Badger Rock Neighborhood Center draws the community together.

Center for Resilient Cities helps to fill a critical void.

At community centers across the country, neighbors interact and lives are woven together, creating resilience. Before Badger Rock Center, the neighborhood had no public meeting space of any kind, unlike most areas in Madison which have access to a community center supported by the City. The neighborhood voiced a need, and we responded with the Badger Rock Neighborhood Center, housed at the Badger Rock Center. Our staff manages administration and coordinates program offerings. We seek out Madison organizations as partners, offering a place for their programs and services at Badger Rock Center.

Badger Rock Neighborhood Center encourages neighbors of all ages to get to know one another and enriches their lives through various classes and activities. As a public space, it is central to education, food production, and the neighborhood economy. And, by encouraging residents’ participation, it is an essential aspect of resilience in the neighborhood.

Project Facts

  • The Center serves 5,700 people, most of whom live in the surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Neighbors guide the programming, but from season to season, programming may include classes in canning and nutrition, ethnic recipes and cooking, design and construction methods for energy and cost savings, talks featuring local chefs, writing workshops and public readings about land, nature and community.
  • Badger Rock Neighborhood Center is the polling place for Madison Aldermanic District 14, Ward 71. In the past, voters cast their ballots at the local police station. Since the Center opened in August 2012, voter turnout in this ward has been among the highest in a city renowned for high voter turnout.
  • We’ve partnered with Madison School and Community Recreation to offer several children’s summer camps, including soccer, a camp focused on fun, food, and fitness, and a once-a-week parenting and child development class offered for families with very young children.
  • The Center is home to the Hmong Language and Culture Enrichment Program, the second of its kind in the nation, and staffed by college-aged Hmong students. This program reflects current educational understanding that children who are grounded in their cultural heritage and identity perform better in school.