Developing An Educational Donation Garden
The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Winneshiek Donation Garden were solidified with the help of a dedicated group of volunteers who meet in 2022 to determine the need, desire, and commitment to providing this community space. The committee's mission is to provide a safe and accessible garden growing space for the Winneshiek County community. Outreach to community members through educational opportunities by collaborating with 4-H members, Master Gardeners, RSVP volunteers, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Winneshiek County.
By securing the location at 2316 Sweet Parkway Road, Decorah, Iowa, this group of volunteers was able to develop a master plan and receive a donation and grants for funding. Plans included infrastructure details for an accessible fenced 30' x 90' raised garden box area, irrigation, storage shed, pergolas, and a produce washing station. Implementation of this was in the Spring-Fall of 2022.
Educational engagements are the following: interactive signs, planning and building skills, food pantries received educational recourses and produce, and gave tours to the community. In 2023 the team has planned upcoming projects, including 4-H Garden Club, youth workshops, and specialist lead education programs.
In 2022 the donation garden planning began in January, and the team of volunteers broke ground in April. After working on the infrastructure, the team donated 750Ibs to the food pantries in the first year. The team members included ISU Extension and Outreach Winneshiek County, 4-H members, Master Gardeners, Northeast Iowa RSVP volunteers, Green Iowa AmeriCorps, and landscape contractors. Our goals for 2023 are to increase food production and educational outreach.
The donation garden has decreased food insecurity in our local community. It has increased access to fresh produce, learning opportunities, wellness and physical activity, social interaction, networking, and a habitat for ecology.
Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC
This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.
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Authors: Allie McIntyre
McIntyre, A. Allie McIntyre, Iowa State Extension and Outreach Winneshiek County, Iowa, 52101