Good Shepherd LandscapingGood Shepherd’s large lawn area, a former sheep pasture, is tended by the congregation’s Lawn Maintenance Crew organized by the Property & Management Committee. The design and care of the planted areas are overseen by the Landscape Subcommittee.

The Good Shepherd property is a little less than 2.5 acres which includes the buildings and parking lot.  Without the buildings and parking, the property is closer to 2 acres.  This also doesn’t include the city boulevard (about another 10+ of an acre).  

Landscaped Areas

Since Good Shepherd’s 50th anniversary in 2008, the congregation has placed an emphasis on refreshing, streamlining, and actively caring for planted areas around the church building. A Landscape Subcommittee was formed to oversee these efforts on the north, east, and west sides of the building. During the first years, shrubs were pruned, removed or transplanted; selected perennials were added; and existing mulched and rocked areas were refurbished and tended. Four large entryway pots, which provide an assortment of bright annuals from late spring through summer, fall plants, and evergreens throughout the winter season, have become a permanent feature.

In 2011 and 2012, two major projects were completed. Large rocked perennial beds were established along the front (north) of the building on each side of the main entrance. Both beds were designed and installed by a local landscaping firm and contain a variety of low-maintenance perennial shrubs and plants. Funds for landscape renewal and maintenance come from the congregation budget and generous member donations.  

In 2017, pollinator plants (Blazingstar, Butterfly Weed, Lanceleaf Coreopsis, Great Blue Lobelia, Bergamot, and Yellow Coneflowers)  were planted in the sign bed and Lynette’s garden with the assistance of Winneshiek County Conservation personnel.  In addition, Pinter’s Landscaping replaced Viburnum shrubs with Medora juniper shrubs next to the Fellowship Hall wall.  In 2018, Shamrock Inkberry and Barberry shrubs were planted in front of the Sunday School wing.


The Good Shepherd Reformation Grove was planted with over 45 trees and shrubs in honor of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.  The site plan was designed by Landscape Designer Scott Hervey and was funded by The Depot Outlet, Trees Forever in association with Black Hills Energy, congregation donations and memorials, and Sunday School children and youth.   Trees and shrubs were planted in a large bed to the east of the Fellowship Hall and around the periphery of the property.






Two perennial garden berms are distinguishing features of Good Shepherd’s parking lot, installed a few years after the completion of the 1988 addition. The lot and berm areas were designed by Erdman Engineering, a charter member family. Audrey provided the funds for the landscape design and plantings in memory of her mother, Irene Stephenson, an avid gardener. The types and colors of the blooming plants, primarily gold and fuchsia, were chosen because they were some of Irene’s favorites.

The grounds are home to several significant features which complement, enhance and add interest to the landscaped areas.

Sign and Garden


Good Shepherd’s painted wood sign, mounted on a brick base, and adjacent garden were given by the Sunde Family in memory of their son and brother, David (1955-1997). A memorial plaque is mounted on the west side of the sign’s base. This sign replaced the original, tall wood cross and sign which had deteriorated beyond repair. The memorial garden was tended by parents Carmen and Carroll Sunde for many years. An urn is placed there annually by the family.

Lynette’s Garden and Sculpture

Lynette's Garden

In 2007, a garden of perennial plantings and Star Dancer, a copper sculpture designed and made by Lyman Whitaker, were installed in the grounds on the south side of the church. Both were given by congregation member Bob Wilson in memory of his wife, Lynette, longtime choir director. The memorial garden and sculpture were placed so that they can be viewed from windows on the south wall of the sanctuary.  In 2017 the garden was expanded as part of The Good Shepherd Reformation Grove project with the addition of a Gingko tree and shrubs.

Church Bell

Good Shepherd BellThe bronze bell, salvaged from an area church, and its brick housing are gifts from charter members Rev. Paul, deceased, and Justine Lionberger and Paul’s mother, Anna Lionberger. In early 1959 it was installed outside the church’s original south side entrance. Upon completion of the addition in the fall of 1988, the bell and its brick housing were moved to the present location outside the new south entrance.


Three new chocolate brown benches with backs have replaced the wooden benches located on the sidewalk leading into the main entrance and the sidewalk facing the street. Paid for from a 2016 Depot grant, the new “Garden Benches” are built by Berlin Gardens of poly lumber, also known as high-density polyethylene or HDPE. Constructed of 95% recycled content, with the majority coming from milk bottles collected in community recycling programs, the benches are in step with Good Shepherd’s emphasis on proactive activity focusing on environmental stewardship issues. 

In 2019, an additional bench was purchased with funds provided by the Bahr family in memory of Vernon “Bud” Bahr.  In 2021, two “backless” benches were given in memory of Suzanne Pilgrim Kittelson by her family.  Memorial plaques were installed to the sides of the benches.


Good Shepherd Vegetable Garden

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Garden

Congregation member Ed Hover led the efforts to create a fenced garden area for the use of congregation members in the southeast section of the grounds. He constructed and installed two large raised beds, filled with composted soil, that are planted with vegetables and flowers and maintained by members.  At harvest time, the produce is shared with the congregation.

Kinderhaus Outdoor Play Area

Kinderhaus Outdoor Play AreaKinderhaus, a Waldorf-style outdoor preschool and kindergarten that uses classroom space and a kitchen in the church, has created its play area in the southwest corner of Good Shepherd’s grounds. The fenced area contains a natural area, small gardens, and tools and structures for group and individual play.