MOWA Gardens 

The museum footprint is growing! Beginning in May, the green spaces surrounding MOWA will transform into a spectacularly landscaped set of gardens, creating a valuable community resource and a must-see destination in the heart of downtown West Bend. 

The new gardens will encompass the entire four-acre site surrounding the museum and extending south along Veterans Avenue and the Milwaukee River. It will be a different kind of park, combining the ultimate mix of public spaces. The plan calls for an open field for outdoor activities and festivals, six groves of 800 quaking aspen trees for admiring the fall colors, more than 1,200 hydrangeas for garden enthusiasts, sculpture for art admirers, an open courtyard for intimate gatherings, and interconnected walkways perfect for wayfinding or meandering. The space is designed to encourage a variety of leisure, recreational, and creative activities. 

Our goal is 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. 

It’s a big project with plans for completion in fall 2018. The museum will operate normally during this period and your access will be virtually unchanged during construction. In fact, there are many exciting outdoor activities planned in conjunction with Joy Ride: Designing Trek as well as our annual Art & Chalk Fest July 28–29. 

In 2016, MOWA purchased two additional acres of land south of its existing building from the City of West Bend. The area had been vacant since the former Field’s Furniture building and outlet mall was demolished in 2007. Also in 2016, MOWA created a committee to help identify the needs and goals for the new gardens and the fundraising associated with this extensive project.

MOWA selected architect Jim Shields of HGA to lead the project. Shields led the design of MOWA’s new 32,000-square-foot facility which opened in April 2013. He is working closely with landscape architect Judith Stark and David J. Frank Landscape Contracting, Inc.

We invite you to be a part of the transformation by visiting in person and watching video updates that will be posted here as the project progresses.

For more information about supporting this treasure, please contact or 262-247-2262.

Lean more about the project