Historic Poor Farm Wellness Trail Visioning

Multiple Dates

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2. Review and Proceed


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Multiple Dates

Backyard Abundance is leading an effort to design an enchanting wellness trail within and around the heart of the Johnson County Historic Poor Farm. Your input is needed to make it happen.

Please join the community to brainstorm engaging activities and interactive features along a trail that will draw you and others to the site. We want to integrate meaningful features for people of all ages and abilities.



We are hosting 3 public visioning sessions. If you are interested, please indicate in this survey the session you are able to attend: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GCV33CZ  

·         Thu, Jan 30, 2 pm - 4 pm (weekday)
Venue: Secondary Roads Building - 4810 Melrose Avenue (across from the Poor Farm)

·         Sat, Feb 8, 1 pm – 3 pm (weekend)
Venue: Merge - 136 S Dubuque St (near the Public Library)

NOTE: The final meeting was moved from Merge to Systems Unlimited due to low attendance indicated in the survey.
Thu, Feb 13, 2:30 pm – 4 pm
Venue: Systems Unlimited, Inc - 2533 Scott Blvd



Included in the survey are inspirational images. Which ones represent ideas that will draw people to the site? We’ll present top-ranked pictures at visioning sessions to inspire brainstorming.

The aim is to create an accessible, engaging space that exceeds the needs of a broad and diverse crowd:

  • Mental and physical health providers
  • Educators and homeschoolers
  • Local growers and farmers
  • Spiritual congregations and mindfulness groups
  • Art and historic preservation organizations


Possible activities:

  • Wellness and therapy
  • Children’s natural playscape
  • Hands-on, outdoor education
  • Sensory garden experience
  • Sculptures
  • Musical pathway
  • Story time in nature
  • Mindfulness walks



Ideas from each visioning session will be carried forward to subsequent sessions. Each gathering will follow this agenda:

  1. Welcome and introductions.
  2. Trail goals, location and scope.
  3. Overview of the design process and project timeline.
  4. Guided brainstorm to define usage and interactive features along the trail.
  5. Next steps.

Snacks will be provided and attendees will receive vouchers for a free plant at the Backyard Abundance plant sale that happens on April 25.


The Johnson County Poor Farm is a 12-minute drive west from downtown on Melrose Avenue. A 10-year vision for the area is underway, driven by the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. Learn more: https://jcHistoricPoorFarm.com.



Backyard Abundance is a leading educational nonprofit residing in Johnson County, Iowa. We help people create beautiful, environmentally-beneficial landscapes that provide healthy food and habitat. Since 2006, we have directly reached thousands of people through engaging classes, landscape tours and design consultations. Learn more: https://www.BackyardAbundance.org.

Backyard Abundance is an educational nonprofit that helps people create environmentally-beneficial landscapes.

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