Community Orchard/ Gardens

The City of Independence Parks Department took barren park land and transformed it into our Community Orchard/ Garden. After more than 3 years in the planning and clean-up phases, we began the planting phase 2010, thus far planting more than 180 fruit bearing trees and 300 fruit bearing bushes. In 2015, we added rentable Community Gardens as part of the Community Orchard Project. The Community Orchard/ Gardens is located south and west of Lion's Field along the Wapsipinicon River.

All of the fruit from the trees and bushes in the Community Orchard is available for the public to pick and eat. (Please be patient for optimal ripeness!!) ENJOY!! 
The crops grown in the raised Community Gardens are NOT for public picking. These gardens are rented and the crops are property of the renters. Please respect that. Thank you.

Funding

The Community Orchard has been funded by the following:
  • Mid American Energy Trees Please! Grant      
  • George Hood Estate                                          
  • Independence Parks & Recreation Department 
  • Wal-Mart

Objective

To produce a fun family oriented activity within the City of Independence by planting a variety of fruit bearing trees for future harvest by community members, free of charge. The planting was done in phases due to cost, with the initial goal being 150 or more trees making up the orchard.
To further facilitate the picking and to promote a family environment all of the trees being planted are the semi-dwarf variety with an expected height of 9-12ft. Around March each year, we prune the trees in the Orchard, if you would like to volunteer with this, please contact 319-334-6711.

Varieties Planted: 

Black Chokeberry, Blackberry, Raspberry, Honeycrisp Apple, Jonathan Apple, Mesabi Cherry, Summercrisp Pear, McKay Peach, Luscious Pear, Nanking Cherry, Mount Royal Plum, McIntosh Apple, Sweet Sixteen Apple, Contender Peach, Apricot, Bailey Hardy Peach, Wolf River Apple, Montgomery Cherry, Reliance Peach, Bing Cherry   

Community Gardens:

The Independence Parks & Recreation Department has raised garden plots available for rent. The raised gardens are located behind Lion's Field on the north half of the Community Orchard. Rent will be for one season with yearly rental rights to those whom rented the prior year. We currently have 6 plots available with the ability to add more. All rentals come with access to water and compost area. The food grown in these gardens are NOT FREE for the picking/ harvesting. Thank you.