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Open house celebrates new additions to Sprout Garden

October 5, 2017

The Sprout Garden serves as an environmental educational tool, urban gardening resource, and healthy food access point for students of all ages.

Fresh produce harvested from the Sprout Garden in September 2017.

The Sprout Des Moines Urban Youth Learning Garden at Drake University will host a free open house to celebrate new additions to the garden, share fall and winter gardening tips, and distribute samples of fresh produce.

The open house is scheduled for 12 p.m. Saturday, October 21, and features the unveiling of a new porch swing and pergola. The new elements bring a more welcoming feel to the community garden, which is located at the corner of Forest Ave. and 25th St.

The open house will include a local expert discussing fall and winter gardening, sampling of fresh produce, refreshments, music, and community fellowship. The event is free and open to the public; donations of canned foods and personal hygiene products are accepted, but not required.

“The purpose of this open house is not only to showcase our new pergola, but to bring people together in the garden and make them aware of the resources that are present in their very own neighborhood,” said 2017-18 Sprout Garden coordinator Lindsay Finnell, a sophomore environmental science major.

The garden’s new features were made possible through a Wellmark Foundation Community Kickstarter grant to Drake in the fall of 2016. The grant also funded “little food pantries” which students installed in the garden area and around campus.

The Sprout Garden has also organized a pre-open house for Drake faculty and staff on Friday, Oct. 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Faculty and staff are encouraged to stop by and enjoy their lunch break in the newly furnished garden.

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Sprout: The Des Moines Urban Youth Learning Garden at Drake University is located on the corner of Drake’s campus. Sprout serves as an environmental educational tool, urban gardening resource, and healthy food access point for students in kindergarten through higher education. Several times a week students from various clubs plant, grow, and learn in the garden. This fosters interaction between Drake students, the Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa, and the surrounding community by bringing different groups of students together in the garden.