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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!
Now a Part of the Ice Age Trail!
In collaboration with the Ice Age Trail Alliance, the Ice Age Trail has been rerouted to go through Story Gardens. Following the yellow blazes, the route takes walkers/hikers to the library’s parking lot, down through Story Gardens along the pathway, down the back ramp to Davis St., behind the School District of Milton district office building, to Columbus St., and to College St. where it continues through Milton.
Story Gardens would not be possible without a plethora of community support through donations, volunteering, in-kind work, and more. Please enjoy this video of the creation of our shade garden thanks to Braxton Lopez’s Eagle Scout project, with guidance by Barbara and David Bendlin.
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.
- 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.
- Junior Girl Scout Troop #7452 donated and built a Kindness Bench with money raised from cookie sales. They also painted and included many kindness rocks to help spread kindness and positivity in the community.
- Frank Silha & Sons and Lyons Concrete Construction donated their time and expertise to install a southern ramp to make the Gardens area accesilble to everyone from the library’s upper parking lot.
- Milton East, Milton West, Harmony, Consolidated, and Northside held a Pennies for Pathways fundraiser the week of April 12-16, 2021, and raised just over $7,200.
- The City of Milton received a $2,000 grant from the Milton Fund, a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, to go towards an arched entryway piece.
- The library received a $4,280 grant for the arched entryway piece. This art piece is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.
- The Story Gardens Subcommittee purchased display pieces from Rotary Botanical Garden’s very successful The Very Hungry Caterpiller StoryWalk®.
- The library received a $5,000 grant from the Green Bay Packers Foundation that will be used to purchase two sets of concrete chess tables, with the remaining funds going towards shade sails.
- The library received a $5,000 grant from the American Family Insurance Steve Stricker Foundation that will be used to purchase 18 StoryWalk® stations for the walkway.
- Junior Girl Scout Troop #7452 donated $1,000.
- Braxton Lopez, with guidance from Barabara and David Bendlin, created a shade garden for his Eagle Scout project.
- With guidance from Jon Sockness and Erin Weberpal of Sockness Builiders, construction began on the outdoor programming space. Jon Sockness and his crew, along with Kevin Ferguson, donated their time and labor. Scott Randall and his students at the Milton High School, along with Kevin and Dalton Shea, installed the metal roof. Additional help was provided by members of the city’s Department of Public Works.
- John Dorn of Wisconsin Wrought Iron created and donated time and materials for the 100 Monarchs archway. Blackout Window Tint & Powder Coating provided a discount on the cutting and powder coating of the butterflies. And American Awards and Promotions is donating the materials and time to create the name plates for each butterfly
- The Friends of Milton Public Library donated $4,800 for benches.
100 Monarchs: A Women’s Fundraising Campaign
Over 6 years ago, the library began the journey of fundraising for an expansion and remodel. It was time to create a community space that was reflective of the goals of library staff to create a welcoming, open, creative, and collaborative space for community members of all ages.
The 100 Women Campaign officially kicked off our fundraising efforts. The Milton Public Library started with a handful of women back in 1904 with the Fortnightly Club, and we wanted to embrace that idea again with the library’s next big step. And because of over 100 other women, we were able to do so.
We were able to continue that succcess with Story Gardens! Thanks to 100 women and their support of the library, this beautiful archway is now a focal point of the gardens.
This archway’s concept was created by local metal artist John Dorn, owner of Wisconsin Wrought Iron. Each butterfly, which were cut and powder coated by Blackout Window Tint & Powder Coating, feature a name plate. Name plates are donated by American Awards and Promotions.
StoryWalk® is an innovative and delightful way for children — and adults! — to enjoy reading and the outdoors at the same time. Laminated pages from a children’s book are attached to wooden stakes, which are installed along an outdoor path. As you stroll down the trail, you’re directed to the next page in the story.
StoryWalk® was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and has developed with the help of Rachel Senechal, formerly of the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.
The library plans on featuring two different picture books a month, except during the colder and snowier parts of the year. To properly display a picture book, two copies of the book need to be purchased and the pages need to be laminated.
We are looking for sponsors for those StoryWalk stories! A donation of $40.00 would cover the cost of the two books and the materials needed for laminating. Your donation will be recognized at the beginning of the StoryWalk® and on the library’s website and social media. Books will be chosen by library staff.
To be a sponsor, reach out to Ashlee at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your donation to the library! Checks can be written out to Milton Public Library.
All donations are graciously accepted. Donations of $500 or more will be recognized in the gardens where much of the organized programming by Milton Public Library will take place for optimal exposure and recognition.
Payment plan options available upon request.
- $1 – $499
- $500 – $2,499 Level Sponsor
- $2,500 – $4,999 Level Sponsor
- $5,000 – $9,999 Level Sponsor
- $10,000 – $14,999 Level Sponsor
- $15,000+ Level Sponsor
- In-Kind Donation of Material, Equipment, Plants, Labor, etc.
News in the Making:
Monday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday : 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Last Updated on November 22, 2023.