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Our Community Food Forest is free and open to all, providing a space for anyone in our community to harvest fresh food, volunteer their time and give back. From apples, pears and cherries, to mint, elderberries and hazelnuts, the Food Forest has a wide variety of edible plants for all to enjoy.

The Mission:

The Community Food Forest at the Y increases access to healthy food in our community through an urban, easily replicable model.

Food Forest Facts:
Established: March 23, 2016
Size: 10,000 sq. ft.

The Vision

Our community will grow food together, rehabilitate our local ecosystem and provide educational opportunities for healthier residents and families.

List of Plants in the Food Forest:

Updated 7.17.2023

● Apple Tree
● Aronia Berry Bush
● Asparagus
● Aster
● Baptisia – False Indigo
● Bee Balm
● Black Currant Berry Bush
● Cherry Tree
● Columbine

● Comfrey Common
● Comfry Prickley
● Coneflower
● Elderberry Tree
● Fiddlehead Fern
● Goldenrod
● Hardy Kiwi Vine
● Hazelnut Tree
● Milk Weed

● Pear Tree
● Plum Tree
● Raspberry Bush
● Red Currannt Berry Bush
● Serviceberry
● Strawberries
● Wild Ginger
● Wild Onion – Chives
● Woods Rose
● Yarrow

Soak It Up! Award Winner

The La Crosse Area Family YMCA’s Community Food Forest began with a desire to increase access to healthy food in our community. Local Y leaders wanted to produce food, share it, and demonstrate an easily replicable urban food production model. As the project progressed, they learned it would also provide runoff management that is equally vital to our community.


Read the full story here:

Soak It Up! Award (2022)


Thank you to the YMCA for donating the land, to Coulee Region Ecoscapes, Hillview Urban Agriculture Center, and Zach Gaugush for permaculture expertise, to the Hunger Task Force of La Crosse for community organizing, and to the neighborhood associations GENA, Washburn, Goosetown & Powell Poage Hamilton for your energy and passion for making the community a better place.