The history of Central Gardens of North Iowa would not be complete without paying homage to the people of our past – the Lakota Sioux Native Americans who lived in Clear Lake and the surrounding North Iowa area. When the Gardens opened in 2003, Lakota Sioux members joined local leaders of faith to offer their blessings.
The grounds upon which Central Gardens is built was the home of Clear Lake schools for 100 years—from 1888 to 1988. When Central School was to be replaced by a new building in a different site, and the old building was torn down, much discussion ensued as to what would become of the property. Ultimately, the City of Clear Lake became the owner, and the City determined that the south 2.75-acre section of the property would become a green space, and the north section would become housing.
The Central Gardens of North Iowa is a tribute to many visionary and civic-minded individuals and groups who saw the potential a public garden could offer Iowans. Little did they realize that the Gardens would become a destination for over 18,000 guests from nearly every state and many countries every year!