With over 60 community gardens around Madison, there is a wide range of plot sizes and amenities to suit anyone's needs. All of the gardens have a different feel, and with varying degrees of involvement from each community they can serve as a hub for social, educational, and family activities. Below, we highlight five of the most unique community gardens in the Madison area.
The Atwood garden has 110 plots and works with the Goodman Community Center to offer youth programming. Located along the Isthmus bike path between Jackson St. and Waubesa St., this is one of the oldest community gardens in Madison.
Located north of Middleton on the southeast end of the Bock Community Forest, this land was acquired for conservation purposes, so all gardeners are required to commit to a minimum of eight hours of volunteer service in the garden each year. Inside the garden, there are several areas which are used to grow native plants to produce seeds for planting in the conservancy as well as plants to transplant in the restoration areas.
The Eagle Heights Community Garden is located in a peaceful natural setting adjacent to the University of Wisconsin’s Eagle Heights Housing and within the Lakeshore Nature Preserve. Recognized as one of the oldest and largest community gardens in the United States, this 535 plot space requires gardeners to contribute one workday per year per plot to help with community chores. With approximately 60 languages spoken in the pool of gardeners and gardening methods from around the world, this is a richly diverse community.
In 2017 the Sheboygan Community Garden was relocated from its original spot along Sheboygan Avenue to Rennebohm Park. It has 55 small plots and all gardeners are required to contribute a minimum of six work hours to help maintain the surrounding parkland and flower beds.
Troy Gardens features 327 community garden plots, an organic farm, and restored prairie and woodlands on 26-acres managed by the nonprofit Community GroundWorks. There is also a kids' garden for local children to participate in hands-on gardening, cooking, and arts activities.