Your Personal Journal

A post with a unique rubbing plate is located at every destination. Find each post, take a rubbing, and learn fun exploration tips.

BookDownload your journal to take post rubbings and record observations.

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220 South Gilbert Street
Iowa City, IA

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Children's Discovery Garden

On the north side of the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center is the Children’s Discovery Garden: a place for young and old to experience nature in an exciting and interactive way. The landscape was designed by Backyard Abundance in 2010 to use nature to increase children’s creativity and motor skills. It is a certified Nature Explore Classroom—a nationally-recognized program that increases children’s wellness by connecting them to the natural world.

The open area features edible landscaping containing currants, mulberries, chokeberries (aronia), bush cherries, beach plums, and strawberries. Within the fenced space are areas where children can create art, make music, grow plants, dig in soil, and balance on logs.

The space is freely open to the public year-round. Learning programs through the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department often utilize specific areas of the landscape.

Activities and Experiences

  • Grow vegetables and herbs in raised beds.
  • Smell and touch herbs in the sensory garden.
  • Learn about composting with the compost bin.
  • Draw on walls and create art on tables from natural materials.
  • Create music with a marimba.
  • Eat cherries, strawberries, currants, mulberries, vegetables, and herbs.
  • Collect seeds from plants and plant them at home.

Trip Pack

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