The main goal is to educate the public on how our local environment has an impact on human health this includes projects related to the following areas: air quality, energy, water quality and conservation, land usage and solid waste issues.

A Practical Backyard Tour; Sustainability in Action!

Saturday, June 15th, 2019
The Healthy Cedar Valley Coalition & community partners are proud to present "A Practical Backyard Tour" of Cedar Falls & Waterloo on Saturday, June 15th from 10:00 AM- 1:00 PM, with a finale and prize drawing at 1:30 PM at SingleSpeed Brewing in Waterloo (325 Commercial St., Waterloo). The finale drawing will feature a 55-gallon hand painted repurposed rain barrel with converter kit, a rain garden plant package, a pollinator-friendly plant package, and a potted fruit tree. *Must be present to win!
This backyard tour is sponsored by the Healthy Cedar Valley Coalition's Sustainability Theme Group in partnership with Green Iowa AmeriCorps, Land and Water Stewards AmeriCorps, Black Hawk County Soil & Water Conservation District, Dry Run Creek Watershed Improvement Project, City of Waterloo, City of Cedar Falls, Waste Trac Education Team, Cedar Falls Seed Library, Northeast Iowa Food Bank, Hartman Reserve Nature Center, Black Hawk County Conservation, Good Neighbor Iowa, Petersen & Tietz Florists & Greenhouses, Meyers Nursery, & SingleSpeed Brewing.
Organizations and homeowners will be opening up their green spaces and backyards to share various sustainable or earth-friendly practices. This educational event will be FREE and open to the public. Participants can visit the 6 tour locations at their own pace and in any order. You may not make it to all 6 locations during the 3-hour event, so pick your favorites to visit first.
Pre-registration is not required. However, you can earn 1 EXTRA ticket for the prize drawing when you click "Going" to RSVP on the Facebook event by 3pm on June 14th.
Print your brochure/map and bring it along on the day of the event.
Backyard Tour Locations:
Pick a place to start and sign a participation waiver for the day at this first location. You will get 1 ticket at EACH site that you visit, which you can enter into the prize drawing during the finale at SingleSpeed Brewing at 1:30 PM. The more locations you visit, the better your chances are of winning!
Visit any of the 6 following sites between 10 AM - 1:00 PM (in any order that you choose):
Perennial Landscaping on the Cheap 4805 South Main St, Cedar Falls (Side street parking available nearby. Follow signs.) Learn how the homeowners created a gardener's oasis with over 1,000 Iowa hardy lilies and 1,000 hostas, milkweed patch, pollinator garden, art sculptures, & free edging materials through resourcefulness, Green Scene plant sales, & free city compost! Hartman Reserve will also have a booth here with information about Monarchs & pollinators. Learn how you too can register your yard with the Black Park Zoo's Plant.Grow.Fly Program! Please note: Cedar Falls prohibits parking along Main Street. Please follow the event signs to the designated side street parking areas. Four parking spots will be provided in the homeowner's driveway for those needing closer access.
Green, Clean, (and not so Mean) Wesley Foundation GreenHouse, 2421 Olive St, Cedar Falls (Corner of Olive St & W 25th St) Although featured on the first backyard tour, there is always something new and sustainable going on at the Wesley Foundation. Newly added is a rain garden, as well as a grass paver system the the GreenHouse. You can also stop by next door at the Wesley Foundation's ThreeHouse to view rain barrels, a bio-retention cell, and two sets of permeable pavers to learn all about the ways their property aims to protect the water quality of Dry Run Creek.
Good Neighbor Lawn 2415 Victory Dr, Cedar Falls Visit a residence with two rain gardens designed and constructed by student volunteers. Learn how you can install a beautiful rain garden on YOUR property!
Edible Backyard… Powered By Compost! 1416 Madison St, Cedar Falls
Good Neighbor Iowa is an initiative coordinated by the UNI's Center for Energy and Environmental Education. It 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 without herbicides or insecticides, and how you can go pesticide-free, too! Pick up a few wild edible recipes from the Cedar Falls Seed Library. Learn about edible garden weeds, dandelion root coffee, and violet jelly.
Rain Gardens Galore 2421 Ashland Ave, Cedar Falls
Get a chance to view two rain gardens as well as a rain barrel in a residential setting and help spur enthusiasm to implement conservation on to your own property. Here you can see mature and established, side-by-side rain gardens implemented by UNI student and Green Iowa AmeriCorps volunteers over a two year period. Converse with the homeowner to better understand the challenges, opportunities, and maintenance requirements to implement a successful green space in your own backyard.
Boosting Veggie Production with Earth Friendly Practices NE Iowa Food Bank Garden, 261 Vinton St, Waterloo
Check out how the Food Bank Garden uses under a quarter acre to grow 4,000 pounds of produce for our community. Master Gardeners will be on hand to share tips for maximizing production, as well as demonstrations of 3 styles of composting (backyard composting, vermicomposting indoors with redworms and Bokashi indoor fermentation). See how compost & compost tea can add vigor to any garden.
Water Quality Improvements Through Pavers & Plants Grand Crossing Parking Lot, Jefferson St. & Westfield Ave, Waterloo (Park in the city lot across the street from Side Car Coffee)
The new owners of this property had visions of grandeur while designing these new multistory condominiums. Echo Development Group designed the property with class, but also with conservation in mind. This site presents an elegant way to manage and clean storm water using permeable pavers in the parking lot and three bio-retention cells with hardy plants. Please park in the city parking lot located across the street from Side Car Coffee. After parking, please walk to the pop-up tent to check in.
Finale and Prize Drawing SingleSpeed Brewing, 325 Commercial St, W'loo
Hold on to your tickets and join us for the finale at 1:30 PM. Enter all your tickets into the prize drawing featuring a 55-gallon hand painted repurposed rain barrel with converter kit, a rain garden plant package, a pollinator-friendly plant package, and a potted fruit tree. *Must be present to win!
Iowa Green Brewery Certification: SingleSpeed Brewing is a certified Iowa Green Brewery - Platinum Level
Through the leadership of its founder, Dave Morgan, SingleSpeed Brewing in Waterloo has adopted a culture where the environmental impact is considered with every business decision. From the installation of solar panels on the roof, to innovative ways to divert multiple waste streams from the landfill, SingleSpeed has taken a holistic approach to minimizing their environmental impact while promoting environmental stewardship to its patrons. SingleSpeed Brewery in Waterloo is currently the ONLY Iowa Brewery to have achieved the Platinum Level of certification. Learn more about this certification at
SingleSpeed Brewing Tours Want to learn about the brewing process and see some of their sustainable projects? Brewery tours are offered on Saturdays at 2 PM. Tours are limited to just 15 people. To secure your spot, please pre-register online at
Have a question?
Contact the Waste Trac Education Team at 319-266-8722.
Contact: Tammy Turner: