Children's Wellness

Research continues to demonstrate that children having consistent, direct contact with nature are healthier, have higher skill and intelligence levels, and have fewer behavioral problems.

Benefits of attending these events:

  • Connect with others who are interested in connecting children with nature
  • Gain ideas for designing and implementing landscape features that interest children
  • Learn about plants and features that attract insects and wildlife

ExploreThe Nature Explore Classroom project, a collaboration of Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation, provides guiding principles for designing outdoor spaces for children that is based upon their pioneering research.

Upcoming Children's Wellness Events


Edible Classroom Equinox Celebration

Saturday, September 16, 2017
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center | directions

Celebrate the fall equinox by enjoying the bounty from the Edible Classroom on the south side of the downtown Iowa City recreation center.

Donors, families, partners and the media will tour the area and sample yummy produce.

The event is in conjunction with Kids Day at the Iowa City Farmers Market.


Edible Classroom FlowersFun activities are available for children (and adults) of all ages.

  • Dig potatoes and take them home.
  • Nibble cucumbers, tomatoes and other produce.
  • Sample produce from The Millet Seed, sign up for their CSA, and ask questions about growing crops.
  • Get free seeds that will grow butterfly-supporting habitat.

About the Edible Classroom

The Edible Classroom helps families, gardeners, farmers and herbalists learn how to grow a wide variety of edibles in ways that increases the health of our local ecosystems.

The educational space is filled with fruits, vegetables and herbs, many of which are free for harvesting. No synthetic pesticides or herbicides are allowed in the landscape.

Edible Classroom Design

Learn about the Edible Classroom

Growing Hope Event Series

This event helps people learn how to cultivate food, habitat and healing in the garden.

Learn about a wide variety of other family-friendly Growing Hope events.

Sponsors and Partners

This project would not be possible without these sponsors and supporters. Please frequent these generous organizations to thank them for donations of materials and funds.

Iowa City Parks and RecreationIowa Department of Agriculture  New PioneerACE Mentor ProgramU of I Commuity Credit UnionHills BankField to FamilyHy-VeeBeisser LumberKing's Material



Past Children's Wellness Events

Creating Landscapes for Children

July 18, 2010

This event is divided into two sessions: a presentation and a yard tour. Please attend one or both.


1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Southeast Junior High School, Band Room (131)
2501 Bradford Drive, Iowa City  directions
Cost: Free

Yard Tour
2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Yard of Tony Malkusak
Cost: Free

Tony Malkusak designs children’s playgrounds for his living. But it has been a joy, not work, creating a play garden space at his home for his children and their neighborhood friends.

You can learn about ways to create your own nature friendly outdoor play space for your children or grandchildren by attending  his presentation at South East Junior High and follow-up yard tour on the east side of Iowa City.

Tony will show you easy ways to get your children outside doing nature art, utilizing loose parts (natural and recycled), building, and much more. Children who play outside regularly are less stressed, have fewer behavior problems and improved attention spans. Bring your children or grandchildren to this Backyard Abundance event and enjoy the fun!

Both events are free. Refreshments provided.

See photos of the playspace: Go to Abundant Landscapes