(AKA UNIVERSITY APARTMENTS ASSEMBLY)
Eagle Heights is technically a part of University of Wisconsin housing, but to the residents that live there — and just about anyone else that you ask — Eagle Heights is a neighborhood in every sense of the word.
While the area is served by multi-family apartments rather than single family homes, Eagle Heights residents aren’t stereotypical UW students. This neighborhood may be known as a “community of apartment buildings,” but this is far from the Mifflin Street life where it’s not uncommon to find loud parties spilling out onto the lawn. Most of the underage residents that live in Eagle Heights are children.
The neighborhood was created by University Housing to serve grad students, postdoctoral researchers, academic staff, UW faculty and students with families. In fact, it’s families that get first priority for Eagle Heights housing. Located just west of the UW campus, the wooded neighborhood covers 83 acres along the Lake Mendota Shore. The neighborhood is bordered by Lake Mendota on the north, Lake Mendota Drive on the east, Oxford Road to the south and the Village of Shorewood Hills to the west. There’s plenty of natural green space, playgrounds and picnic areas to make families feel right at home.
A sense of community is also important to the residents here. That’s why in addition to the many outdoor spaces that appeal to families, the Eagle Heights Community Center is a central gathering place for neighbors of all ages. Social events and programs there are open to everyone. There’s also a gym, a kitchen, meeting rooms, computers, and a study room. And the Community Center also houses the Eagle’s Wing Childcare and Education Programs for kids 6 weeks to 8 years.
And don’t forget the University of Wisconsin’s Eagle Height’s Community Gardens located adjacent to the neighborhood. It’s a neighborhood gem. Founded in 1962, these gardens are among the oldest community gardens in the nation. Here, neighbors can grow their own fruit, vegetables and flowers for just a small fee that finances the upkeep of the gardens. In addition to the fresh produce, the Community Gardens have become a place where neighbors can meet and enjoy their time outdoors.
Crime is low in the Eagle Heights Neighborhood and kids feel safe walking to school at Shorewood Hills Elementary School. Hamilton Middle School is also nearby. Just over half of the residents are married and the median age is 29. Probably due to the lack of parking on the UW campus, most residents use public transportation to get to work or school. For the walkers, bikers or runners in the crowd, the Lakeshore Path provides another easy – and scenic — way to get to campus. Although no one wants to have to go there, UW Hospital is also close by.
More notable than anything else, perhaps, is Eagle Heights’ reputation as a glimpse into the world outside the U.S. Populated with grad students and visiting faculty from around the world, as many as 60 different languages apparently may be spoken here at any given time. But communication is not a problem — residents are happy to work together to organize the many neighborhood activities and respond to community concerns.
Over the course of the year, there are a variety of neighborhood events, including an annual Ice Cream Social, International Potluck, Kids Night Out, and the Spring and Fall Yard Sales. Nearby Picnic Point is a walkable destination for a family (or romantic) picnic. And in the fall, residents can’t help but get into the Badger spirit when they hear the strains of On Wisconsin and the Bud Song from the UW Band practice field just down the road.
Eagle Heights might be a long way from home for many of the residents here, but it’s still a place where can feel right at home.