The Midvale Community Garden is located on the west side of Madison, Wisconsin.
What is Community Gardening?
You’ve probably heard the term community gardening, but what exactly is it? Many people think community gardening is simply a way to grow food — the same as back yard gardening, only not in their back yard. Community gardening is different for it creates the opportunity for a diverse set of people to work together to care for a wonderful and productive neighborhood space. Natural outgrowths of these gardens are new personal relationships, cross-cultural exchange, a greater sense of connection to one’s community, neighborhood beautification, and an overall strengthening of the neighborhood’s social fabric. Click here to learn more about Community Gardens in Dane County.
The Vision Behind the Midvale Community Garden
Our goal is to create a community/school garden and gathering space with year-round beauty at Midvale Elementary School. This space is used for meeting, eating, teaching and sharing. We are motivated by a vision where the community and school work together to contribute to a healthy, positive neighborhood environment and improve the livability of the community as a whole.
Who’s organizing the garden?
The Midvale Community Garden Committee consists of a group of neighborhood gardeners/volunteers:
Committee Chair – Charlie B: calls and presides over meetings and is the official spokesperson for the Garden.
Registrar – Mark H: maintains membership lists, assigns plots, organizes spring applications and collects fees, maintains workday lists and acts as the principal guide to garden practices and policies.
Treasurer – Ann K: maintains all financial records and accounts. Pays bills and reimbursements.
Secretary – Kate W: takes minutes, notifies members of meetings, workdays, and handles correspondence. Also reserves library meeting room.
Ground Crew – Kate D & Marsha Z: makes sure all paths, common areas, hoses, fences, compost, etc. are in order.
Fruit Tree Coordinator/Caretaker – Corinna W: oversees maintenance of fruit trees.
Fruiting Shrubs, Raspberry & Vines Caretaker – Ground Crew coordinates with Chair: oversees maintenance of fruit bearing shrubs, bushes and vines.
Herb Gardens Coordinator – Elisa G
Volunteer Coordinator – Marsha Z
Member at large – Kate D: accepts specific responsibility for tasks that maintain the orchard, common area and infrastructure.
Communications – Kate W & Judy W: maintain and update the website.
School Liaison – Kara W: in charge of all communications with school and keeps board informed of all relevant information.
Midvale Community Garden is located in Madison, Wisconsin, on the southwest corner of the Midvale Elementary School grounds [street address: 502 Caromar Drive], and is owned by the Madison Metropolitan School District. It consists of two main sections: the community garden plots and the Children’s (or school) Gardens. Currently, there are 44 community garden plots, each about 100 square feet, planted by individuals or families most of whom live in the nearby neighborhoods. The community gardens began in 2006. Plots are rented to community gardeners on a sliding scale set to be affordable to everyone. The Children’s Gardens, begun in 2007, include many beds which grow gourds, corn, lettuce, spinach, squash, tomatoes and peppers and other food. The Children’s Garden is operated by teachers and parents of students at Midvale Elementary, with summer maintenance help from the community gardeners. In fall 2007, 70 fruit trees and shrubs were planted with the help of a contribution from the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation. The gardens were founded by Nancy Gutknecht and Rachel Martin. In addition to plot fees, the school garden has been funded by various grants that have been used to develop the school gardens. For example, the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission awarded the Midvale-Lincoln PTA $3,900 for the “Growing in Knowing” garden gates, designed and built by local metal artist Erika Koivunen. Midvale Elementary students were involved in designing and finding materials for the gates. The gates were unveiled in June 2009.