Wild bergamot and prairie coneflower create a sea of lavender and gold in the Prairie Pollinator Zone before it was destroyed in southeast Cedar Rapids. A garden forum in Iowa City will highlight places where native plantings are emphasized to provide habitat and more. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The next Second Sunday Garden Forum will feature Johnson County’s Roadside Vegetation Manager, Chris Henze.

Learn about this upcoming event, which also will be livestreamed, from Project GREEN:

IOWA CITY — Project GREEN and the Iowa City Public Library will offer another Second Sunday Garden Forum on Feb. 12, from 2 to 4 p.m., at the Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St., Iowa City.

The events are free and open to the public. The presentation will also stream live on Iowa City Public Library’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/thelibrarychannel.

Chris Henze, Johnson County Roadside Vegetation Manager, will address Naturalizing Roadsides: Making a more beautiful Iowa. The prairie that once covered 85% of Iowa has dwindled to a minuscule portion that is protected and managed as a prairie. Iowa’s native roadsides help prevent soil erosion and provide important habitat while promoting the use of prairie statewide.

In Johnson County, Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management maintains a safe travel environment on the county right-of-ways, controls noxious weeds and soil erosion, sustains water quality, improves wildlife habitat, and provides the public with aesthetically pleasing roadsides using a variety of management tools rather than rely on just one. Chris is also the county Weed Commissioner who oversees the control of legally noxious weeds on all public and private property.

Project GREEN Co-President, Diane Allen, notes our goals to beautify public green spaces match Johnson County Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management. “We want everyone to enjoy the beauty of our state. Our rural roadsides contain the beauty of Iowa’s past and our future.”

The final Second Sunday Garden Forum of 2023 will be held Sunday, March 12, with Jane Wilch, Iowa City Recycling Coordinator, addressing opportunities and options that citizens can make for A GREENER Tomorrow.

Project GREEN (Grow to Reach Environmental Excellence Now) and ICPL have partnered to offer the Garden Forums for many years. The forums are free and open to the public. Attendance at forums qualifies Iowa State University Extension Master Gardeners for education CEUs.

Project GREEN launched in 1968. The nonprofit has funded nearly $2.2 million in projects, including Project GREEN Garden, a public garden at the city-owned Ned Ashton House at 820 Park Road, parks, roadsides, riverfronts and median parkways and public school grounds. Project GREEN also supports efforts to educate citizens about the importance of beautifying private properties as well. In 2023, the organization is celebrating 55 years of service to the community.

More: Cargill cuts path of destruction through Prairie Pollinator Zone