Gooseberries grow at Wetherby Park in Iowa City. Residents will be asked what types of edibles should be planted at the city's rec center. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Gooseberries grow at Wetherby Park in Iowa City. Residents will be asked what types of edibles should be planted at the city’s rec center. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

IOWA CITY – Good food is in store for residents of Iowa City.

The city’s Parks & Recreation Department and Backyard Abundance, a nonprofit based in Iowa City, want input on what types of edibles to plant at the Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center in downtown Iowa City.

Backyard Abundance also is at the forefront of “edible forest” initiatives in Iowa. Read more about those efforts here: Edible forest movement grows  and see more from Backyard Abundance about the session coming up Wednesday, Sept. 17:

Iowa City, IA The entire south entrance of the Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center will be planted with edibles. To gather community input on desired fruits and herbs, Iowa City Parks and Recreation and Backyard Abundance are hosting an “Envision a Downtown Edible Landscape” event at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center in the Craft Room at 220 South Gilbert Street in Iowa City from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm on Wednesday, September 17. The event is free and open to everyone.

 During the event, Backyard Abundance will introduce top edible plants and ways to use them in urban landscapes. Following the introduction will be a walking tour of the recreation center landscape where attendees can brainstorm ideas for making it edible, beautiful, and enjoyable.

 “We want Iowa City’s public landscapes to be used for more than just recreation and ornamental plants,” said Chad Dyson, the Superintendent of Iowa City’s Recreation Division who is helping lead the project. “Our urban land can provide free food for residents while also creating beautiful habitat for desired birds and insects.”

 The edible landscape expands upon the Children’s Discovery Garden located on the west side of the building. The garden was designed by Backyard Abundance in 2010 to help increase children’s creativity and motor skills. It is a certified Nature Explore Classroom—a nationally-recognized program that increases children’s wellness by connecting them to the natural world.

 For more information visit or call 319-325-6810.


 Iowa City Parks and Recreation oversees the development and maintenance of all Iowa City parks and administers park-related programs.

  Backyard Abundance is an Iowa City-based nonprofit that helps build vibrant communities by creating beautiful, resilient landscapes that provide healthy food and habitat.