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The application deadline for prioritization and returning to previous plots is past, but there may still be a few plots left if you are looking for a new plot. A waiting list is made when all plots are assigned. Applications for 2015 are available on the website (see left column) Plot assignments will not be available until Opening Day, March 28 and will be posted in the gardens and on the website. Garden meetings are the second Wednesdays of each month at 6:30 p.m. See sidebar at right for dates of upcoming meetings. All gardeners are encouraged to attend meetings and help run the gardens. Hope to see you there!

Last Updated March 27, 2015

About the Garden

The University of Wisconsin’s Eagle Heights Community Gardens (EHCG) was established in 1962 to offer Eagle Heights residents and the UW and Madison communities 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 gardners speak approximately 60 languages. The gardens feature gardening practices from around the world. The setting provides also a wonderful place for meeting fellow gardeners, family picnics and walks, and bird watching.

Important Dates

  • Upcoming Garden Committee Meetings:
  • Wednesday, April 8 at 6:30 pm. Business meeting at the Eagle Heights Community Center. Potluck, bring your own utensils and plate. Meeting to follow (and done by 8 pm). Maps are on this website under Plot Information.
  • Opening Day 2015 March 28. Assignments will be posted at each garden kiosk and on the website.
  • Seed Fair 2015 April 11. Free seed tickets for registered gardeners, workshop for seed-starting and orientation sessions.
  • Orientation sessions: March 28 at noon at both sites and 5:30 pm at Eagle Heights (the last with Mandarin translation). Also Wednesday, April 1 at 5:15 pm at Eagle Heights.
  • Plant sales:
  • Cool weather crops on Sunday, April 19
  • Warm weather crops on Sunday, May 17
  • Workday Obligations:
  • Dec. 1, last day to fulfill workday obligation or pay the no-workday fee. Failure to pay the fee (or meet the obligation) by this date will result in gardeners losing their returning gardener ability to request the same plot and the need to pay this fee prior to the next application being accepted. There is also a late-fee penalty of $20 for a large plot and $10 for a small plot that will be assessed in addition if the obligation is not met by December 1.

Our Purpose

The University Apartments Community Gardens are 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:

  1. Nutritional – The gardens are an important source of fresh produce for many students and their families
  2. Recreational – The gardens are an opportunity for many people to enjoy nature and interact with the earth.
  3. Educational – We help our gardeners learn about the natural world, new gardening techniques, and ways to garden in an organic or environmentally friendly manner.
  4. 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."