Watch our garden grow

Iowa City Plaza Childrens Garden 1 The City Plaza Children's Garden was planted on June 3, 2012, as part of the Iowa City Public Library's Children's Day events. This downtown garden is the result of collaboration between New Pioneer Food Co-op and the City of Iowa City. Scott Koepke, the education and outreach coordinator for New Pioneer Food Co-op; and Rachael Carlson, who works with the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature organization, planted the garden with the help of children who attended Children's Day. Within two weeks of planting lettuce, carrots, tomatoes and other vegetables in the planters outside the Library, all of the seeds have sprouted plants.

Iowa City Plaza Childrens Garden 2 Debbie Dunn, a library assistant in the Children's Services Department, was also involved in organizing this effort. Dunn, Carlson, Koepke, the city's Parks and Recreation Department and others will maintain the garden for the summer.

Iowa City Plaza Childrens Garden 3 Dunn and Koepke hope to have children-oriented programming at the Library involving the garden throughout the summer. For example, Kevin B. F. Burt took children on a musical garden stroll during the June 14 “Dreamin' and Groovin'” preschool storytime at the Iowa City Public Library. The Library's upcoming Popo the Puppet event this Thursday, June 21, will also feature a garden stroll. Koepke brought children from Iowa City's Parks & Recreation Department's summer program over for a fun and educational session at the garden on June 19. Koepke also hopes to provide programming through the Belin-Blank Honors Center, which is hosting a talented and gifted camp later this summer.

The Iowa City Public Library sees the garden as another hands-on opportunity to educate children about where their food comes from and how things grow. Stay tuned to for more information about upcoming programs and to watch our garden grow! At the website, you'll see a growing gallery of garden photos from this month.

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