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Milwaukee Community Gardening Report & Good News

  • Subject: [cg] Milwaukee Community Gardening Report & Good News
  • From: Diana Kanter dikanter@yahoo.com
  • Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 18:44:21 -0700 (PDT)

Hi Heidi Busse, Bill Dawson, Teva Dawson, Sue
Gunderson, Adam Honigman, Jerome Kaufman, Brian Kehoe,
Lenny Librizzi, Samina Raja, David Stephanson, Michael
Szuberla, Paco Vernin, Vicky Vogels, Anna Wasescha,
Corrie Zoll (phew) and other interested readers:

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Applied Planning
Workshop has finished our report, "Community Gardening
in Milwaukee."  I hope you find it interesting.  In
total it is 98 pages.  Not a light read but very

The highpoints are a policy analysis, a study on
community gardens effect on property value, a summary
of community gardening benefits, and others.

Good news too.  Milwaukee's Common Council will vote
on community gardening additions to the zoning code
this week!  It's gotten approval through the entire

Below is the executive summary to help weed the
report, which can be downloaded at
Click on the Read Report button to read and download
the report.

The acknowledgements repeat our gratitude for the
support and input we have gotten from the community
gardening world!!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

-Diana Kanter
Urban Planning Graduate
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


This report contains a body of research relating
community gardening in Milwaukee to other cities in
the nation.  The Problem Statement identifies current
issues facing Milwaukee Urban Gardens (MUG) and the
hurdles facing this organization in getting policies
passed to protect the permanent status of community
gardens in Milwaukee.  The context provided in this
Problem Statement helps identify objectives for MUG
and for this paper.  

In the next section, Brief History of Community
Gardening, an examination of community gardening in
the United States relates Milwaukee to the larger
established history of community gardening.  It also
discusses the current status of gardening in Milwaukee
and provides insight into the supply, the demand, and
the users of Milwaukee community gardens.   This
review of community gardening in Milwaukee led to
discussions with citizens, developers, gardeners, and
planners in Milwaukee about the three areas of
concerns for community gardening.  They were
identified as maintenance, insurance, and criminal
activity and safety.  Each of these is discussed in
detail, and where appropriate solutions are provided. 

The next major section deals with the wide variety of
benefits community gardens provide to the neighborhood
and its users.  These benefits are quantified for
community gardens positive effect on the surrounding
properties and economic benefits provided to users. 
Also, there are a number of soft values provided by
community gardens.  Benefits include the
solidification of the social fabric of the
neighborhood, accumulated environmental impacts, and
positive effects for individual on health, education,
nutrition, and additional economic benefits. 
Establishing the many benefits of Milwaukee community
gardens is crucial to the implementation of protecting

A review of community gardening and community
gardening policies in other cities provides a
contrasting point of view when implementing policies
for Milwaukee.  Community gardens in 6 Midwestern
cities and 5 cities with populations at or below
Milwaukee are used to compare raw number of gardens,
gardens per ten-thousand people, and policy review. 
Polices are reviewed in terms of their effectiveness
and are ordered least effective to most effective.

With this policy review in mind, the next section
takes selected policies that were deemed to have the
most effect for Milwaukee.  They are reviewed and
scored for consistency with the stated objectives and
criterion of the project.  

In the final section of the paper Procedures for the
Future are identified for MUG.  They are:

1. Add Community Gardens As A Permitted Use In The
Zoning Code
2. Add A Definition Of Community Gardens To The Zoning
3. Reestablish The Garden Coalition
A. Adopt Community Gardens into The Comprehensive Plan
B. Create a Model Lease
C. Map Out Potential Garden Sites in Cooperation With
The City
D. Pursue The Addition of Compensation Language to the
Model Lease


The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

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