The Nature Explore Classroom at Iowa City Parks and Recreation
Children's Discovery Garden
The Children's Discovery Garden continues to be used by many programs at the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Center. A large sign was added this year that draws attention to the Nature Explore Classroom. Many art class activities and preschool programs are hosted within the garden. Drop-in participation has increased this year and rarely does a day go by without "visitors" to the space.
Natural materials are added to the activity areas on a regular basis. Bulbs, planted last fall, bloomed beautifully this spring. A workshop was held at the Center which demonstrated making cold frames to extend the growing season. Spring cleaning included weeding, mulching, repairs, cleaning out the compost bin and clearing vegetation out of the gardens.
The Children's Discovery Garden is featured in many of the publicity and promotional pieces for children's programming and articles have been included in the From the Park Bench e-newsletter. 6500 children K-6th grade and their families in the Iowa City school district received information in the school's Virtual Backpack.
An open house was held in conjunction with the Backyard Abundance plant sale in April. Families and children toured the garden with a staff person present to show children and families around the space.
Nature Leaders attended the At Home With Nature residential Nature Explore Training and Handmade Willow classes to further develop nature education.