Travel Offset Partner

The Center for Resilient Cities/ Badger Rock Center

Who? The Badger Rock Center was created by The Center for Resilient Cities, through a community-led collaboration. With a systems-based approach, the Center for Resilient Cities is working toward a sustainable, resilient community in south-side Madison. Based upon neighborhood input and community needs, the Badger Rock Center was established to serve as a neighborhood center, including public meeting space and a public charter middle school, in a facility built to LEED-platinum standards (v2009 NC). The work at Badger Rock includes a robust urban agriculture program, which is integrated into middle school curriculum as well as community programming through community gardening, a weekly farm- stand and monthly meals.
What? Center for Resilient Cities is seeking to expand its food security programs with a changing climate in mind, to include trees that can thrive in changing hardiness zones as well as raised garden bed structures to assist in soil conservation, weed and pest control and water retention. The existing community garden serves over 11 families, of multiple generations, and 100 Badger Rock Middle School students in their garden classes. The expansion will help the Center reach more community members and build a resilient local food system.
Where? Badger Rock Center is located on Madison’s Southside, one of the more diverse communities in the city. The neighborhood is considered a healthy food access priority area by the City, with only a gas station convenience store and sub shop in close proximity to many homes and families. In the 2017-18 school year, the middle school served 86 students with 78% from low-income families, 36% having disabilities, and 32% being English language learners.
Why? Climate change in WI provides both opportunities and threats to farms and gardens. An extending growing season offers opportunity for extra successions of certain cold-weather crops; meanwhile, threats include increased soil erosion and flooding from heavier rain events, plant stress from periods of drought, and the overwintering of and encroachment of new weed and pest species. The planting of fruit trees, taking into consideration changing hardiness zones, will increase learning experiences and long-term food sources. The purchase of materials for raised beds for the community garden expansion will take advantage of the extending growing season while protecting against stressors. In this community, many families are just beginning to garden, and raised beds make the gardens more accessible and manageable to tend. Overall, the project will enhance the space as a vehicle for community resilience through increased neighborhood food sources and food and climate literacy.
When? Through the support of the National Adaptation Forum Travel Offset program, the project will begin in Spring 2019. We hope to recruit Forum participants as volunteers to plant the climate resilient community garden and tour the Badger Rock Center and middle school facilities where climate change will be reflected through art, science, and food security. All plantings will be weather dependent; the tour can take place regardless of weather.