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Iowa City Parks and Rec: What do you think of the community garden program?


Chadek Green Park, 1920 Friendship St, one of several community garden plots in Iowa City. — City of Iowa City Parks and Recreation

As winter starts to settle in over Iowa, gardens with newly blooming flowers and ripening vegetables seem a long way off, but Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department is asking people to think about its community garden program. The department has launched an online survey seeking public input on its annual program.

“Share thoughts, ideas, and feedback about your own experiences with the community garden plot rental program or what you would like to see available in the program,” Parks and Rec asked in a news release on Wednesday.

The program provides gardening plots for rent each year from April until October in four city parks: Chadek Green Park, Kiwanis Park, Reno Street Park and Wetherby Park. This year, the size of the plots ranged from the mini (10×10 ft.), available to Chadeck Green, to some large plots (10×50 ft.) at Wetherby.

The community gardens were one of Little Village’s Staff Picks for the 2021 Best of the CRANDIC. During the pandemic, LV Marketing Director Celine Robins found her interest in gardening growing, and the community gardens becoming more appealing.

“Iowa City’s plentiful and beautiful community gardens — managed by the Iowa City Parks and Rec Department and lovingly tended by a fleet of amateur horticulturists — are a frequent stopover for me on morning walks when I need a little inspiration,” she writes. “Watching the sunflowers grow, the tomatoes fatten and ripen and disappear, the rare unhusbanded plots grow over with weeds, is a bittersweet marker of the passing of ‘unprecedented time.’”


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