2017 Garden Projects

Adams County

Adams-Friendship Elementary School Garden

The school garden has been in place for over 20 years and covers an area of 800 square feet with many raised beds. Partners of the Adams-Friendship Elementary School Garden include Adams-Friendship School District, Adams County Master Gardener Program, and Adams Food Pantry. In 2017, produce harvested from the garden was donated to Adams Food Pantry.


Barron County

Barron Community Garden

The Barron Community Garden was started in 2016 in response to outcomes of a community survey suggesting many people living in Barron County were interested in participating in a community garden and having access to more fruits and vegetables. The garden is maintained by Barron County UW-Extension office. In 2017, expanded access to the garden was possible by FoodWIse mini grant funds. Grant funds were used to purchase materials and equipment and provide education about gardening and eating produce from the garden.

Partners of the Barron Community Garden include:

  • Barron County Public Library
  • Barron County Developmental Services, Inc.
  • Barron County Senior Nutrition Program (9 meal sites)
  • Barron County Community Garden Comittee

To date, 507 pounds of fresh produce have been donated to the Barron County Senior Nutrition program at 9 meal sites. 

Dane County

Mellowhood Foundation

(P.A.I.D. Program) Youth Garden Initiative

This garden was previously founded and multi-level partnerships grew out of FoodWIse grant funds such that the program blossomed into the dynamic Mellowhood Youth Garden Nutrition Initiative during the 2017 season. Due to inclement spring weather conditions, much of the work in 2017 season was focused on garden revitalization.

Partners of the Youth Garden Initiative include:

  • Mellowhood Foundation P.A.I.D. Program
  • Dane County FoodWIse
  • Dane County Master Gardener Volunteers
  • City of Madison
  • Good Shepard Lutheran Church

In 2017…

  1. Youth participants of the P.A.I.D program received garden education from 3 Master Gardener Volunteers. This reinforced an ongoing 3-year long partnership between the Master Gardener Program and Mellowhood Foundation garden. New this year, FoodWIse educators provided nutrition education for youth, who learned about healthy eating, physical activity, and food safety.
  2. A partnership was formed with Good Shepard Lutheran Church to donate produce for community members in need. Due to inclement weather and a slow start, produce harvested in 2017 went towards reinforcement of nutrition education lessons.
  3. Youth shared what they learned about nutrition and eating fresh produce with family and other community members.

Forest County

New Hope Shelter and Food Pantry Donation Garden

The New Hope Donation Garden was founded previously under the leadership of the Forest County Public Health Director (also the Master Gardener Volunteer involved with this project)! Due to issues with sustainability of the garden, it has struggled to thrive until mini grant funds were available by FoodWIse in 2017.

The partnership between Master Gardener Program and FoodWIse of Forest County brought new energy to the Food Pantry garden in 2017. FoodWIse staff contributions through engagement of stakeholders and purchase of supplies and materials have ensured sustainability for the foreseeable further. Through increased work with the food pantry, FoodWIse staff will take on other policy, system, and environment changes to increase benefit of the food pantry to the community it serves by including more nutritious foods.


Partners of the New Hope Shelter and Food Pantry Donation Garden: 

  • Forest County Community Coalition
  • Local businesses
  • New Hope Homeless Shelter and Food Pantry
  • Forest County FoodWIse program
  • Forest County Master Gardeners Volunteers

In 2017, 665 pounds of fresh produce were donated to Wasmogishek (New Hope) Food Pantry. Fresh items donated to the pantry included cabbage, lettuce, celery, summer and winter squash, and carrots.

Marathon County

Community Connection Garden

The Community Connection Garden exists on the grounds of Lincoln Elementary School in the Wausau School district. Availability of grant funds through FoodWise in 2017 facilitated a transformation of the garden from a school learning environment to a program that connects elementary student learning opportunities to issues of food insecurity in the community. The school district planned an extensive renovation of the garden to occur in the spring of 2017, but plans were postponed to the fall when more funds would be available. Marathon County FoodWIse staff and Master Gardener Volunteers anticipate expansion of produce donation after renovations are complete in the 2018 season.

Partners of the Community Connection Garden include: 

  • Hsu’s Garden Center
  • Neighbor’s Place Pnatry
  • Riverview Towers
  • Marathon County FoodWIse
  • Marathon County Master Gardener Program
  • Wausau School District
  • Lincoln Elementary School

In 2017, 146 pounds of fresh produce were donated from the Community Connection Garden at Lincoln Elementary School to two sites – Neighbor’s Place Pantry and Riverview Towers. Through these partnerships, donations of produce benefitted as many as 5,000 people. Donation of produce to Riverview Towers was especially meaningful as residents living there face financial and physical challenges to accessing fresh fruits and vegetables.

3rd and 4th graders from Lincoln Elementary school participated in nutrition and garden education as part of the Community Connection, a program that offers extracurricular experiences in partnership with 20 community organizations.

Portage County

Giving Gardens of Portage County at McKinley Grade School

The McKinley Grade School garden broke ground in 2017, and is part of a large network of gardens in Portage County that work to increase healthy food access: Giving Gardens of Portage County. The garden is a space to engage McKinley Grade School students in garden-based nutrition education.

Partners of McKinley Grade School garden:

  • McKinley School
  • Hunger and Poverty Prevention Partnership
  • Portage County Master Gardener Volunteers
  • Portage County FoodWIse

60 McKinley Grade School students participated in nutrition and garden education in 2017. Many adult volunteers in the garden also indirectly benefitted from nutrition and garden education activities. All produce harvested from the school garden was donated to community members in need. In the first growing season, harvests totaling 313 pounds were donated to Interfaith Food Pantry and School Backpack Program, which served as many as 430 families.

Vilas County

Lac Du Flambeau Youth Center Wellness Garden

Partners of Lac Du Flambeau Garden:

  • Lac du Flambeau Youth Center
  • Lac du Flambeau Elder Meal Site
  • Gitigaan (garden) Coalition
  • Lac du Flambeau Department of Natural Resources
  • Vilas County FoodWIse
  • Vilas County Master Gardener Program

In 2017, the Lac Du Flambeau Youth Center wellness garden donated 49 pounds of produce to 2 locations: the Lac du Flambeau Elder Meal Site and Lac du Flambeau Youth Center. Produce donated to the meal site served approximately 160 elders, and fruits and vegetables given to the youth center were used in snacks for garden education students and their peers.

Education to children at the youth center was facilitated by FoodWIse staff and a Master Gardener Volunteer. 8 Lac du Flambeau youth center attendants participated in garden and nutrition education and learned about gardening, soil composition, and edible plant parts.

Walworth County

Community Garden for Healthy Community 

This community garden in Walworth County first broke ground in the Spring of 2017 at Phoenix Middle School. The garden includes beds to be used for students in family and consumer education class and families living in nearby housing. Student and community gardeners ‘pay forward’ their hard work by donating produce to the Harold Johnson Delevan Food Pantry.

Partners of Health Community Garden:

  • Phoenix Middle School
  • Harold Johnson Delavan Food Pantry
  • Walworth County Extension FoodWIse
  • Walworth County Master Gardener Volunteers

In it’s first year, harvested produce from the garden served approximately 40 individuals per month. Varieties planted and harvested included tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, green beans, carrots, cucumbers, melon and herbs.

Students and neighbors that volunteered in the garden also participated in nutrition and garden education facilitated by FoodWIse nutrition educators and Master Gardener Volunteers.