Fore! Urban Farm and Job-Training at Re-Purposed Golf Course

Year Complete: 2013
Grant Amount: $60,000
Local Government: City of Appleton, WI
Local Foundation: Community Foundation of the Fox Valley Region

Project Purpose

To fund the first season of Riverview Gardens, a former 70-acre private golf course being transformed into a community-based urban farm, park, and job-training program that will engage the community in sustainable practices.

Key Lessons Learned

Lessons learned about tools and tactics through the project that other sustainability directors could use to advance their work.

The sustainability director was a department head for the city. He leveraged significant media coverage opportunities, bringing the project to the attention of more donors. As a department head, he was also able to offer in-kind services to the project, such as use of city equipment. The establishment of the urban farm required the creation of a new zoning classification, so having a supportive voice within City Hall was incredibly helpful to the project’s success.

Lessons for developing a collaborative process between a local government sustainability director and local place-based foundation(s).

The main lesson Appleton learned is that government sustainability directors should make themselves known to community foundations and other place-based foundations. At the start of this project, staff at the Community Foundation was unaware that the city had a sustainability director and a sustainability plan. After the sustainability director and foundation connected, many shared goals and benefits were discovered. Both the taxpayers of the city and the donors to the community foundation have benefited from this ongoing relationship.

Additional Information and Resources

Read our Partners for Places Grantee Spotlight on the Appleton project here.