Nov 29

A Reminder on 6 Great Reasons Grinnell Needs a Skatepark

As we near our fundraising goal for the revamping of the skatepark, refresh yourself on these 6 great reasons Grinnell needs a skatepark:

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Nov 18

Put Your Garden to Bed: Tips

Over the past few weeks, since the “Put Your Garden to Bed” workshop was cancelled at the end of October, Imagine Grinnell has been posting tips to Facebook to get your garden ready for winter on your own. With the weather to continuing to hold out, it may be worth your while to clean up your garden this Thanksgiving weekend before the snow hits.  Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 23

Workshop: Put Your Garden to Bed

Fall is finally here, and it’s time to put your garden to bed. Join Imagine Grinnell, Backyard Abundance, and the Poweshiek County Master Gardeners of Iowa this Saturday, October 28th at 9:30 AM for a workshop to prepare your garden for the coming winter.  Read the rest of this entry »

May 09

Giving Garden Work Nights: Every Tuesday from 4-7PM

Happy Monday, friends of Imagine Grinnell! Every Tuesday evening from 4-7PM this summer is “Giving Garden Night.” If you have an hour or two to contribute to helping plant, weed and pick, we would love to have you join us.

This week we will be building raised beds and planting fruit trees at “Marvin Garden”, our brand new garden location on Marvin Ave. just west of Los Girasoles and Andy’s Auto. Drop by and check it out!
Want to get email updates on I.G. Garden projects? Drop us a line at

Oct 11

Eco-Tech: DIY Solutions for Impaired Waterways Workshops

Imagine Grinnell is partnering with Drake Community Library, Poweshiek Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Grinnell College, and the Captain Planet Foundation to host a series of all-ages environmental programs. The Eco-Tech workshops will focus on water quality monitoring as a platform for learning about how technology can be used to improve our environment.

Participants will not only learn about Iowa’s impaired waterways, but they will learn how to monitor and improve water quality using a range of high-tech and low-tech DIY techniques. The programs will be basic enough for younger participants, but they are designed to be fun and challenging for anyone who is new to environmental science.


The workshops would be held in 4 parts from 9 am to 1 pm with a lunch break in-between. Lunch will be provided.

Saturday, October 29th – Water quality monitoring presentation and hands-on workshop led by Mindy Sieck from the Poweshiek County Soil and Water Conservation District

Saturday, November 5th – Bioreactor demonstration and hands-on bioreactor creation workshop led by Elizabeth Queathem and Chris Bair from Grinnell College

Saturday, November 12th – Electronics introductory course led by Craig Shore

Saturday, November 19th – Hands-on electronics and computer coding led by Craig Shore

If interested in either participating or volunteering in any of these workshops, please email


Additional Details:

There will be one workshop presentation on water quality monitoring teaching students how to perform water quality tests with disposable strips as well as reusable monitors. The next workshop will consist of demonstrating a bioreactor model and having students each work on their own bottle bioreactor, which will consist of wood chips, geofabric, and dirt. The final two workshops will involve designing and creating several different prototype low-cost monitors with students. Prototypes of each device will be made and tested beforehand before working with students. Depending on interest, an optional trip can be made testing sites with middle and high school students to test the accuracy of these homemade devices compared to traditional disposable nitrate/nitrite strip test from the HACH company as well as two purchased instruments from Hanna Instruments.


This workshop is made possible by the Captain Planet Foundation, a grant-making foundation that has funded over 2,000 hands-on environmental education projects with schools and non-profits that serve children in all 50 U.S. states and in 23 countries internationally. More than 1.2 million children have directly participated in and benefited from these educational projects. For more information, please visit


Additional support provided by Drake Community Library, Grinnell College, and Imagine Grinnell.


Sep 29

Please Donate Today!

The Grinnell Skate & BMX Project

gsbp1Please help make the new skatepark a reality!!

Fundraising Is Underway to Revamp/Re-ramp Bailey Park Skatepark!!!
Imagine Grinnell will lead fundraising efforts to revamp and re-ramp the skatepark located in Bailey Park at 8th Ave. and Prince St.
Grinnell Parks and Recreation board member Shawn Walters explains the importance of continuing to offer a skatepark venue for area youth. “Many of the kids who participate in skateboarding or BMX biking aren’t involved in organized, team sports, so they need a central, safe area to focus on their sport,” Walters said. “Right now these kids have to travel to other towns if they want to compete. The new skatepark could be a good draw for Grinnell to hold competitions here.”
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Sep 08

Abundant Landscape Workshop, Oct. 1 & 8

This workshop is Part 1 of the Create an Abundant Landscape Workshop with Backyard Abundance (Part 2 will be on October 8th at the same time)! Learn to integrate fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, herbs, and other edible perennials into your landscape, and how to design and establish a beautiful, edible landscape that benefits you and our local environment. Read the rest of this entry »

May 12

Celebrate Solar Event

Join us on Wednesday, June 1 at 7 PM at the Ahrens Park Foundation building to celebrate solar!

