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Garden Forum features Iowa City author Connie Mutel

IOWA CITY — Project GREEN and the Iowa City Public Library will offer the second Garden Forum on Sunday, Feb. 12, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the library, 123 S. Linn St.

Connie Mutel will present “Lives Written on the Land.” The Iowa City-based author tells the ongoing ecological story of Iowa’s agricultural transformation and what it has meant for Iowans and for the state’s native plants and animals. Understanding our past, helps us better attend to today’s environmental challenges and costs, including the effects of climate change on our state. Connie explores how to restore Iowa’s ecological integrity – something we boost every time we choose a native plant or install a native garden. She is a plant ecologist senior science writer at the University of Iowa IIHR (Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research) Hydroscience and Engineering, and frequently lectures across Iowa on a variety of environmental and natural history subjects. Connie has written and edited more than a dozen books on restoration ecology and environmental subjects including The Emerald Horizon (2008), A Watershed Year (2008 Floods), and most recently, A Sugar Creek Chronicle: Observing Climate Change from a Midwestern Woodland (2016).  

Project GREEN (Grow to Reach Environmental Excellence Now) and ICPL have partnered to offer the Garden Forums for many years. The forums are free and open to the public. Attendance at forums qualifies Iowa State University Extension Master Gardeners for education CEUs.

Since Project GREEN (Grow to Reach Environmental Excellence Now) was launched in 1968, the nonprofit has funded nearly $2 million in projects, including Project GREEN Gardens, a public garden at the city-owned Ned Ashton House at 820 Park Road. Project GREEN dedicated a $75,000 gift in 2012 to Iowa City to fund plantings near the Terry Trueblood Recreation Area. Through the years, the all-volunteer Project GREEN effort has grown to include parks, roadsides, riverfronts and median parkways on state, county, and city properties and all public school grounds. Project GREEN also supports efforts to educate citizens about the importance of beautifying private property as well. The organization will celebrate 50 years of service to the community next year.

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