The University of Wisconsin’s Eagle Heights Community Gardens (EHCG) was established in 1962 to offer the communities of Eagle Heights, the UW, and the city of Madison the opportunity to have an organic garden and participate in garden activities. EHCG is one of the oldest and largest community gardens in the United States.
The EHCG are located in a peaceful natural setting adjacent to the University of Wisconsin’s Eagle Heights Housing and within the Lakeshore Nature Preserve. At last count – the pool of gardeners speak approximately 60 languages and practice gardening methods from around the world. The setting provides also a wonderful place for meeting fellow gardeners, family picnics and walks, and bird watching.
Read this UW-Madison student’s thesis to learn more: “How Gardeners Cultivate Collective Place in Eagle Heights Community Gardens”
EHCG provides an opportunity for the UW-Madison community and area residents to enjoy nature, build community, learn about gardening, and feed their families. Specifically our purposes are:
- Nutritional – The gardens are an important source of fresh produce for many students and their families
- Recreational – The gardens are an opportunity for many people to enjoy nature and interact with the earth.
- Educational – We help our gardeners learn about the natural world, new gardening techniques, and ways to garden in an organic or environmentally friendly manner.
- Community building – The gardens are a place where students, university and community members from diverse age groups and cultural backgrounds can interact, learn from each other, and share in the creation of an aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly space.
These purposes are an outgrowth of the broader goals of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve, of which the gardens are a part, and its mission to “shelter biologically significant plant and animal communities for teaching, research, outreach, and environmentally sensitive use, and safeguard beloved cultural landscapes.”