Open Gardens Weekend: More Info

People LOVE visiting beautiful gardens!

Thank you for your interest in Project GREEN’s widely anticipated event, the 2020 Open Gardens Weekend, June 27-28, 2020!

How does the Open Gardens Weekend work?

  • Any resident within the city limits of Iowa City can open his or her garden for the event, following a short online application process (between January 1 and May 15). Then the garden owner simply picks up an Open Gardens Weekend yard sign and displays it at the entrance to their garden during the hours of the event. We hope to have 30+ participating gardens each year.
  • The Open Gardens event is FREE for visitors to attend – no tickets required.
  • Money for Project GREEN and for the event is raised through local business sponsorship of the event, as well as individual donations. In return for support, business sponsor names will prominently appear on the Open Gardens Map, which will be available for free to garden visitors only at their retail locations.
  • The Open Gardens Map (in physical printed form only) will list descriptions and locations of the open gardens.
  • The maps will be available the week before the event:
    • at sponsoring business retail locations, for free
    • mailed to individuals in return for an individual donation to Project GREEN
  • The maps will be available to pick up for free on the days of the event at sponsoring business locations (during business hours) and at Ashton House.
  • There will be various activities on both Saturday and Sunday at Ashton House, as well as access to public restrooms and water, and tours of the Project GREEN Gardens at Ashton House.
  • Project GREEN believes that the Open Gardens Weekend will become a prominent Iowa City cultural event attracting thousands of local and out-of-town gardening enthusiasts, based on the success of the Buffalo (NY) Garden Walk, which draws 70,000 annual visitors to 400+ open gardens.
  • We hope you will enjoy participating in the Open Gardens Weekend, whether as visitor, sponsor or Open Garden host. Thanks for your support of Project GREEN’s mission of community beautification!

How can I get involved in the Open Gardens Weekend?

1. Attend the event: The more people who attend, the bigger the event will be, and therefore the more sponsors will be willing to donate to us in return for the increased visibility that their sponsorship confers on their businesses. Who knew that by simply enjoying visiting some gardens for FREE, you could help raise money for Project GREEN’s mission of beautifying Johnson County?

2. Share your garden for the event: Project GREEN is hoping to be able to offer garden visitors 30-40 gardens of widely differing styles and sizes. There are no qualifications regarding size, design, or perfect weed-free maintenance. Flowers, vegetables, whatever. If you’re proud of your gardening efforts and are located within the city limits of Iowa City (we hope to expand this limit in future years), we’d love to include your garden in our Open Gardens Weekend. Thanks for sharing your garden for a good cause!

3. Volunteer to help with the event: There are a number of ways you can help Project GREEN with our new event, even if you’ve never picked up a garden trowel:

  • Spread the word about the Open Gardens Weekend: Please let your friends and family know about our event; post it on Facebook or other social media; mention it at work. We appreciate your help in getting the word out!
  • If you know of a good place to post a flyer about our event, we’d be grateful if you’d print out a copy or two and place them where they’ll be noticed.
  • If you know of a nice Iowa City garden, please ask the garden owner if they might be willing to share their garden for a good cause. They may not be aware of our event yet, and might enjoy the appreciative visitors who will visit their garden.
  • If you know of a local business that might like the positive attention that comes from sponsoring a local event for a good cause, we’d certainly appreciate you putting in a good word for Project GREEN.
  • Project GREEN might need a few volunteers at Ashton House during the event. Please contact us if you’re interested in spending a short time at the beautiful Project GREEN Gardens at Ashton House during the weekend of the event.
  • Thank our sponsors. Please let our sponsors know that you appreciate their support of this FREE and Fun event, which makes Johnson County an even more beautiful place to live and work than it already is!

Thanks so much for your interest in the Project GREEN Open Gardens Weekend!