Public Partnerships are the driving force of the Johnson County Historic Poor Farm’s (JCHPF) mission: “The Johnson County Historic Poor Farm provides a public space for connecting to the land and local history through inclusive, community-led opportunities.”


During the planning process for the 10-year Master Plan, the Johnson County Supervisors identified six areas that were key aspects of the JCHPF:

  • Conservation

  • Education

  • Historic Preservation

  • Housing

  • Local Foods

  • Recreation/Trails


We are fortunate in Johnson County to have a healthy and vibrant non-profit sector, local government agencies, and private institutions that are focused on improving the lives of our residents. There are over 30 local organizations and agencies who have contributed their time, thoughts, and ideas to improving the JCHPF.


The Community Action Team

The CAT is a great way to become involved with the JCHPF if you serve JC residents and want to enhance current services or fill a gap in your services that the farm can fulfill. This group is always open for membership by local non-profit organizations, local and state agencies, and community groups.

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The Disability Advisory Committee

Membership diversity for this committee is essential to the role of this group, as there are many perspectives and experiences that should be taken into consideration when re-developing/improving the JCHPF. This is a great opportunity to become involved with a historic site that can be a place for reflection and healing as much as a site for discovery and freedom.

The DAC is always accepting applications, and is limited to 10 individuals. To remain true to its role and responsibilities, the requirement determined by the committee is that it remain 60% to 40% people with disabilities versus able-bodied members.


The Historical Resources Group

The HRG oversees many of the historic aspects of the JCHPF, and is organized into the following sub-committees: 

  • Interpretive signage and content

  • Artifact acquisition processes and procedures

  • Historic buildings conservation and restoration

  • Historic policies

  • Funding opportunities

  • Cemetery

Sub-committee groups are comprised of individuals who have expertise in the noted subject area. The purpose of the sub-committee is to make progress on the topic by providing relevant information and resources. Each group has an identified lead who will be responsible for updating the larger group. This group meets quarterly at this time.

We'd love to have you aboard!

Would you like to learn more or sign up?
Which organization are you interested in?

Our Partners


The Johnson County Historic Preservation Commission

The Johnson County Historic Preservation Commission is a group of nine county residents tasked with preserving and promoting historic preservation.


Johnson County Historical Society

The Johnson County Historical Society is a private, non-profit group committed to serving the public by furthering an appreciation of the historical and cultural heritage of the Johnson County community through education, preservation and interpretation. They host free, guided tours of the Asylum Building and Historic Poor Farm grounds upon request.

​Please visit their website to schedule a tour.


The Johnson County Soil and Water Conservation District

& Continuum Ag, LLC

In 2017, The Johnson County Soil and Water Conservation District secured a National Association of Conservation Districts’  Urban Conservation Grant. This grant will implement conservation practices and drainage infrastructure on the farm. These efforts are being carried out with the assistance of Continuum Ag, LLC, which conducts twice monthly soil testing to evaluate changes in nutrient availability and soil health. Aerial and ground imagery are used to document the project’s progress.


The Johnson County Conservation Department

The Johnson County Conservation Department manages natural resources and outdoor recreation areas throughout the county. Several native prairies, river access areas, and small community parks provide a variety of services in natural resources recreation, and conservation. This department is assisting in the establishment and management of several conservation practices on the Historic Poor Farm site, including the 15-acre pollinator plot.

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City of Iowa City

The Johnson County Historic Poor Farm is located within Iowa City limits and has benefitted from past planning efforts that preserved the historic character of the site. City staff and city council have been very supportive of the recent development of the site into the New Century Farm, and have provided resources to preserving its heritage while creating a publicly accessible destination.

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Astig Planning

Astig Planning works toward a world of activated communities, healthy ecosystems, and lasting equity. A world in which those most impacted by today's social problems are at the center of creative, community-based solutions that lead to full and dignified lives. They practice environmental and community planning that looks to the future with the facts, experience, and desires of today in order to make a better and brighter tomorrow. 


Iowa Valley Resource Conservation & Development

Iowa Valley RC&D is place-based and uniquely built to address varied local needs and concerns. Our team works to grow local economies, strengthen food systems, foster protection and enhancement of natural resources, and develop awareness for the arts, history, and culture. We have been fortunate to work on the Historic Poor Farm in both the hands-on capacity as farm managers, and in the development of the Master Plan.


The Global Food Project of Iowa City

The Global Food Project of Iowa City connects newly arrived and established Iowa City and Johnson County residents through sustainable local food production, educational events, and community gatherings. We provide a safe, nurturing, and inclusive environment for sharing life experiences, building trust between cultures, and embracing the diversity of our fellow Iowans.

We are fortunate to also partner with a number of agencies, organizations, and departments:

Backyard Abundance, Builders of Hope, 4 C’s Community Coordinated Child Care, Confluence Landscape Architecture, Discovery Cottage Preschool,  The Housing Fellowship, Trust Fund of Iowa City, Iowa City Genealogical Society, Iowa City Historic Preservation, Iowa City Neighborhood & Development Services, Iowa City Building & Inspection Services, Iowa Vocational and Rehabilitation Services, Johnson County Food Policy Council, Mayor’s Youth Empowerment Program, RDG Planning & Design, Systems Unlimited

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Get In Touch

Ask us a question, book an event, schedule a tour, and more!

If you have questions regarding booking an event at the Historic Poor Farm, please contact:

For all other questions or comments, please contact:

V Fixmer-Oraiz
Astig Planning LLC
​Project Manager

Kelli Andresen
Johnson County
Media Contact


Jason Grimm
Farm Manager


Thanks for submitting!

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