Troy Gardens

Troy Gardens map

As Executive Director of the Madison Area Community Land Trust, Greg Rosenberg served as lead developer of Troy Gardens from 2001 to 2007, responsible for development of a 30-unit mixed-income cohousing community, as well as for securing Planned Unit Development approval for the entire 31-acre site.

The Madison Area Community Land Trust received national recognition for its work at Troy Gardens during Greg's tenure, including the Livable Communities Award from AARP and the National Association of Home Builders, the Affordable Housing Built Responsibly Award from the Home Depot Foundation, as well as a feature story in the Wall Street Journal.


BACKGROUND ON TROY GARDENS: In 1995, the state of Wisconsin placed a 15-acre undeveloped site abutting the Mendota Mental Health Center grounds on the State's surplus land list. The State intended to sell the site, most likely to a private developer. Area residents and people from other parts of the city had been gardening on 4 acres of the site for 15 years, and using much of the rest of it to bird-watch, walk their dogs, and simply wander the land.

Alarmed at the prospect of losing this valuable resource, concerned gardeners and neighbors, facilitated by the Northside Planning Council began meeting and planning. Several non-profit groups - the Madison Area Community Land Trust, the Urban Open Space Foundation (now Center for Resilient Cities), and the Community Action Coalition - joined together to form the Troy Gardens Coalition.

The Coalition developed an innovative proposal for integrated land use, one that combined housing with open space and agricultural uses. The city accepted the concept plan in 1998 for the community vision that was presented. After years of fund-raising and development work, the Madison Area Community Land Trust, with support from the City of Madison, succeeded in purchasing the property on December 28, 2001.  Upon purchase, 26 acres of the site was leased to Friends of Troy Gardens (now Community GroundWorks), which management of the agricultural land and for stewardship of the natural areas.

TROY GARDENS ARCHIVE:  The Troy Gardens archive contains all development documents relating to the Troy Gardens project of the Madison Area Community Land Trust (MACLT).  Based on the complexity of the project and the variety of uses on the site (mixed-income cohousing, a CSA farm, community gardens, and a restored prairie), MACLT encountered nearly every issue a CLT can encounter in doing a development project.  As such, MACLT has decided to make the full archive of documents relating to Troy Gardens available, in order to serve as a resource to other CLTs interested in doing mixed-use projects of this type.  [Disclaimer:  None of these documents should be used “as-is” on other projects, as each project has unique features and legal issues that make them quite different than Troy Gardens.  Organizations should consult with their own professional service provides (attorney, architect, accountant, etc.) before utilizing any of the content contained in these documents.]