Giving Gardens

What are the Giving Gardens?

The Giving Gardens are a collaborative effort of local organizations that aim to improve the health of Poweshiek County residents by providing access to fresh, local produce. During the growing season, the Giving Gardens depend on volunteers to maintain the gardens and harvest food. The harvested produce is then delivered to locations where community members can receive it, such as, MICA, UPH-GRMC Public Health, the Senior Center, Brookside Housing, and the Station Clubhouse. Area farmers and gardeners are encouraged to donate  excess produce to these locations.

Who do the Gardens Benefit?

  • Everyone and anyone!
  • Those with limited income
  • Anyone wanting to try new produce
  • Neighbors to the gardens
  • Friends at Brookside Housing, the Senior Center, the Station Clubhouse, or MICA

Where can I get produce from the gardens?

  • Pick your own vegetables directly from the gardens. Available produce is announced on Facebook pages for Imagine Grinnell, Hey, Grinnell did you know and the individual garden Facebook pages. See below.
  • Produce is delivered to the MICA food pantry, located at 609 4th Ave., Grinnell. Produce is available to anyone when visiting MICA. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30pm.
  • Occasionally produce is delivered to UPH-GRMC Public Health, the Senior Center, Brookside Housing, or The Station Clubhouse.

Who manages each garden?

Each garden has a different group who maintains the garden by planning, planting, weeding, and harvesting.

  • Ahrens Park Garden– 1510 Penrose 
  • Bailey Park Elementary Garden– 210 8th Ave.
    • Maintained by students, staff, and volunteers. For questions, contact Josh Smith, school principal 236-2770.
    • Currently sharing on Bailey Park Elementary School facebook page and emails to parents.
  • Davis Elementary School- 818 Hamilton
    • Maintained by students, staff, and volunteers. For questions, contact Brian Conway, school principal 236-2786.
    • Look for for Facebook shares on Davis Elementary or emails to parents.
  • Fairview Elementary Garden– 1310 Hobart St.
  • Grinnell Community Early Learning Center Garden– 1436 Penrose
    • Maintained by volunteers at the Grinnell Community Early Learning Center. For questions contact Valerie Steinbach 236-7214.
    • Currently sharing information through newsletters.
  • Marvin Garden– Marvin Ave. West of Los Girasoles
  • St. John’s Lutheran Church Garden– 1224 East St.
    •  Maintained by volunteers from St. John’s Lutheran Church. Please contact Lamoyne Gaard at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 236-4946.
    • Garden information is shared on Facebook at  Hey, Grinnell did you know
  • Summer Street Garden– 736 Summer St.
  • UPH-GRMC Garden– 306 4th Ave. Currently closed due to COVID-19
    • Maintained by volunteers of the hospital. For questions, contact Holly Petlon, 236-2999.
    • Sharing garden information on the UPH-GRMC facebook page and the HUB (internal communication).
  • Brooklyn 

Where are the Giving Gardens located?

They might be just down the street or around the corner. Check out the map and stop by one today! The gardens offer free, fresh, local produce, such as, summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes and much more. Tell your friends and neighbors and head out to one of these locations:

Bailey Park Elementary, Fairview Elementary, Davis Elementary, UPH-GRMC Public Health, Marvin Garden, Ahrens Garden, Grinnell Early Learning Center, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Summer Street Park and in Brooklyn near the city park.

How did the Gardens get started?

The gardens began with the Grinnell Regional Medical Center garden in 2013. The Grinnell Giving Gardens were created to provide healthy food options that were not previously accessible to Poweshiek County residents.

The first steps in creating the Giving Gardens was made possible by the Community Transformation Grant, which supported the purchase of gardening tools and supplies and a refrigerator for the produce, as well as community donations of seeds for the gardens. 

Today, with the assistance of grants and donations from the local community, the Giving Gardens sustainably produce fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs that community members can access at no cost. The gardens encourage local residents to improve their health by choosing healthier options.

Giving History

Giving history to MICA and other community sites:

Years 2019 2018 2017 2016
MICA 563 lbs 523 lbs 448 lbs 552 lbs
OTHER Sites 312 lbs 1039 lbs 539 lbs

How do I get involved?

Fill out the Volunteer form and indicate your interest in the Giving Gardens. If you would like to help out financially with the gardens, click here.