Iowa City Parks and Recreation

Iowa City Parks and Recreation’s Children’s Discovery Garden has seen some changes this year and the response from the community has been inspiring.

The garden areas are well used and heavily harvested. Every day we interact with community members who have benefitted from the garden areas.

Squashing misconceptions: Did you know that squash, along with approx. 35% of our foods, depends on bees to pollinate flowers to produce fruit? Helping people learn and understand the roll of pollinators in our environment is one important service the Discovery Garden provides. Recently, a young family was in the garden, intrigued by the squash growing on the new squash tunnel. As Katie worked in the garden, she answered their questions about how squash grows. The family could see flowers being actively pollinated by bees. Katie pointed out the newly formed fruits and described how they develop. This is a meaningful form of community education in a setting that creates memorable experiences. Parents and children alike learn about botany, our food, and the importance of pollinators in the garden.

Herbing it up: A man on his bicycle, a bag in hand, stopped by the Discovery Garden to pick basil for his dinner. He comes to the garden 2-3 times a week to pick flavorful herbs for cooking. He harvested some kale and other produce. He thanked us for the fresh food and mentioned the tasty cherries he was able to pick in June.