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The City Plaza Children's Garden

Vegetables, flowers and herbs have taken root just outside the Library.

The City Plaza Children's Garden was planted during Children’s Day on June 7, with countless children stopping by to help Scott Koepke, the education and outreach coordinator for New Pioneer Food Co-op's Soilmates program; and Rachael Carlson, who works with the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature organization.

This is the third summer for the garden.

“I love being part of this,” Carlson says. “The garden is something that unites downtown. Some people are here more than others, and you can tell they take ownership of it, making sure no one hurts it.”

Koepke calls the garden a lesson of nurturance.

“There’s so much to learn when you’re taking care of plants,” he says.

And it’s not just the children gaining this knowledge.

“I will come downtown during the summer, find a bench away from the garden, and watch the families as they walk by the garden,” Koepke says. “I listen as they talk about what’s growing, point to what they see, and just smile.”

All produce harvested from the Children's Garden is donated to Table To Table, which provides food for the area’s hungry, homeless and at-risk population by partnering with nearly 30 organizations in Johnson County.

Watch Our Garden Grow

A slideshow of garden images from throughout the summer.

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