Garden Forums

Every winter, Project GREEN hosts a series of three educational presentations about gardening and environmental topics. These are held at the Iowa City Public Library, and are free and open to the public.

The presentation will also stream live on Iowa City Public Library’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/thelibrarychannel.

Project GREEN has been holding our Winter Garden Forums in partnership with the Iowa City Public Library since 1989. These garden-related educational presentations were begun as a tribute to Edwin Green, longtime Managing Editor of Iowa City Press-Citizen, who left the majority of his estate to local charitable entities, including a bequest to Project GREEN.

Past Garden Forum presentations can also be viewed online at the Iowa City Public Library’s Library Channel.

We hope to see you at the 2024 Project GREEN Winter Garden Forums!

The 2024 Garden Forums

January 14, 2024 , 2 p.m.
Grow It Yourself (GIY): Veggies 101

Lisa Hinzman Howard, or, as she’s known in the gardening world, Midwest Garden Gal, will kick off the Project GREEN forum series on January 14. Her talk, “GIY (Grow It Yourself): Veggies 101”, encourages gardeners to adopt the worldwide directive: grow your food to know your food. The program covers soil basics, getting started with raised beds, and expanding the season to maximize your harvest, plus unique ideas around vertical, succession, and companion planting for growing veggies at home. Lisa’s presentation eases gardening anxiety to help anyone—from pros to wannabes and dabblers—to find success in their space. Using research-based garden education, she wants all gardeners to achieve quick success and find long-term enjoyment in the garden.

Lisa is a Linn County Master Gardener volunteer with twenty-plus years of gardening experience. In 2016, she founded her all-purpose gardening enterprise, Midwest Garden Gal, LLC. Her book, Cheap Tricks Gardening: ’Cause You Don’t Need to Spend a Fortune for Fabulous, was published in 2022. Signed copies of Lisa’s book will be available for purchase at the event. Follow Lisa at midwestgardengal.com.

February 11, 2024, 2 p.m.
Pathways To a Sustainable Future

The author Cornelia “Connie” Mutel assembled a cast of premier Iowa scientists and environmental activists to write essays for “Tending Iowa’s Land: Pathways to a Sustainable Future” (University of Iowa Press, 2022). On February 11, a lineup of these authors will introduce our state’s current environmental problems and lead a discussion on viable solutions. This book proposes plausible efforts that could benefit agriculture as they create a healthier natural world. Connie edited the book’s essays, which trace Iowa’s transformation from native prairies into today’s vast agricultural fields. While this conversion has provided abundant food, fiber, and fuel, it has also created the environmental problems that today challenge our everyday lives: polluted waters, increasing floods, degradation of rich prairie topsoils, compromised natural systems, and, now, climate change.

Connie is the author of over a dozen additional books, including A Sugar Creek Chronicle: Observing Climate Change from a Midwestern Woodland (Iowa, 2016) and The Emerald Horizon: The History of Nature in Iowa (Iowa, 2008). Before retiring, Connie was a senior science writer at IIHR – Hydroscience & Engineering at the University of Iowa College of Engineering. Tending Iowa’s Land received the 2023 Midwest Book Award for Nature.

March 1O, 2024, 2 p.m. (DST)
Trees: An Environmental Investment

Geoff Mouming, of Impact7G Sustainable Environmental Solutions, will present “Trees: An Environmental Investment” on March 10. Geoff is an admitted and unapologetic treehugger. Tree selection isn’t an art form but it does take purposeful planning to select the right tree for your specific landscape. Trees are a true asset and one of the best investments a homeowner can make to increase the value of a property. Planting trees should be a priority to offset climate change and to benefit the environment.

As the project manager for restoration services for Impact7G Natural Cultural Resources Division, Geoff is well known in the Johnson County area. For thirty-plus years, he worked in commercial landscape management for a lawn-and-landscape maintenance firm, overseeing prairie and pollinator installation. He also established and provided maintenance for corporate and institutional properties and worked with area service clubs and municipalities in multiple Earth Day/Arbor Day treeplanting projects. Geoff is an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist, vice president of the board of directors of Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development, and the past president of the Rotary Club of Coralville/North Corridor.