A- A+

New Mural in Norwalk Highlights Iowa's Only Magnolia Arboretum + A Growing Community

Norwalk, Iowa Mural

July 15, 2021

Ten minutes south of Des Moines, you’ll find the city of Norwalk, Iowa, one of many Greater Des Moines’ (DSM’s) growing communities. As with other locations in the region, Norwalk leadership and residents are focused on making it a thriving place to live, work and play. Recently, this has included the creation of a new mural, thanks to Norwalk Hometown Pride — which won a grant to fund paint for the mural.

Creating a Garden in Norwalk

When I set to work on the design for the new mural, with painting assistance from area high school art students and led by Angela and Steve Davidson, I wanted to include the unifying parts of the city. Using flowers to symbolize the giving and growing community that is Norwalk, I worked to create something that could bring people together and become a place where residents and visitors could stop for a photo op and reflect on the floral design and its meaning.

Floral Representation

From left to right, the mural includes a magnolia, peony, double bourbon orange daylily, coneflower and small prairie roses. Each of these symbolizes something special about Iowa and and/or Norwalk:

  • Magnolia: Norwalk is home to Iowa’s only magnolia arboretum at Brownie Park.
  • Peony: The peony is the national flower of Kosovo, home of Norwalk’s sister city, Vushtrri, Kosovo.
  • Double Bourbon Orange Daylily: This flower is seen in many Iowa and Norwalk gardens. It is also Norwalk Chief of Police Greg Staples’ favorite flower.
  • Coneflower: Elizabeth Holland Park in Norwalk is now home to a coneflower-inspired sculpture by Hilde Debruyne.
  • Prairie Rose: The prairie rose is the state flower of Iowa.

You can view the mural at the Police Department Garage at North Avenue and Cherry Street. Don’t forget to snap a photo while you’re there and share on social media. I also urge you to visit the Magnolia Arboretum and Elizabeth Holland Park, where you’ll find other botanical-inspired attractions. (The best time to view the Magnolia blooms is from April to June.)

Here in Norwalk, we continue to look for ways to invest in and help the community grow. Come out and explore the area, and see what other projects Norwalk Hometown Pride has completed or has in the works, including its artistic bike racks, the Lil’ Hands Big Dreams downtown mural and more.

Named the #1 Best Place to Live in the Midwest and #2 Safest Place to Live, Greater Des Moines (DSM) is a city where you can have it all. Learn more about what it’s like to live here.

Lucinda Sperry

Lucinda Sperry is the executive director for the Norwalk Area Chamber of Commerce in Greater Des Moines (DSM). She previously was owner of Art Love Mobile Paint Party Studio and a graphic designer and marketing consultant for her designgoddess.com business.