Earlier Projects

Community Gardens

Community Gardens of Bad River Reservation in Ashland County

Hurley School Garden

Community is the key word in this collection of gardens in the Bad River Reservation in Odanah, WI

  • Four raised bed gardens at Head Start containing such staples as sunflowers, raspberries and mint that offer a delightful sensory experience.
  • Two raised bed gardens at the children’s education center with vegetables, herbs and spices.
  • Two hoop house gardens; one for the children and one for adult education

The vision for Community Gardens of Bad River Reservation started in 2007, and garden planners and involved community members rounded out the first full year of gardening in 2008. The educational strategy of this project included garden planning and installation with Master Gardener Volunteers, and Master Gardener Volunteers and Nutrition educators together delivered weekly garden and nutrition topic lessons. Harvest from this community garden was distributed to Bad River Reservation food pantries and the Head Start center neighboring the garden.

The Community’s Garden in Door County


  • 8 acres located near the Door Ministry Hospital in Sturgeon Bay
  • 48 garden plots that measure 20′ x 20′ available on an annual basis
  • Garden plot rental requires a small fee for city water that is supplied on site
  • Families receiving WIC or FoodShare are exempted from plot rental fee with a commitment of 4 hours of service to garden common areas

The vision of The Community’s Garden first began in 2007, and the first full year of gardening was 2008. The Community’s Garden partners with health educators and food service personnel at Door Ministry Hospital, Community Foundations, Door County Master Gardeners, and FoodWIse of Door and Kewaunee Counties. Education objectives of the GardenWIse project linked to The Community’s Garden include garden planning and installation with Master Gardener Volunteers and weekly garden and nutrition topic lessons FoodWIse and Master Gardener Volunteers. Produce harvested from this initiative was distributed to renters of the garden plots, area food pantries, and hospital food service pantries that have local produce initiatives.

Youth Gardens

Grow Academy in Dane County

grow academy logo

The Grow Academy is an agriculture-based diversion and treatment program for juvenile offenders located in Fitchburg, WI.


The Division of Juvenile Corrections, together with community partners, provides services and supplemental curricula in horticulture, aquaponics, nutrition education, gardening, compositing, poultry, and employment readiness to institutionalized youth.

Here, recovering young people learn valuable skills from working with these organizations and experience the value of giving back to the community through donation of produce. 

The Grow Academy was founded in June 2014. Kate Elvidge, regional director for juvenile corrections for the State Of Wisconsin Department of Corrections, noticed a striking change in the attitude of adult offenders when she watched them plant and weed a community garden in Madison. “It was amazing to watch their whole demeanor change when they’re involved with something so tangible,” said Elvidge. Partners of The Grow Academy include the Division of Juvenile Corrections, Dane County UW-Extension FoodWIse and Master Gardener Programs, Madison Area Technical College, Community Action Coalition of the Madison area, University of Wisconsin – Madison, and Community Groundworks. Participants of The Grow Academy get hands on experience with: organic vegetable farming, use aquaponic technology, raising small farm animals, composting, marketing, retail of organic produce at farmers’ markets, and meal planning, preparation and cooking. Tangible benefits of participation include ServSafe® certification, financial literacy, high school credit, and employment placement. At-risk youth grow as individuals through engagement with horticultural therapy processes, retail skills development and job readiness practices, and restorative justice and cognitive intervention programming. The Grow Academy distributes harvest grown on-site through donation to local food pantries and direct-to-consumer point-of-sale.

Hurley School Garden in Iron County

Growing Healthy Futures

Growing Healthy Futures

  • The garden consists of a series of raised beds on Hurley K-12 school property
  • The garden space includes a portable water supply, garden shed and tools, picnic tables and benches, and a perimeter fence
  • Hurley K-12 school students learn about their food supply, gardening, leadership, marketing, design, money-management and food safety through participation in Garden to Market 4-H club and school nutrition education programs

The Hurley School Garden was established in 2012 with funds from an obesity prevention grant. UW-Extension county educators on-going support of the school garden has provided a space to teach students about nutrition and how to grow, prepare and preserve healthy fruits and vegetables. Partners of the Hurley School Garden GardenWIse initiative include Hurley Schools, Iron County 4-H Leadership Development, Iron County FoodWIse and Master Gardener programs, the Iron County Farmers’ Market, and regional local food producers. Educational strategies in the Hurley School Garden include garden planning, installation and harvesting, nutrition education and food safety, leadership development, and business marketing and management. Produce grown in the Hurley School Garden is given to Garden to Market program participants and their families and patrons in exchange for volunteering in the garden, and to farmers’ market patrons through direct-to-consumer point-of-sale.