2023 Tour Locations!Front Yard Greenscaping
709 Grand Blvd, Cedar Falls
If you're looking to feel inspired for your own landscape renovation project, then look no further! This home features two rain gardens (treating the majority of the home and driveway runoff), a wide variety of edible landscaping options, and a rainwater harvesting system to water the thirsty plants, all in an attractive and intentional manner. Take motivation from this sustainable yard in harmony to help visualize for your own implementation.
Bountiful and Beautiful Biocells Abound
Pfeiffer Park - 910 Grand Blvd, Cedar Falls
Did you know that the City of Cedar Falls has over 60 bioretention cells throughout the community? Were you aware that over a three-year period, 40 of these were installed a decade ago? Why do we even have biocells and what do they look like? Well come on over to Pfeiffer Park to have all of your questions answered. These stormwater management practices are helping to reduce localized flooding, improve water quality, and provide habitat for our pollinator friends, all while adding a bit of landscape enhancement. Afterwards, you'll start spotting these wonderful conservation practices everywhere you go.
Greenbelt Lake Monarch Zone
900 Martin Rd., Waterloo
A short walk west of the Greenbelt Lake parking lot is a 5 acre pollinator habitat planting in its third year of establishment. This site has been seeded with a 52 species mix that is half grasses and half flowers. The mix was developed by the Cedar Valley Arboretum as a part of their Cedar Valley Monarch Zones project.
Jacob Geller, Natural Resources Technician with the City of Waterloo Leisure Services department will lead a guided tour to talk about pollinator habitat establishment, maintenance and show examples of native grass and flowers.
214 Highland Blvd., Waterloo
Come see a perfect example of how a landscape can be transformed from the standard American lawn into a gorgeous, healing oasis by managing without the use of pesticides and incorporating thoughtful features.
This homeowner started his garden in 2018, alongside his late husband. Their goal was to create a space that was beautiful, functional, and sustainable. Some highlights include the edible French garden in the front lawn, the kitchen garden in the backyard and the shade garden in its green, lush colors! You will also find fruit trees, a massive squash arbor, native plantings, and over 100 tropical houseplants that migrate to the screen porch and patio each year.
The homeowner is aiming to reduce the size of their lawn year by year, to give way to new gardens, pathways, and entertaining areas! The gardens feature multiple spaces for entertaining, dining, and relaxation. You will also find moon garden features throughout the gardens, in dedication to his husband. This toxic-free garden is now a place of healing above all else. At this stop, you can chat with staff from UNI CEEE's Good Neighbor Iowa program, pledge to be pesticide-free, and get your own free yard sign! Good Neighbor Iowa aims to reduce unnecessary urban pesticide use and to transform lawn culture to encourage appreciation of diverse lawns as a way to protect child health, water quality, pets, pollinators, and biodiversity. See how this Good Neighbor maintains a gorgeous yard space without herbicides or insecticides, and learn how you can go pesticide-free, too!
East High Dream Garden
214 High Street, Waterloo
The East High Dream Garden strives to teach the community the importance of healthy eating and living and sustainability. A coalition of students and teachers create the garden each spring by starting seedlings in the biology lab. The Garden Club invites all students, no matter where they came from, how they view the world, what they believe, or how they identify. To that end, the club is also working to provide opportunities for students with disabilities to provide meaningful contributions, including a growing role in the production of the seedlings.
In the Garden Club, a wide variety of fruits, herbs, and vegetables are grown each year, ranging from watermelon to parsley to pincushions. The Garden Club received a Farm to School grant that will allow them to grow food that will be served in the East High school lunch program via tasting tables. And new this spring- the addition of six fruit trees: two apple, two pear, and two cherry! Students in Garden Club enjoy the opportunity to be outdoors, to learn a useful skill, and to work together to bring the garden to life. Stop by to see all of the work the students & teachers have put into the East High Dream Garden!
