Coe College receives Hy-Vee grant to support campus garden

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
(319) 399-8605 or

2017-06-07 14:44:21 - General

Produce from the Coe garden.
Produce from the Coe garden.

Coe College has received $1,000 from Hy-Vee to support its campus garden.  Coe students Leah Reuter, Adam Peterson and Marissa Hedlund, who have all had management responsibilities for the garden, nominated the project for the Hy-Vee One Step Garden Grant.

According to Hedlund, the focus of the Hy-Vee grant proposal was to expand the community garden so Coe students staying on campus over the summer can have a reliable source of fresh, organic produce.  In addition, the expansion of the plot allows for the contribution of more produce to Coe’s cafeteria to lower the costs of summer programs oriented toward children in the community, like Kids on Course.

In addition, some of the grant funds will be directed to enhance water access, as the plot of land that the garden sits on is not in close proximity to a convenient water source. The students also plan on installing a new fence and working on the compost pile.

As the summer garden manager, Reuter and volunteers have planted tomatoes, radishes, green beans, broccoli, watermelon and honeydew this season. The perimeter of the garden has tulips, irises and lilies to help the bees and other pollinators. Coe’s groundskeeper, Chad Sunner, installed a new water storage tank along with a rain barrel that gathers runoff from the Coe Pink House to benefit the garden.

The Coe garden is a project of the Coe Environmental Club, which is led by students and supported by faculty advisor Susan Wolverton.  This is the second time in as many years the garden has received a grant from Hy-Vee.  In conjunction with Sodexo Dining Services, Coe Environmental Club members grow vegetables in the garden each summer for student consumption in the Coe cafeteria.

All totaled, Hy-Vee awarded 156 One Step Garden Grants worth $156,000 in early June, including $28,000 to 28 Cedar Rapids Corridor schools and non-profit organizations.

Coe College is committed to environmentally friendly practices and sustainability. As an educational institution, Coe recognizes its responsibility to provide leadership in this area.  To view all of the college’s environmental and sustainability initiatives and innovations in recycling, energy conservation, food conservation, water conservation, education and co-curricular programs, go to: