Ashton House

Project GREEN is partnered with the City of Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department in designing and maintaining the beautiful Project GREEN Gardens at Ned Ashton House, 820 Park Road in Iowa City.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001, the structure was built in 1947 by Edward L. “Ned” Ashton as a private residence. Ashton, who has been called “the most distinguished bridge engineer in the history of Iowa” was a professor of civil engineering at the University of Iowa. After the historic flood of 2008, the City of Iowa City purchased the home through the Community Development Block Grant property acquisition program.

Ashton House is used as a community event center, and accommodates up to a hundred people for meetings, reunions, parties, weddings, and receptions. Rental information can be found here.

A beautiful site for a wedding
As part of the requirements for purchasing this home, the city agreed to develop a plan that would preserve the historic nature and unique architecture of the home and help protect it from future flooding.

The site features plentiful wildflowers and a number of historic trees and shrubs which remain from the Ashtons’ original plantings.

Project GREEN is designing, implementing, and maintaining the landscaping, which includes reestablished historic perennial beds, parking-lot screening, and colorful perennial borders, as well as decorative planters and other flood-resistant plantings. Signs identify historic trees, plantings, and unique site features.

We have secured grant money from the Community Foundation of Johnson County to fund portions of the project, and will be seeking additional funds through other grants and private donations. Planting began in June 2014, and we are recruiting volunteers for planting and maintenance of this ongoing hands-on project.

Ashton House Project GREEN Gardens: Nancy Seiberling Memorial Peony Garden
by: L. Hawks, Landscape Architect

We are working to establish this as a site which the public will identify with Project GREEN, and signage recognizes our contribution to and ongoing maintenance of the site.

Ashton House improvements

The beautiful house and grounds, as well as the gorgeous natural riverside setting, make this truly a community treasure.

Gazette Article November 16, 2015

Daily Iowan Article November 13, 2015

Exhibit B Landscaping Plans, Click HERE

Video: Project GREEN co-president Cindy Parsons talks about plans for the Ashton House. Press-Citizen

Click HERE for PDF of the report.