Iowa State University Students Are Working on Landscaping Projects With Inmates at a Women’s Prison

Students from the department of landscape architecture at Iowa State University are involved in a project with inmates at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville. The project, now in its third year, is transforming barren acres on the prison grounds into a beautiful landscape. Another part of the project is a garden to produce fresh vegetables. The project gives Iowa State students the opportunity to put their designs into practice and offers the inmates the chance to learn vocational skills that may be valuable when they are released from prison.

jstevensThe project is under the direction of Julie Stevens, an assistant professor of landscape architecture in the College of Design at Iowa State University. “While we’re teaching them about horticulture, landscape and design, they’re also learning life skills, job skills, anger-management skills,” Stevens said.

During the first year of project in 2013, the team constructed three multipurpose outdoor classrooms. Last year, they planted 260 trees and about one acre of native prairie flowers and grasses. This year’s effort was devoted to a one-acre garden that is producing herbs and vegetables for the prison’s kitchen.

A video about the effort can be seen below.

Filed Under: Women's Studies


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