Community garden in Iola
Benefits include education, nutrition, exercise
By Holly Neumann
From growing vegetable and flowers, to a butterfly and bee garden, the Iola River Road Community Garden is benefiting the community.
The garden is located at 550 River Road, in Iola.
“The garden consists of 20 large plots, 10 raised beds, one of which is wheelchair accessible and 12 small plots,” said Sandi Schuettpelz, the site coordinator. “Each garden participant is given the opportunity to use a locker complete with provided tools.”
In the center of it all is a butterfly and bee garden.
“It provides nourishment for our bee and butterfly population so that they may pollinate our plants and provide us with food,” she said.
Schuettpelz noted the many benefits of having a community garden.
“Education, nutritional, exercise and relaxation are just a few,” Schuettpelz said.
One of the plots is dedicated to the food pantry.
The plot was originally started in 2017 by former site coordinator Pamela Parks as a result of a grant received by the Waupaca County Nutrition Program.
“It has since doubled in size,” Schuettpelz said. “We are now distributing to four local locations. Some of the gardeners who have a surplus of vegetables also contribute.”
Vegetables are harvested and distributed every Tuesday until the end of the growing season.
“The response of fresh produce has been well received and appreciated by all,” Schuettpelz said. “The community is even invited to visit our little farm market display on the outer fence for free produce on Wednesdays through Sunday compliments of all the participating gardeners.”
Schuettpelz believes there are three facts everyone needs to know about the gardens.
The public is invited anytime there is a gardener on site, the picnic area is available for rental and the garden is of historic significance for the village of Iola as it was the former site of the Pickle Factory.
The Iola River Road Community Garden is currently looking for business, personal or organization sponsorships for its general gardens.
These gardens will have a dedication sign displayed, along with the opportunity to hold an event at the garden.
“We are always looking for volunteers to assist in pulling weeds,” said Schuettpelz. “And for monetary donations to keep the gardens growing and open to the public.”
Anyone interested in joining the Iola River Road Community Garden or the Children’s Garden may visit them on Facebook, at iolacommunitygarden.com or by calling the Iola Village Clerk at 715-445-2913.
Donations may be mailed to Iola River Road Community Garden, P.O. Box 154, Iola, WI 54945.