some gentle hills. Trail surfaces vary between crushed limestone, old asphalt, mowed grass, and packed earth. There are some roots and rocks on the trails that could pose a tripping hazard. You may find a walking stick useful.

    Other information

    • Restroom facilities are limited.
    • Bring your own drinking water.
    • Closed-toe shoes are recommended.

    the Mission of the lakeshore preserve

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


    The UW-Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve is partially funded by UW-Madison. They rely on gifts to fund ecological restoration including invasive plant control, prescribed fires, seeding, and planting; equipment and supplies; volunteer and outreach programs, and teaching and research by and for UW students. To learn more about giving to the Preserve visit:


    For further information, contact the walk organizer(s):

    Michael Diiorio,, (608) 257-9164

    • November 06, 2023
    • 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
    • Bethany United Methodist Church 3910 Mineral Point Road


    Early Childhood Education: the importance of nutrition and trauma-informed care of children

    Presentation and tour by AbbI Kruse

    The lecture will be followed by a tour of The playing field preschool

    November 6, 2023

    Lecture: 1:30 pm to 2:30  pm

    Tour: 2:30 pm to 3:30  pm

    at Bethany United Methodist Church

               3910 Mineral Point Road

               Madison, WI, 53705   

    About Abbi Kruse

    Abbi Kruse is the founder and Executive Director of The Playing Field in Madison, Wisconsin. The Playing Field serves children from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds, including those experiencing homelessness alongside those from far more advantaged families. Abbi is passionate about providing high quality early education and care to children from all backgrounds and has extensive experience working with diverse populations. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and has nearly completed a Master’s Degree in Curriculum Development with an Early Childhood Emphasis.

    Abbi is also a Conscious Discipline® Certified Instructor and travels throughout the country to train early educators on social emotional learning.

    About The Playing Field

    "The Playing Field is partnering with local public and private agencies to provide a child care and early education program in Madison. We seek to create a unique model that will educate children experiencing homelessness right alongside children from more advantaged backgrounds. We believe this model will be a step toward minimizing the disparity between white and minority children.

    "Traditional education settings are based on a factory model where each child receives standardized care and instruction. The Playing Field is built on the School Family model where each child can have their individual needs met – even if those needs are very different. Equity isn’t about giving each child the same thing but about giving each child what he or she needs to be successful.

    "Play Based Learning – We know so much more about how young children develop. Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs should be intentionally designed around this knowledge. Programs modeled after schools for older children expect children to sit, pay attention, and learn. Yet, we know young children learn through exploration. Our name, The Playing Field, has two meanings. First, we want to level the playing field in early education. Second, we are committed to the rights of children to play."

    There will be an opportunity for Q&A after Abbi's presentation and a tour of the Preschool.

PLATO is proudly supported in part by Oakwood Village.

PLATO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in association with:

for more information, contact us at:


6209 Mineral Point Road #203
Madison, WI 53705

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