A new partnership and a two-year, $15,000 grant will help the CreekTop Gardens reach its potential, The 712 Initiative CEO Sheryl Garst said Wednesday.
“This is a tremendous new chapter for the CreekTop Gardens,” she said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony held to celebrate a partnership with Iowa Total Care, which provided the grant.
The local vision has been to make the gardens not only an opportunity for gardening enthusiasts but an outdoor classroom for children and adults, Garst said. In 2019, 712 partnered with local Master Gardeners and Iowa Prairie Network to help provide summer programming for Council Bluffs students.
After being cancelled in 2020, programming for students is again being offered this year, Garst said. Next year, Boys & Girls Club members will also have an opportunity to participate in programming at the gardens.
“Now that the CreekTop Gardens are financially powered by Iowa Total Care network, our dreams will become a reality — with a way to sustain the garden, repair and enhance it with programming and materials,” she said. “Hopefully, this will open the door to a long-term relationship.”
The gardens, first tilled in 2010, have been well liked by local residents, Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh said.
“It’s been a great amenity for the community to help people eat healthy — and to teach kids to eat healthy is equally important,” he said.