Location: Imagine Grinnell Foundation, 1510 Penrose St, Grinnell, Iowa 50112

Event Details:

Ideal Energy installed 13 new solar arrays in Grinnell over the last year, and they are donating a portion of the proceeds from those projects to Imagine Grinnell! On June 1st at 7:00 PM, Ideal and I.G. would like to show out appreciation for the customers who participated in the program and talk about how using solar can benefit our community and our environment.

If you participated in the program, if you are thinking about installing solar, or if you would just like to learn more, please join us for refreshments, a short presentation and lot’s of discussion about solar energy! Plus, hear about Ideal’s new initiative that will help local businesses go solar AND support Imagine Grinnell’s sustainability efforts.

May 07

MAY15: Help build the new Summer Street Giving Garden!

Come and join us for a Sunday afternoon garden-building get together at Summer St. Park (formerly known as Jaycee Park) in Grinnell. All ages and skill levels welcome!
What is a “Giving Garden?” It’s a garden planted and maintained by volunteers to provide free, healthy food to anyone who needs it. That might be a family with a limited income, or a passer-by in need of a quick snack! Most of the food is distributed by the MICA food pantry.
Last summer, Imagine Grinnell volunteers and friends started work on a natural playscale and neighborhood giving garden at Summer Street Park in Grinnell. There is a lot of work left to do! Come join us for good food, meet new friends and help feed your neighbors! Rain Date: Sun. May 22nd.

more info and directionsbean_pole_com_gdn

Feb 04

The Green Yard Makeover Event Series – Free and Open to Public


Interested in learning more about water, nature, and gardening? Attend these free classes open to the public taught by organic farmer Jordan Scheibel and native plant restorationist and retired biology teacher Jim Kessler.

 All classes in the series will be held from 6:30-8:30 pm, on Tuesdays, Feb. 16, March 1, and March 15 at Grinnell Friends Church1115 West St S, Grinnell, Iowa 50112. The instructors suggest attending all three classes but attendees may choose to only attend one or two classes in the series, as schedules and interest dictate. To sign up for classes, e-mail, or contact if you have any questions about the series. Pre-registration by e-mail is strongly encouraged but not required to attend.

Class Descriptions

The first class in the series, Water: Making It Work For You, will introduce participants to the basic concepts of ecosystem landscape gardening, including the eco-strip garden, a simple, low-cost, flexible model for combining rainwater harvesting, native landscaping, and organic gardening in a seamless design for rural and urban homeowners. The remainder of the class will show how to manage water as a potential resource, rather than a nuisance, by absorbing it into the soil and using it to nourish native and food plants. Learn methods for determining how much water is falling on your roof, designing and installing physical rain water catchment systems such as rain barrels for irrigation, and creating a rain garden to channel and absorb excess rainwater.

The second class in the series, Native Plants: For Pollinators, Insects, and You, introduce participants to the diversity of plants native to our bioregion and how to incorporate them into a rain garden as well as a butterfly and pollinator garden surrounding the rain garden to create a varied native landscape. The class will also cover how to incorporate native shrubs and trees on the edges of your property to provide cover and food for native wildlife as well as making functional privacy screens and windbreaks for your home. Particular focus will be made on selecting the right planting method and type of plants for your site and your location in Iowa to ensure the success of your planting. Native plants provide indispensible habitat for native pollinators, butterflies, insects, and birds. They also provide long-lasting, low maintenance beauty for homeowners.

The final class in the series, Gardening with Nature, will show how the rain garden and native plantings covered in the first two classes can be used to benefit a food producing organic garden. Learn how to integrate your backyard garden into a seamless design with the rain garden and rain barrel to collect and hold moisture and with the pollinator and butterfly garden and woody edges to provide habitat for beneficial insects and birds that keep garden pests in check. The class will also cover raised bed design, mulching strategies to cut down on weeds, and composting to build soil using materials already available in your yard, helping to tie the whole green yard concept together. In addition to the annual vegetable garden, we’ll also touch on integrating small, food producing perennials into the overall plan.

About Instructors

Jordan and Jim taught the series for the first time in 2015. They have worked to condense and improve the content, drawing from their experience in the past year, including Jim’s successful creation of a butterfly garden at First Friends Church in Grinnell, with monarch butterfly reproduction observed in the first year.

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