Garden Bridge Outreach

Person holding jar of fresh produce

Join us Saturday, August 14, 21, and 28 from 10 a.m. to noon for Garden Bridge Outreach in the gymnasium at the Linn County Fillmore Building! 

Located at 520 11th St. NW in Cedar Rapids

See registration information at the bottom of this page.


Garden Bridge Outreach is an interactive horticulture therapy class developed by Linn County Food Systems Council member Scott Koepke that, since 2007, has been brought primarily to at-risk communities in the corridor.

Program participants will learn about life skills while observing and participating in garden maintenance such as watering, weeding, and harvesting. Samples of vegetables will be provided each week.

The program is open to the public.


Research shows that the practice of gardening is therapeutic. In addition to producing food and beauty, gardens grow healthier minds and social networks. From soil to soul, this inspirational and fun gathering offers both practical gardening tips for any horticultural context, and food for thought on how nurturing botanical life can heal people’s trauma in many forms. Build from the ground up to harvest nutrition, peace, and strength for the next generation.

Program Details

The two-hour format of Garden Bridge includes the following:

  • Focus on each of these twelve life skill themes: hope, balance, patience, respect, resilience, nurturance, healthy choices, trust, humility, listening, gratitude, peace (addressing anger management, anxiety, fear)
  • Scott begins by sharing his own definition of, and struggle with, the life skills. The words are posted on a whiteboard as the group gathers in a circle. Scott provides examples of how gardening can help improve the life skills. Participants can share (but are not expected to) their own definitions and stories.
  • Participants can either observe or assist in garden bed maintenance (watering, weeding, harvesting). Basic garden education is referenced during activity (soil preparation, seeds, transplants, mulch, watering, pest monitoring, proper spacing, etc.)
  • Tasting samples of vegetables will be provided each week
  • A “therapy chicken” will be brought in a cage from Scott's farm for participants to observe (and hold if they’d like to)


Registration is encouraged but not required. 

Register for the event here.

Download an event flyer (PDF).