What We Do

Milwaukee Urban Gardens (MUG) supports efforts of community groups wishing to start or sustain neighborhood gardens by negotiating long term lease agreements with the City of Milwaukee, buying properties to preserve them from development, and assisting with permits for water from city hydrants. We also offer technical advice, tools, and help with organizing projects in partnership with Groundwork Milwaukee.

Mission Statement

A program of Groundwork Milwaukee, Milwaukee Urban Gardens serves as a nonprofit land trust dedicated to acquiring and preserving urban land and partnering with neighborhood residents to cultivate healthy gardens and communities that improve the quality of life in Milwaukee.


Community Gardens have been a historical presence in Milwaukee since World War I. Today, however, they are an endangered species. Over the decades, Milwaukee County has lost over 60% of its garden plots to pressures of development – jeopardizing the quality of life for future generations of Milwaukeeans. In many neighborhoods, new developments are quickly swallowing any remaining vacant parcels, resulting in little open green space left in urban neighborhoods.

Milwaukee Urban Gardens was founded in 2000 by a group of individuals who were advocating for the long term protection of community gardens in urban Milwaukee.

Merged in 2013 with the sister nonprofit Groundwork Milwaukee, the organization currently holds titles to five properties in the city of Milwaukee: Greenfolks Garden in Riverwest; Village Roots Garden in Bay View; the Cluster Two Grow and Play Lot in northern Harambee; Hocking Heritage and Spencer Garden, both on the Northwest side.

View Hydrant Permits 2011 in a larger map