Please join us for our School Garden Party!


The ICCSD Chapter of Farm to School will be hosting a School Garden Party this

Saturday, April 5, 2014 from 8:30 – 12:30 at the Coralville Public Library.

This is an annual gathering of school gardeners from our district to learn new strategies, celebrate success and inspire each other to utilize gardens as outdoor classrooms. The physical and mental health benefits of experiential education are profound and the opportunities to learn about nutrition, ecology and 21st century collaboration social skills are abundant in school gardens.

Summer Farmer Fair

The morning will begin with a presentation by Dr. Katherine Mellen of the Department of Health and Human Physiology sharing her research based on the project “Together We Grow Healthy”  from Washington County, IA.

Dr. Mellen’s interests are a reflection of her educational background. As a registered dietitian she focuses on helping individuals improve eating habits to prevent disease and enhance health and performance. Working with individuals also requires great knowledge and expertise related to food from production to processing. Her health promotion masters degree extended her interest and expertise to improving health through the promotion of physical activity. Her epidemiology/public health doctoral degree has provided her with a strong grounding in the need for multi-level approaches in changing health behaviors for individuals and communities.

Then Fred Meyer of Backyard Abundance will discuss:

Creating Edible Playscapes

Fred Meyer presents top tips for designing and implementing edible playscapes that benefit people and our environment. Through local examples and stories Fred will provide ideas for engaging students in nature using thoughtfully placed trees, shrubs, herbs, and ground covers that yield food during the school year.

Fred Meyer founded and directs Backyard Abundance, where he combines his enthusiasm for growing food, his fascination with the natural world, and his sincere desire to help people live fulfilling lives. He has organized dozens of engaging, experiential events demonstrating how to use nature’s principles to design environmentally-beneficial landscapes in residences, parks, schools, and businesses. He is a certified Permaculture Designer, certified Teacher of Permaculture, Master Gardener, Master Conservationist, and Toastmaster. More information about Backyard Abundance:

Then, Melissa Sharapova will share the concept of a seed lending library before we invite panelists of our district’s “Rock Star School Gardeners” to share their work and take questions about breaking ground and creating your school’s garden.

Finally, we will break into small focus groups to workshop ideas. Consultants will be available to delve more deeply into the opportunities to begin or improve gardens, curriculum, mentorship, and community building opportunities.

This event is sponsored by Field to Family, New Pioneer Co-op and Soilmates and Backyard Abundance.

Participants are asked to park other than in the first two rows of the CPL parking lot.

Any questions, please contact Kristin Bergman, Coordinator at (319) 621-0335