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Photo by Gina Sharar

Our tranquil hilltop in the early morning light.

Dear Friends,

Winter has arrived at Prairie Hill. The recent snowfall brought shovelers out in force to clear off the sidewalks that connect us to one another. There was a snow day joy in the air as neighbors helped scrape car windows and shovel driveways. In the midst of Covid, it was fun to have an outdoor activity to bring us together.

Many of us welcome winter as a time to cozy in with a pile of books and seed catalogs close at hand. It's a time to slow down, rejuvenate, and build up energy for the busy spring to come.  And, of course, it's also a great time to bundle up and explore the snow-covered trails and woodlands in parks nearby. 

We hope you're enjoying the joys of winter wherever you are. We would love to see you. Come join us soon on Zoom!

Photo by Gina Sharar

Francis Gurtz created a magical snow labyrinth.

Upcoming events at Prairie Hill

Weekend Meet and Greet

Saturday, January 29
10:00-11:00 a.m.

Grab a cup of coffee and join us for this casual event. Meet people who live at Prairie Hill as well as others who are interested in learning more about it.

To get the link to this Zoom event, send a text to Val Bowman at 916-751-9188 or write to us at

Information meeting

Wednesday, February 9, 2022
6:00-7:30 p.m.

Find out about cohousing. How does it work? Do you have your own kitchen? How is it different from owning a condo? What it's like to have someone else cook dinner for you once a week? To get the link text Val Bowman at 916-751-9188 or write to us at

Weekend Meet and Greet

Saturday, February 26
10:00-11:30 a.m.

Who lives at Prairie Hill? Come meet some of the people who live here and hear what we like about it.

To get the link to this Zoom event, send a text to Val Bowman at 916-751-9188 or write to us at

Nan Fawcett (left) speaks with Geraldine Goes in Center, a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation, who was a guest speaker at a recent Prairie Hill event.

When JJ Muxen's mom, Geraldine Goes In Center (Jerry), was here visiting from South Dakota, she and her family cooked a special Tasty Tuesday dinner in the common house. Jerry is a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation and a South Dakota Humanities Scholar.

After dinner, she presented a program tracing the history of the Lakota diet before people were forced to resettle to reservation lands. She displayed some Lakota artifacts and shared samples of her homemade wasna, a traditional Lakota food made from dried buffalo, raisins, kidney fat, and chokeberries. Jerry travels across the state telling stories of her tribal history.

Photo by Michael Pacha.

January "snow dogs" impart a mystical quality. to the Prairie Hill landscape.

Things people love about Prairie Hill—particularly in winter

Mary Ann Reynolds: Having a friend stop by and stay for dinner/Taking walks with buddies/Seeing kind eyes above masks and winter gear.

Gina Sharar: I’ve never lived in a snowy climate before. I appreciate the snow's calming beauty--the way it softens the trees and structures and accentuates the contours of the land.

Janet Lane: Coming home to the friendly faces, solitude, and the hopeful positivity found here.

Aidan Thompson The warmth of good food, friendship, and community at communal meals/Impromptu conversations in the mailroom before heading back out in the cold/The walk up the hillside and the view of snow covered roofs. 

Pat Ryan: The pristine sparkling white landscape/The sound of the kids sledding and making snow people and snow angels/Francis’s amazing snow labyrinth/The camaraderie of many people working together to clear sidewalks, cars and parking spaces.

Nora Roy: I love that I can ask a neighbor for some olive oil if I run out, or that a neighbor can ask me if I'll feed the cat while they're away. I love that we can easily gather a group to knit together or talk books. And I love that we can come together to celebrate or to express common concerns.

Nora Roy's granddaughter, Sylvia, makes a perfect snowball!

Annie Tucker honored for social justice work

Prairie Hill resident, Annie Tucker, was recently named one of Iowa City Press Citizen's "People to Watch in 2022." Tucker, the executive director of Mediation Services of Eastern Iowa, is working to bring a process called restorative justice circles to many settings throughout our community. Circles are already increasingly used in local schools. In a circle, a talking piece is passed and people take turns speaking. If a person doesn't have the talking piece, they are to listen. This process balances power and gives each participant the opportunity to speak their truth without interruption and feel heard. When people feel heard, they feel respected. This makes it possible to build and restore relationships.Here is a link to the Press-Citizen article:

Hiking in Ryerson's Woods State Preserve. Photo by Daniel O'Rourke.

Winter fun

Iowa City is a great place for winter recreation. It’s home to more than 50 parks and natural areas. City crews clear snow from about 90% of the trails so there are lots of places to hike. And if sledding and skiing are your thing, see this guide for a list of places to explore. If you don't have winter gear, that's not a problem. The University of Iowa Outdoor Rental Center rents out winter equipment. They're the go-to spot for skis and snowshoes. 

Photo by Marcia Shaffer

A hawk outside Marcia's window. 

Photo by Janet Lane

Winter birds enjoy a feast outside Janet's window.

Photo by Daniel O'Rourke.

A beautiful winter sunset at Terry Trueblood Park, just three miles from Prairie Hill. If you come for a visit, we can walk there! Hope to see you soon!

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Iowa City Cohousing · 140 Prairie Hill Ln · Iowa City, IA 52246-2029 · USA

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