The Walnut Way:
to lift-up a comprehensive revitalization strategy rooted in resident-driven social, economic and environmental advancement.
|Civic Engagement Programs||Environmental Programs||Economic Ventures|
Resident Sufficiency Initiatives
Community Service & Service Learning
Production Gardens/Fruit Orchard
Gardens to Market (G2M)
Urban Agriculture Intern Program (G2M)
Community Investment Group
|Walnut Way Campus: 2240 N 17th Street, Milwaukee, WI|
Walnut Way Current Programs
Resident Engagement & Empowerment
The Walnut Way Center continues to be an active neighborhood resource. Neighbors gather for Community Meetings on the 3rd Saturday of the month at 9am and our Neighbor Night events, usually on the 3rd Thursday at 6pm. Both serve to provide space for civic engagement and social networking which we know leads to more stable communities. During Neighbor Night, residents select topics of discussion and guest presenters are invited. Topics have included home budgeting, energy efficiency, and gardening. Our annual neighborhood events also include Harvest Day (block party/resource fair in the fall) and Neighborhood Lift Up (neighborhood beautification in the spring).
Walnut Way is becoming a center for urban agriculture research and innovation. Our active production gardens and orchards continue to produce food to be shared with neighbors and sold at the local farmers market, demonstrating abundance and opportunity. In addition to vacant lots owned by Walnut Way, we have incorporated backyard gardening into our programming. We have installed five backyard gardens and work with residents on managing upkeep and maintenance. We aim to construct an Agriculture Annex which will house garden equipment, vegetable processing facilities (including a cooler), and space for learning laboratories. Walnut Way also hosts many educational tours and programs to local schools and adult groups. In 2009 Walnut Way welcomed over 500 visitors who learned about urban agriculture, community revitalization, and neighborhood health.
Youth Leadership Development - Creating lifelong pathways to service
Our commitment to engaging youth in activities which support lifelong learning continues through our 4H Club, Gardens to Market (G2M), and Youth Health Service Corps programs.
Every Friday youth gather at the Walnut Way Center to participate in 4H activities. Walnut Way staff and volunteers provide hands-on learning opportunities in areas such as arts, science, and language while promoting youth leadership skills. Our hope is to remain connected to neighborhood youth and link them with other 4H Club participants and opportunities.
Our signature teen internship program, Gardens to Market (G2M) hires teens recruited from the neighborhood and area high schools. Teens gain work experience and build skills while working in the gardens twice a week. Once a week teens are presented with professional development workshops called “learning labs”. During these labs, guests are brought in (or we take trips) to discuss issues such as health, college preparation, financial management, and team building. Teens also work at the farmers market selling the produce they have grown, gaining marketing, sales, and communication experience.
Walnut Way also collaborates with the Milwaukee Area Health Education Center (AHEC) as a site for the Youth Health Service Corps program. Teens from the neighborhood and area schools who are interested in the health care field gather here to learn about health care, meet guest presenters, and participate in volunteer activities.
Walnut Way Tours
Public Tours (open to the public) - 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, 5:30pm-6:30pm, no fee, donations appreciated. These tours are basic informational tours opened to the public who would like to learn more about our work.
Group Tours (scheduled in advance) - Groups wishing to set up tours should speak with a Walnut Way staff member to customize. Fee $5 per person. Here are some options:
- Youth Group Tours - opened to classrooms and camps, chaperoned children visit the Walnut Way Center, tour the facility and gardens, learn about neighborhood development and take part in a hands on activity (to be determined with educator). Our group tours provide local school children an opportunity to experience a working garden. Children and teachers tour the Walnut Way Center, gardens and orchard to learn about healthy communities, food, bees, creating peace, and so much more. While in the gardens children and teachers can see, hear, touch, smell, and taste the bounty.
- Adult Group Tours - opened to adult groups (conferences, etc.), adults visit the Walnut Way Center, tour the facility and gardens, learn about our work, and may participate in a hands on activity (to be determined with tour coordinator).
Lindsay Heights Neighborhood Health Alliance
Walnut Way continues to be a lead agency in the Lindsay Heights Neighborhood Health Alliance (LHNHA). LHNHA works as a collaboration of community based organizations, businesses, public agencies, and academic institutions to improve access to healthy food, comprehensive health and wellness services. Walnut Way staff facilitates and provides technical support to LHNHA and manages a Neighbor-to-Neighbor wellness program focused on addressing health disparities and chronic illnesses impacting residents in the area.
Lindsay Heights Neighborhood Initiative
From the beginning, we have understood that the way we work together matters. The Lindsay Heights Neighborhood Initiative has brought together residents, young people, business owners, non-profits, and a range of other stakeholders to create a vision of what Lindsay Heights can be. By working deliberately and systematically to "connect the dots," we hope to revitalize our community for the benefit of all our neighbors. To view the Lindsay Heights Neighborhood Initiative Quality of Life Plan click here.