Growing Together.
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Welcome to the 2016 Gardening Season!

In 2014 Community Action Coalition transitioned from their role as the operations entity for Dane County community gardens. As a result, a partnership consisting of Community GroundWorks, Dane County UW Extension, and the City of Madison has formed the Gardens Network to support and sustain approximately 60 community gardens throughout the county.
The Gardens Network provides resources, support, and leadership development to community gardens throughout Dane County. Our mission is to connect people in Dane County with access to the space, education, and resources to create and sustain gardens that foster food, engagement, and opportunity. We envision diverse, productive, self-sustaining gardens that have strong leaders and communities connected by a shared purpose, by a sense of belonging, and by a deep socio-cultural understanding.
The Gardens Network is best equipped to work with gardens to provide targeted and efficient training, technical support, operational support, and services. Some of the gardens in our community are well established and stable, while others face more challenges. No matter where individual gardens fall on the continuum, we believe that being nimble enough to provide more assistance to some gardens is a benefit to the entire community. To that end, the Gardens Network prioritizes resources to gardens needing help with sustainability, hands-on support, and leadership development. We believe that supporting community gardens contributes to a strong food system in Dane County and actively addresses food security, plus the fair and equitable distribution of healthy food in our community.
One of our primary goals is to assure land security through offering lease negotiation, access to affordable liability insurance, and advocacy for sustainability, growth, and stability for community gardens into the future.

New logo and brochure!

Dane County UW Extension coordinated and funded the work with Bobbette Rose, a graphic designer, to develop the new Gardens Network logo and brochure! We’re excited to have a logo to represent the more than 70 gardens in Dane County!
Check Out Our New Brochure!

Membership and Garden Heroes – Join a Movement!

The Gardens Network is encouraging gardens to become members of the Gardens Network. The goal of encouraging membership/contributions is to support the work of the network and share resources among the gardens in Dane County. Equity is an important part of a healthy food system in our community and the network is committed to support gardens across a continuum of financial resources, size, gardening experience, leadership development, sustainability, stability, and land security.
Check out our membership and contributor information and please consider joining the network as a supporter, either as a garden group or an individual Garden Hero. Gardens may access resources in the network without being a member, but won’t be eligible for having CGW as a leaseholder, liability insurance coverage, or the micro-grant program.

Gardens Network Membership Information

Community gardens have contributed plot fee income for many years and the Gardens Network also asks that gardens contribute 10% of their plot fees in order to support the Gardens Network. The Advisory Team will review the annual balance of the garden fund account to determine what amount will be allocated to the micro grant program. The balance of any other income will be used to support the operations and implementation of the community gardens program in Dane County.
Contributions by check can be made out to Community GroundWorks and mailed to:

Gardens Network Garden Fund
Community GroundWorks, Inc.
3601 Memorial Dr., Suite 4
Madison, WI 53704


You may join/contribute online by clicking the button below!

Become a Garden Hero!
Gardens with Lease and Liability through the Gardens Network need to sign an agreement and return it to Community GroundWorks with their annual lease and liability payment. Not sure if you have lease/liability or have questions? Email us at
Lease & Liability Agreement

Gardens Network Micro-Grant Program is Now Available!

The Gardens Network is releasing a new micro-grant program for the 2016 growing season. Grants are funded by membership donations made to the Gardens Network. The Micro-Grant program will consider applications for garden enhancement, expansion of existing gardens, or establishing new gardens. Please note that for 2016 only enhancement grants will be funded. The expansion or new garden grant application will be released in the fall of 2016 for the 2017 gardening season.

Click here for Gardens Network Micro-Grant information.

Completed applications for the 2016 Gardens Network’s Micro-Grant Garden Enhancement program are due on June 3, 2016 by close of business. 

Apply for a Micro-Grant Now!


Dane County community gardens are thriving! Across 30 acres of gardens, more than 2000 households come together to grow fresh fruit and vegetables, pollinator plants and community orchards. They also grow social connections, self-sufficiency and leadership skills. Gardens host a diversity of people across all ages, cultures, incomes and abilities. Together we embrace community development, beautification, environmental justice, crime prevention, shared stewardship, self-reliance and wellness. In sum, we are all better off when we are all better off.

Based on data collected in 2015-2016 there are:

  • 65+ community gardens in Dane County
  • 24 community gardens are members of the Gardens Network (leases, donations)
  • 6 community gardens on school district land (MMSD)
  • 11 community gardens in Madison City Parks
  • 37 community gardens on Madison and Dane County public lands
  • Well over 3100 garden plots
In 2015, six community gardens were supported through community development block grant funding.  In these “community development” gardens:
  • 72% of gardeners are low-moderate income earners (<80% of federal median income)
  • Women head nearly 40% of the gardening households
  • 21% of these gardening households include someone with a disability
  • About 70% of these households include people of color

Where are the gardens and who are the contacts?

List of Gardens & Garden Leader Contacts
Email if you want your garden on the list or you need to update contact information. We’re working on an updated list and map – COMING SOON!


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