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New Hartford Creates Gardens in Vacant Spaces

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NEW HARTFORD, Iowa (AP) — After natural disasters left the northeast Iowa city of New Hartford with a number of vacant parcels, residents responded by creating nine public gardens with more on the way.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports some residents are calling New Hartford the “City of Gardens” because of all the new gardens as well as flowers along Main Street.

Carol Chapman, who helped organize the effort, says the gardens have given New Hartford an important boost of community pride after devastating flooding and a powerful tornado in 2008. Organizers worked to build the gardens after more than 20 landowners accepted government buyouts, leaving land vacant and a perfect spot for flowers.

Business owners, foundations and individuals provided funding.

A 10th garden is planned and could feature a moveable log cabin.

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Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com