Our ecological design services are tailored for residences, businesses, acreages, schools, churches and parks.

Clear Creek Amana School Outdoor Classroom

Progressive staff at Clear Creek Amana schools in Tiffin, Iowa saw vast opportunities for outdoor learning on an underutilized grassy space next to their STEM Center building. Backyard Abundance helped them envision a durable and beautiful outdoor classroom that would help generations of students learn to grow food alongside wildlife habitat.

Design features: learning shelters, raised beds, sensory gardens, compost bins, water catchment.

Successful Living Therapeutic Landscape

Successful Living, an Iowa City-based nonprofit, offers housing to people with chronic mental illness. Backyard Abundance collaborated with them to create a landscape based upon trauma-informed environmental design principles that aims to help residents heal and increase personal resilience.

The landscape was made possible through generous funding from the Mental Health/Disability Services of the East Central Region.

Design features: gathering areas, raised beds, wildlife habitat, sensory gardens, napping spot.


Residential Edible Yard

Backyard Abundance helped this family design their entire medium-sized yard to replace all turfgrass with vegetables, fruits, edible mushrooms and wildlife habitat.

Design features: gathering areas, children’s natural playscape, rotational chicken paddocks, ever-blooming gardens in sun and shade.

Eureka Moon Farm

This five-acre family farm connects people to Mother Nature, food, and community through hands-on learning and a diverse offering of quality farm-fresh goods. Backyard Abundance helped the family design their entire landscape to reduce its maintenance, encourage extended gatherings, provide income from organic food, and gain a closer relationship with nature. Learn more about Eureka Moon Farm.

Design features: edible forest gardens, gathering areas, market garden, children’s natural playscape, rotational chicken paddocks, livestock paddocks, windbreaks, pesticide drift barriers.

Tapestry Farms

Tapestry Farms is a nonprofit that connects refugees and neighbors in a shared hope of joyful, thriving, healthy lives, where every person has access to the resources to live well. Through a guided visioning process, Backyard Abundance helped Tapestry Farms design their rugged landscape in downtown Davenport, Iowa so it grows a variety of fruits and vegetables for refugee families. Learn more about Tapestry Farms.

Design features: market garden of raised and in-ground beds, fruit trees and berry bushes on a bermed screen, gathering and play area, shelter.

Cozy Front Yard

The owner of this small residential yard wanted to visit with friends and observe wildlife in her front yard.


Design features: small front yard patio, ever-blooming gardens in sun and shade, habitat for insects and birds, low retaining walls, low-growing native prairie patches, stepping-stone pathways for observation and maintenance

Prairiewoods Public Orchard

The Prairiewoods spirituality retreat center in Hiawatha, Iowa wanted to rework their existing public orchard so it provided more opportunities for gathering and grazing. Through a guided process with staff and volunteers, Backyard Abundance helped Prairiewoods envision a magical space that yielded nature connection, food, habitat and wellness. Learn more about Prairiewoods.

Design features: centralized gathering area, shelters, natural playscape, tracking box, fruit trees and berry bushes.

Poor Farm Wellness Trail

In collaboration with Iowa Valley RC&D, Backyard Abundance guided community organizations through several visioning sessions to design a beautiful, accessible wellness trail around the Johnson County Historic Poor Farm. A complete list of researched agroforestry plants was also provided. Establishment of the trail is planned for 2023. Learn more about the Poor Farm.

Design features: accessible trail, gathering shelter, rest stops, healing garden, food growing beds, performance and recreation area.