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While the conceptual plan below has been adjusted based on engineering and other factors, the overall mission and vision remain the same.


The lessons learned at Story Gardens will promote outdoor recreation and a love and understanding of nature to all those who visit.

The main feature of Story Gardens will be an outdoor programming space where staff will lead Storytimes, classes about horticulture utilizing the raised garden beds around the space, and much more. 

Ramps will be added to the north and south of the space to make it fully accessible. A walking path around the perimeter will connect the two ramps and the front and back parking lots at the library, creating another connection point for walking routes in the City. Art pieces will be incorporated into the space as well as additional gardens, educational spaces, and outdoor exploration stations.

City staff is currently working with the Rock County Chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance to create a minor reroute to allow the trail to go through Story Gardens.

When you make a donation to Story Gardens, you play an essential role in developing the space into a unique learning environment for all ages.

If you would like more information about the plans for Story Gardens, please contact Library Director Ashlee Kunkel at (608) 868-7462 or by email at


Our Story Garden Mission

“The mission of Story Gardens is to educate and enrich the community through exploration in an outdoor garden. Story Gardens is an open air branch of the library that promotes literacy and life-long learning through its literature-based themes and outdoor library programs.”.

The Story Garden is designed for children, families and people of all ages to take part in the biggest story of all; the story of the natural world. Through hands on involvement, together we are growing a living story. Join us.

The Parks & Recreation Commission is working with the Library Board, Library staff, and community volunteers to transform the outdoor space at the Milton Public Library into Story Gardens.

Facility & Programming

The Milton Public Library, 2018 Wisconsin Library Association’s Library of the Year, opened its newly renovated, award-winning, state-of-the-art facility in 2017. The library offered 507 programs with approximately 13,800 attendees in 2019, which included a wide variety of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) programming for all ages, from toddler to adult. With the addition of Story Gardens, the library’s programming can be taken outdoors.

The library staff envision using Story Gardens for interactive, hands-on classes for all ages to explore horticulture, the farm-to-table movement, local plants, pollinators and other bugs, Earth- friendly crafts, recycling, and more. Besides holding library programs such as Storytime, the outdoor programming space will allow staff and community members to provide visitors to the Milton Public Library a wide-variety of entertainment, from music, to plays, to presentations, and more.

The library will also create a special book collection to further supplement the education and knowledge gained from exploring Story Gardens.

The rendering below has since been modified. If you wish to discuss the changes, please contact Ashlee Kunkel at or Inga Cushman at

MPL’s Story Garden Progress Report

What’s happened so far:

  • The Milton Lion’s Club has donated and built 6 raised garden beds, 2 of which will be installed by Summer of 2020. We plan to grow a variety of edible produce as well as colorful plants and flowers that will really add a pop of color to the MPL Story Garden.
  • Without pollinators, like bees, fireflies, hummingbirds and butterflies, our world would be less diverse and less delicious. Pollinator gardens support and maintain pollinators by supplying food in the form of pollen and nectar that will ensure that these important animals stay in the area to keep pollinating our crops for continued fruit and vegetable production. The library was awarded a GROWMARK Grant for a 700-square-foot pollinator garden! 
  • Heather Hansen, a Janesville artist and designer, created a large-scale mosaic for our garden, so patrons will have a photo op with a set of beautiful butterfly wings behind them.
  • Plans were purchased for the Gazebo Area, which will be our outdoor programming space. Funding is still in-progress.
  • A ramp was installed, connecting the back parking lot to the grassy area that will feature the Story Gardens. This makes the gardens accessible to everyone.
  • Connie Bier created and donated a bee mosaic in memory of Linda McGarry for the pollinator garden. 

Donation Recognition

All donations are gratiously accepted. Donations of $500 or more will be recognized on engraved, decorative circles on the raised garden beds where much of the organized programming by Milton Public Library will take place for optimal exposure and recognition. 

Leveled Sponsorship

Payment plan options available upon request.

  • $1 – $499
  • $500 – $2,499 Level Sponsor (3.5 inch circle)
  • $2,500 – $4,999 Level Sponsor (4 inch circle)
  • $5,000 – $9,999 Level Sponsor (4.5 inch circle) 
  • $10,000 – $14,999 Level Sponsor (5 inch circle) 
  • $15,000+ Level Sponsor (5.5 inch circle)
  • In-Kind Donation of Material, Equipment, Plants, Labor, etc.


    The Milton Public Library opens doors for curious minds, nurtures learning and creativity, creates opportunities and enriches lives by bringing people and ideas together!

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    Monday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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    Friday : 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Sunday: CLOSED