Community Development

Vernon and Kathryn Spilde Memorial Community Garden


mock up-garden

Our vision is of a community where people of all ages and backgrounds come together in the simple shared experience of growing food. 

Creating partnerships between 4-H members, community, government, schools and local businesses, we harvest more than food by empowering people from diverse backgrounds to GROW and EDUCATE together.

We value education

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We value healthy lifestyles

Therefore, we promote gardening as healthy outdoor recreation for all ages. We encourage families to involve their children, by offering special programs for our junior gardener. We provide support for community members with special needs, so they too can experience the joys of community gardening.

We value our connection to the land

Therefore, we use innovative organic gardening practices that enrich the soil, and our food, while protecting the Winneshiek County Watershed. We educate our gardeners so they can share these practices with their families, friends, and neighbors. We conserve open space and wildlife habitat for the benefit of future generations.

We value access to healthy affordable food

Therefore, we have discounted plots and work share agreements so anyone can participate regardless of their financial circumstances. We offer harvest shares to local food pantries and shelters so those who cannot participate may still benefit from the community’s garden.

We value personal relationships within our community

Therefore, we promote gardening as a community experience – building relationships between 4-Her's, families, friends and neighbors. We encourage cooperation and intergenerational dialogue between people of different viewpoints and backgrounds. We know these bonds will strengthen the community and make it a better place to work and live.


The history of Vernon and Kathryn Spilde Memorial Community Garden

Information to come.

The garden is open Monday - Thursday from 8:00am - 4:30 pm and Friday from 8:00 am to Noon. Any after hours or weekend work must be accompanied by one of our group leaders. 


Group leaders: ISU Extension Staff, Master Gardener, RSVP Member, or approved volunteer member.

We have a great group of volunteer community members, groups and business' that have helped plan, coordinate and implement turning this project into reality! 

  • Splide Family
  • ISU Extension & Outreach Winneshiek County
  • Master Gardeners
  • Winneshiek 4-H Club's
  • Green Belt Landscape Design Solutions
  • RSVP Volunteers
Phase 1

Plan - Organzie - Coordinate 

Phase 2 - Build
  • Outlining & steaking the actual size and placement of garden
  • Tilling area up & removing excess dirt
  • Insert post & fencing
  • Make 90"x30" raised-bed box
  • Inserting crushed gravel to floor of area
  • Inserting raised-bed box, picnic tables
  • Planting produce 
Phase 3 - Up Keep & Educational Opportunities

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Phase 4 - Long Term Goals

Educational Shelter House - Seeking grants, donations and sponsorship 


It’s a community garden – everyone is welcome to harvest or weed anytime during gardening hours. Contact the Extension office to learn more about how to get involved. 

Community and Economic Development specialists work with county Extension offices, community organizations, local governments, and others to deliver programming in our areas of expertise:  

  • Civic Engagement and Leadership, 
  • Local Governments and Housing, 
  • Small Business Assistance, 
  • Community Food Systems, and 
  • Data and Technology.

ISU Extension CED plays an important role in providing research-based information and resources to sustain communities into the future.  Our people and programs work with communities--aligning all efforts with the goals of maximizing diversity and inclusivity.