Tucked away near the Altoona Hy-Vee and just off the Vern Willey II Bike Trail, the Enabling Garden is a two-plus acre oasis built and maintained by an ambitious group of volunteers. Located at 1050 1st Avenue South in Altoona, the mission of the Enabling Garden is to demonstrate ways that gardens can be developed and adapted to accommodate people of all ages and abilities where they experience the beauty of nature and the joy of gardening.
Polk County Master Gardeners have been the driving force behind the Enabling Garden and have been planning this project since 2002. In cooperation with the city of Altoona, Master Gardeners received permission to establish the Garden and it has been funded entirely with donations and grants, including a grant from Facebook Altoona Community Action Grant program. In all, over 30 volunteer Master Gardeners make the Enabling Garden possible.
About the Enabling Garden
The Garden has a large variety of events and features for visitors. Not only are there a wide variety of plants including breeds of lilies and roses; but there are also fun activities including free yoga, gardening classes or a walk through the Orchard and Sculpture Park. To learn more about events, click here.
One of the final phases of the Enabling Garden is the children’s garden. Designed to promote whole child development and learning, the Children’s Area will facilitate social as well as physical development. Not only will children see improved fitness motor skills and well being, but their sense of creativity and collaboration will be bolstered. In addition, the area will create feelings of empathy to nature and reduce stress.
Thanks to the generosity of many, this brilliant idea has become a success. There are now 30 volunteers who contribute many hours to ensure the Enabling Garden continues to prosper.
Facebook’s Altoona Data Center 2015 Community Action Grant provided the final portion of fundraising necessary to purchase all-weather musical instruments to complete the Children’s Garden. In addition, Facebook employees helped during the installation process.
The Master Gardener program is part of Iowa State UniversityExtension and Outreach. Master Gardeners must report volunteer and education hours annually to maintain their MasterGardener certification. ISU Extension and Outreach – Polk County trains approximately 80 residents a year in the program. Polk County Master Gardeners maintain three public gardens in Polk County.
Click here to learn more about Facebook’s Community Action Grants Program.
Originally posted on Altoona Data Center’s Facebook Page.