Growing Hope

Cultivate food, habitat and wellness in the garden.

Throughout 2017 you can gather and learn from one another at fun classes and celebratory events that focus on…

  • Food: Feel secure knowing you can grow food for yourself and friends.
  • Habitat: Joyfully contribute to landscapes that buzz with life and beauty.
  • Wellness: Enjoy peace and ease with others in rejuvenating landscapes.

Grow Food Security and Justice

Edible Classroom

Participate in the growth of food on your landscape or on landscapes at public parks, churches, and businesses.

Plant Sale Fundraiser

The Saturday, April 29 Backyard Abundance plant sale fundraiser provides a wide variety of annual and perennial edibles.

Support local growers and get a jump-start on growing your own food. From broccoli to blueberries, we have your plant needs covered.

Edible Classroom

In an exciting partnership with Iowa City Parks and Recreation, we have created the Edible Classroom on the south side of the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center in downtown Iowa City.

Your family can learn to design and establish beautiful, edible landscapes through a series of fun classes:

  • Worm composting
  • Seed starting
  • Deer-resistant gardens
  • Fruit tree companion planting
  • Medicinal herbs

Edible Outdoors

This series of hands-on classes will show you how to forage and prepare food from the abundance all around us.

Learn more about Edible Outdoors

Edible Walkways

Through educational signs and a website, you can learn about the wide variety of low-maintenance edibles you can grow through plant signs at these public landscapes:


Grow Healthy Habitat

Monarch butterfly

Help create habitat for your bird, bee, and butterfly friends through classes and events that demonstrate how to establish ever-blooming gardens. Events take place at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center Edible Classroom and Wetherby Park Edible Forest.

Edible Garden Designs

Jump-start the creation of your abundant landscape with a free publication that shows landscape design plans for...

  • Monarch and bird habitat
  • Natural, educational playscapes for schools and residences
  • Low-maintenance edibles

View Edible Garden Designs (pdf)


Grow Health and Wellness

Pawpaw Tree

Gather with others to learn how to design and establish beautiful, health-providing landscapes that buzz with life.

Events will be offered at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center Edible Classroom, Wetherby Park Edible Forest, Prairiewoods in Hiawatha and many other locations.

Gardening with Spirit

Connect with the spiritual side of nature through playful monthly gatherings that enhance public and private landscapes.


Sponsors and Partners

Forest Crops

Learn how you can help make these programs successful through volunteering or donations.

These programs would not be possible without generous funding and services from wonderful individuals, partners and sponsors. Please frequent their websites and storefronts.

  • Outdoor Edible Classroom: Thanks to Iowa City Parks and Rec and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) for funding this program through the Specialty Crop grant.
  • Edible Outdoors and Monarch Gardens: Thanks to the Community Foundation of Johnson County for funding these programs.
  • Natural Educational Playscapes: Thanks to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for funding this program through their Resource Enhancement and Protection Conservation Education Program (REAP CEP). Thanks also to School of the WIld for their partnership.
  • Edible Walkways: Thanks to many individual donors for funding this program and sponsorship from New Pioneer Food Co-op, Hills Bank, Adamantine Spine Moving, Iowa City Landscaping, and Plants Map.

Iowa City Parks and RecreationIowa Department of Agriculture  University of IowaField to FamilyIowa City Landscaping and Garden CenterTrees ForeverCommunity Foundation of Johnson CountyDepartment of Natural ResorucesRed Fern FarmHills BankUniversity of Iowa Community Credit UnionEarl MayNew PioneerPrairiewoodsPlants MapKing's MaterialEnvironmental AdvocatesBeisser LumberHy-VeeACE Mentor ProgramFarm Credit Services of AmericaEarthview EnvironmentalGreen Building SupplyPrairie Moon NurseryPrairie Nursery


Upcoming Events
Edible Plant Sale Fundraiser
4/28/2018 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM