Community members who are concerned about the quality and source of their food as well as declining bee and monarch butterfly populations are invited to screenings of the award-winning film, “Inhabit.” The film documents real-world examples of communities that grow food, provide habitat for desired wildlife, harvest rainwater, and prepare for a changing climate.

Screenings are scheduled Sunday, Jan. 17 at 1:30 p.m. at Prairiewoods, 120 E. Boyson Road in Hiawatha, and on Sunday, Jan. 24 at 1:30 p.m. at Shambaugh Auditorium at the University of Iowa Main Library, 125 W. Washington Street in Iowa City. There is no fee to attend. The event is sponsored by Backyard Abundance, Prairiewoods, the University of Iowa, and the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department.

The film will also launch the community-wide “Regenerative Landscapes” campaign, a partnership between several organizations to help people learn simple gardening activities that will provide healthy food and also enhance wildlife habitat. Plans call for a new outdoor edible classroom on the south side of the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center at 220 S. Gilbert Street in Iowa City, educational plant signage at three public edible landscapes, a spring plant sale focusing on edibles, monthly gatherings to strengthen connections with nature, and over 20 educational and celebratory events throughout the year.

“Through nurturing regenerative landscapes in our community, we inherently nurture our own physical, mental and spiritual health,” said Jen Kardos, the new co-director of Backyard Abundance, who specializes in educational and therapeutic horticulture. Kardos joined Backyard Abundance founder Fred Meyer last summer to jointly lead the environmental education nonprofit.

Funding for the campaign comes in part from a $24,000 Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) Specialty Crop Block Grant awarded to Backyard Abundance and the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department. The grant was awarded to help people learn to grow high-value orchard crops and enhance the competitiveness of these crops in Iowa. Other funding sources include the Community Foundation of Johnson County, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Resource Enhancement and Protection Conservation Education Program (REAP CEP) grant, and an online fundraiser. Additional information about the campaign is available on the Backyard Abundance website at

For more information, contact Fred Meyer, Backyard Abundance Co-Director, at 319-325-6810 or

Date of publication

Wednesday, January 13, 2016