Garden Faqs 

    Frequently Asked Questions

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    Where is the Gardens at MOWA?

    The Gardens at MOWA comprises the four-acre campus surrounding the Museum of Wisconsin Art at 205 Veterans Avenue in West Bend, WI. It is bordered by the Milwaukee River to the west and the Eisenbahn State Trail to the east.

    What do the Gardens feature?

    The Gardens at MOWA includes a green field for outdoor activities and festivals, a multipurpose courtyard, six groves of 800 quaking aspen trees, more than 1,200 hydrangeas, two sculptures, and interconnected walkways.

    Do I need to be a MOWA member to visit the Gardens?

    No. The Gardens is a public space and welcomes you.

    What are the goals for the project?
    Our goal from the very beginning was twofold: to create a spectacular garden destination and to establish connectivity between the museum and West Bend’s vibrant downtown shopping and business district, including the riverfront and the Eisenbahn State Trail. Project highlights include:

    • Orienting the building and its surrounding spaces toward the Milwaukee River to provide a strong north-south axis through a series of interconnecting sidewalks
    • Generous groves of quaking aspen trees frame and accentuate the museum’s building
    • Up-lighting in the groves of trees enhance the setting and create a lively city center
    • Sidewalks create ample opportunities for both wayfinding and meandering
    • The Gardens connect physically and visually with two bridges crossing the Milwaukee River, thus providing ample access to and from the business district
    • A new handicap accessible path connects it with the main pedestrian bridge
    • Fields of hydrangeas create a destination for garden enthusiasts
    • Tree-framed courtyard serves as a space for intimate gatherings, weddings, and activities
    • Reconfigured parking lot to better accommodate museum visitors
    May I have more information about the sculptures?

    The sculpture to the south of the building is The Legend of the White Snake by artist Jason S. Yi. The acquisition of the work was made possible by the West Bend Friends of Sculpture. For more information, visit:

    The sculpture to the east of the building is Athena by Dean Meeker (1920-2002). The sculpture was created in 1991 of cut and rolled bronze and was a gift to the museum from the West Bend Friends of Sculpture in 2016.

    What will my contribution be used for?

    Your donation will support the development of the Gardens, a space for immediate use and for generations to come.

    Who designed the project?

    The project was designed by Jim Shields, HGA, who also designed the museum building. He worked closely with landscape architect Judith Stark. The landscaping was completed by David J Frank Landscaping.

    Will MOWA host events or classes in the Gardens?

    Yes. The Gardens present endless opportunity to offer outdoor classes and events. Watch for updates.

    Can I rent the Gardens for a private event?

    Yes. For more information contact Private Events Coordinator Kerry Conway at 262-247-2278 or

    What is a certificate of adoption for a quaking aspen tree?

    Your certificate will include a tree number and a map of the gardens to locate the tree you helped to plant. Given the number of trees in the Gardens, plaques will not be included. However, you will be recognized digitally on the website at