Wisconsin Life # 906: Native Wellness Garden

November 10, 2022


Angela Fitzgerald is off to Milwaukee to uncover the practices and processes behind the Native Wellness Garden. This urban garden is run by the Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center, and practices sustainable agriculture in a growing space supporting First Nation communities. Angela meets with Lisa Albright, the Community Health Outreach Coordinator to learn about how the garden helps the community.

From a garden to a farm, we meet Robert Pierce an organic farmer in South Madison. Pierce operates the South Madison Market with his daughter Shellie. Pierce shares his story of changing the South Madison area from a food desert to a place where healthy organic food could be found. He has also offered lifelines to the local community through a program called FAIR which helps people recently released from incarceration learn to farm for themselves.

We then shift our focus to Chippewa Falls as Mike Van Dusseldorf shares his passion for recycling. Van Dusseldorf recycles one specific thing, bicycles. He takes old and broken bikes and repairs them so that he can give back to his local community. He has fixed up and donated close to 500 bicycles to people needing a ride. It’s all done through a project he calls New Life Recyclery.

After that, we find ourselves at the base of one of the ten most endangered buildings of Wisconsin. At 110 feet long and 30 feet wide, the Lutze Housebarn sits on the National Registry of Historic Buildings, and is being preserved by the Lutze family and the Centreville Settlement, a non-profit group dedicate to restoring the housebarn while preserving original tools and techniques.

Finally, Jan Killian shares her unique art. Killian is a full-time artist who runs Woolyfrog Arts studio in Cumberland. She incorporates her passion for nature and animals into her work which is set apart from many artists because of the medium that Killian uses. She paints with alcohol ink which is much harder to control than many other mediums.


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