The Demonstration Garden is the oldest of the Polk County Master Gardener projects and has been in existence since 1988. It is the product of a cooperative arrangement between the Polk County Extension, Urbandale Community School District, and the City of Urbandale. The mature fruit trees and the many deciduous bushes and shrubs double as a learning lab where Master Gardener trainees receive hands-on experience in proper pruning techniques.
The early gardens focused on vegetables and fruit, rather than flowers. Initially, water was hauled from home, and then from a hose connected to a hydrant at Valerius Elementary School. Around 2008, a water distribution system was set up allowing water to be obtained directly from a hydrant. The City of Urbandale was a major contributor to the hardscaped paths added in 2013, 2015 and 2017 which allow people with disabilities and parents of small children in strollers easier access to displays. In early summer 2016 the birdbath bubbler fountain was installed.
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