Earlier this year Iowa Specialty Hospital – Clarion received funds from the Clarion Hotel-Motel Grant to be used for a beautification project involving its Community Garden. Grant funds allowed for the installation of a frontline fence that faces Main Street and a sign for beautification of and communication about the Community Garden.
“We truly appreciate the generous contribution from the Hotel-Motel Grant,” said Duane Asbe, ISH – Clarion Foundation Planned Giving Officer. Asbe, who is in charge of the Community Garden, further explained that one goal was to increase awareness to the public about the availability of the free garden plots. In addition, a visual barrier between the gardens and the street was desired for when the gardens are at their mature stage late in the growing season. “The new fence and sign are a welcomed attraction to the Community Garden. We hope that more people will take an interest and participate in the future.”
The Community Garden was originally started in 2010 as a Senior Life Project for Molly Christensen with Iowa Specialty Hospital providing the land. That first year, Clarion-Goldfield FFA students planted fruits and vegetables and then divided the produce between Wright County Public Health and their own class. Over the years, the Community Garden changed to allow for a place for individuals to grow and maintain their own gardens, expanding health through nutrition.
The Clarion Hotel-Motel Grant provides funds for the purpose of increasing tourism, enhancing the quality of life of Clarion residents, and increasing the population of the community. Funds are made possible through the imposition of tax placed on hotels and motels within the Clarion community. Clarion City Hall oversees the application process and grant funding awards.Pictured above: Duane Asbe, Community Garden Coordinator, and Rob Cayler, ISH maintenance employee, who oversaw the project.