Northeast Iowa Food Bank Community Garden
261 Vinton Street Waterloo
Tour the food bank garden (on the backside of the food bank) to see how raised beds are producing over 7,500 pounds of nutritious produce for clients each year, including 40 different varieties of produce. Food Banks were created to reclaim food that would otherwise go to waste and redistribute it to people in need. That ideal is still at the heart of a significant percentage of the food the Northeast Iowa Food Bank obtains and distributes. However, produce remains inaccessible to those on a tight grocery budget. Utilizing an on-site garden, the Northeast Iowa Food Bank is able to provide clients with fresh, nutritious choices. The community garden provides food bank clients with healthy food grown right here in their community.
All produce is distributed to clients on-site through the Cedar Valley Food Pantry, but none of this is possible without an army of volunteers! The food bank welcomes master gardeners, gardening clubs, youth groups, corporate groups, student clubs, church groups and all other organizations to volunteer at our community garden. Over 650 volunteer hours were donated to the food bank last year!
The community garden utilizes organic growing practices to create a habitat designed to attract butterflies, bees and other beneficial species. Garden debris and food waste are composted to provide a nutrient rich soil amendment for production while diverting waste from landfills.
The Northeast Iowa Food Bank provides educational activities on-site through the Summer Feeding program by engaging children in the food cycle and growing process. Children are then able to take the food they harvest in the garden into the food bank on-site kitchen to prepare a nutritious food item.
Yard Art Scavenger Hunt
Tucked into the food bank raised beds, the Iowa Waste Exchange will have a scavenger hunt of repurposed items. When you check in at the tour greeting table, ask for the list of repurposed materials that have been turned into art for the landscape or conservation aids for the garden. See if you can find all of the materials that have been upcycled!
Enter the Registration Drawing
Although pre-registration is not required, participants can be entered into a special Facebook registration drawing. To be entered, log into Facebook before 4:00 PM on June 15th and click "Going" or "Interested" on the Healthy Cedar Valley Coalition's backyard tour Facebook event. A special thank you to SingleSpeed Brewing for providing the gift certificate for this drawing. The drawing will take place at the Finale at SingleSpeed Brewing (325 Commercial St., Waterloo), at 1:30pm on 6-17. Winners do not need to be present to be included in the drawing.
Follow HCVC on Facebook For tour updates, Like or Follow the Healthy Cedar Valley Coalition on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HealthyCedarValleyCoalition.
Before the Tour:Print the 2023 Backyard Tour brochure
On the Day of the Event:Sign a waiver Start at any location you want. Check in with the site greeter at the welcome table. At your first stop, you will sign your participation waiver for the day. Visit other locations in any order that you choose. We suggest you pick your 3-4 favorite sites, as you will not be able to make it to all of the sites on the tour.
Get a ticket for the drawing At each site you visit on June 17th, you'll receive a ticket for the prize drawing. Write your name AND phone number on your ticket. Put that ticket in the prize jars at that location. Repeat at each tour site you visit for more chances to win.
Finale:The door prize drawing/finale will be held at 1:30 pm at SingleSpeed Brewing (325 Commerical St., Waterloo) in the bike garage door near the main bar.
Fill out a survey Let the committee know about your experiences during the tour! Fill out and return your survey at your last tour location or the finale. Everyone that turns in a completed survey will be entered into a survey drawing for a SingleSpeed Brewing gift certificate during the Finale. (Need not be present to win).
Door Prizes include
- $50 gift certificate from Wapsie Pines Lawn Care and Landscaping (2)
- A 55-gallon repurposed, painted rain barrel with convertor kit (donated by Green Iowa AmeriCorps, Dry Run Creek Watershed Improvement Project, & City of Cedar Falls)
- Rain garden plant package (2) (donated by the City of Waterloo Engineering Department)
- Handcrafted bee hotel (donated by Green Iowa AmeriCorps)
- Good Neighbor Iowa swag basket (donated by Good Neighbor Iowa)
A big thanks to all of our door prize sponsors!