Children’s Museum Is Hands-On Green

August 27, 2010

Madison Children's MuseumNamed one of the top 10 children’s museums in the nation in Child Magazine’s most recent rankings, and recipient of the MetLife Foundation & Association of Children’s Museums 2010 Promising Practice Award, Madison Children’s Museum stands tall among peers as a place for children and adults to learn about sustainability through play.  It is striving to be the first LEED-certified museum in Wisconsin.

Not only is the building green, but its exhibits are too.  Here are a few highlights:

  • The Wildernest, an early learning area built out of materials sourced from within 100 miles of Madison
  • An artistically laid gym floor reclaimed from a Milwaukee-area high school
  • LED lighting, low- or no-VOC paint, and all-natural, non-toxic and locally harvested flooring and surfaces used throughout the museum
  • A four-season rooftop garden, which includes a small stream, a chicken and homing pigeon coop, solar panels, native plants and animals, and exhibits that focus on renewable energy sources 
  • Possible-opolis, an exhibit area created with the goal of 100 percent recycled or repurposed materials
  • A locally owned café that serves organic, healthy, whimsically presented food for both kids and adults
  • An original 1830s log cabin reassembled on the museum’s lot, which will be used as an outdoor classroom

Madison Children's Museum Water Globe

The Museum, which was set to open in mid-August, is designed to support a healthier future for kids and the environment.  It is built in an old Montgomery Ward building, using local designers, contractors, and artisans.  The Children’s Museum provides a great way for kids, and adults, to learn about sustainability with hands-on activities.  Knowing that the building is sustainable too, just makes it that much sweeter.

Photo courtesy of Madison Children’s Museum.



Dawn Killough

has over 15 years experience in the construction industry and is the author of Green Building Design 101, an e-book available from Amazon. She is a LEED AP and Certified Green Building Advisor, and has worked on the LEED Certification of three projects in Salem, Oregon.