Backyard Abundance, in cooperation with the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department, is trying to raise $6,500 to install informational plant signage and create educational websites for Iowa City’s public edible landscapes. If $1,500 is raised by Nov. 13, an anonymous donor has agreed to match that amount. The fundraiser ends on Nov. 23.

Backyard Abundance has created three public edible landscapes where food is free for the picking:

Robert A. Lee Recreation Center Children’s Discovery Garden, 220 S. Gilbert Street
Creekside Park Edible Landscape, 1858 7th Avenue Court
Wetherby Park Edible Forest, 2400 Taylor Drive 

Unfortunately, people lack knowledge of what is edible, when it is ready to be picked, and/or don’t know how to prepare the foods they’ve harvested. The sign project will offer self-guided learning about the free fruits and vegetables and how they can be grown. In addition, a website about each landscape will be created that contains information about each plant: identification, growing season, harvesting methods, recipes and establishment tips. Each plant sign will contain a scannable QR code to instantly link people with a mobile device to the website.  

Donations to the project may be made online at or sent to Backyard Abundance, P.O. Box 1605, Iowa City, IA 52244. Donations are tax-deductible and every donor receives the Backyard Abundance publication “Selecting Ground Covers.”

The signs will be installed in spring 2016.

Backyard Abundance is an Iowa City-based nonprofit that helps build landscapes that provide healthy food and habitat in Iowa City parks and public spaces. For more information, contact Fred Meyer, Backyard Abundance Director, at 319-325-6810 or

Date of publication

Tuesday, November 10, 2015