Sustainability at the Madison Children's Museum was funded by MetLife Foundation in partnership with the Association of Children's Museums as part of the Promising Practice Replication Award presented to Madison Children's Museum in 2004 so that Madison's sustainable design knowledge could be shared with the field.

Madison Children's Museum (MCM) began embracing a sustainable design philosophy and incorporating green building techniques in 1998 in an effort to develop exhibit environments that were truly safe for children. We began to seek safety not only from sharp corners, but also from myriad toxins most museum fabrication shops commonly employ.

Our landmark exhibit and early childhood space, First Feats: Celebrating the Early Years (1999) was designed and developed using almost entirely nontoxic, non-synthetic materials that support children's developing immune systems and their innate connections with nature, while also supporting the natural environment. Since 1999, MCM has built all of its exhibits using sustainable design practices and has presented these practices routinely at museum, education, and early childhood conferences and community gatherings.

In 2004, MCM's Board of Directors expanded the institution's vision and values and adopted a sustainability mission that helps steer future thinking and strategic planning. MCM is now beginning a green expansion project that will apply sustainability principles to the renovation, operation, and exhibits of our new home, a historic 1929 Montgomery Ward building on the Capitol Square in Madison.