UW-Green Bay students create a Wildflower Catalog for the public

Wildflowers growing in the Cofrin Arboretum were captured during sunrise by UW-Green Bay Associate Professor Daniel J. Meinhardt.

Class project explores the medicinal and environmental importance of the Cofrin Arboretum

During the Fall 2022 semester, The University of Wisconsin Green Bay Office of Sustainability worked with writing students to create an online wildflower catalog.  This website is currently accessible for anyone to read and learn about select wildflowers that are found in the Cofrin Arboretum surrounding the campus. The catalog contains various facts about the wildflowers, such as descriptions, medicinal properties, cultural lore, and environmental impact. Some of the information found in the catalog recalls the original Menomonee and Ho-Chunk communities that once lived in the area of the Arboretum.

Flora of the Cofrin Arboretum” was created by students enrolled in English 228: Introduction to Technical and Professional Writing class. Each student selected and wrote about a specific wildflower, including Canada Goldenrod, Common Milkweed, and Black-eyed Susan. The students conducted research about each flower and created an entry.

When researching the Canada goldenrod, student Ellie Nessman said, “It has been interesting to see all the unique properties of these flowers. It’s quite fascinating!” Another student, Grace Zander, said they “hope that the public can appreciate the wildflowers for more than just their beauty.”

Daniela Beall from the Office of Sustainability at UW-Green Bay guided students by describing the visitors to the arboretum and giving feedback on the site. Kristopher Purzycki, who teaches the course, hopes to expand this catalog in the future. “We hope that this project will, in some small way, help support the incredible work being done by the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity and the Fewless Herbarium.”

“We hope other courses will also contribute to the site,” Purzycki continued. “Whether it’s a writing course or not, creating a publicly accessible site offers a wealth of opportunities for teaching and learning. Beyond that, it’s a wonderful way to celebrate our campus.”

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