A new initiative will allow community members to grow their own food. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

HIAWATHA — Community members will have room to grow their own food through a new initiative between Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center and Linn County Master Gardeners.

The new Green Community Gardens will feature 30 garden plots to rent at Prairiewoods, along with gardening education.

“We really hope that people who live in apartments that don’t have access to land will rent one of the gardens so that they can grow healthy food for themselves and their families,” said Sandy Rosenberger coordinator for Linn County ISU Extension Master Gardeners.

Prairiewoods, 120 E. Boyson Rd., Hiawatha, is providing space for the garden plots for community members to rent beginning this spring.

Ten-by-20-foot full plots will be available for $25 each, or 10-by-10-foot half plots for $15.

Rosenberger noted that Hiawatha is the only city in the metro area that did not have garden plots to rent.

“Prairiewoods is also on a city bus line so folks with transportation issues will be able to get there,” she said.

Preference will be given to those with low to moderate household incomes, and some scholarships are available.

“There’s no gardening experience necessary because we’ll have classes for them and we’ll be providing tools, seeds, and plant starts for them,” Rosenberger added.

Anyone interested in renting a garden plot can go to: https://prairiewoods.org/outdoor-spaces or contact Rosenberger at sandyros@iastate.edu.

More: Gardeners encouraged to share a row with those in need