Fundraising for the Learning Walk is gaining momentum!

Our goal is to raise $195,000 dollars! 

Historic Pella Trust has committed to raise 100% of the funds needed for the City of Pella project so that no tax dollars will be involved.  The Tuttle Learning Walk will join two of Pella’s historic landmarks, the 1843 Tuttle Cabin with Sunken Garden Park providing enjoyment and education both to Pella citizens and visitors alike. 

Historic Pella Trust has partnered with the City of Pella to build an educational walkway between Tuttle Cabin and Sunken Garden Park. This project will create an entertaining way for our children, adults and visitors to learn about Pella’s history and heritage through signage and plantings. It will provide a lasting tribute to the devoutness; courage and industriousness of our Dutch ancestors. We anticipate that it will become a high-interest tourist attraction! 
Visitors will learn about the 1843 homestead of Thomas and Nancy Tuttle and the role Rev. Moses J. Post had in helping the Dutch to acquire local the homesteads in 1847. They will gain insight on what motivated the Dutch to leave the Netherlands under the leadership of H. P. Scholte and why that still has an impact on our present-day culture.   As the walkway nears Sunken Garden Park, the signage will share about the cooling pond for Pella’s first electric plant and  the location for the first tulip festival. The signs will include QR codes to scan for more history and photos. The City of Pella parks department will maintain the walk that will feature a variety of heritage perennials wildflowers, native grasses and bushes along with several limestone outcroppings representing the literal foundations of our town.

  Historic Pella Trust has agreed to provide 100% of the cost of Tuttle Learning Walk through local fundraising. We are half way to our goal of raising $195,000. We need your help to achieve this vision.
$157,718 81%

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Tuttle Learning Walk

An educational path between Sunken Garden Park and the Historic Tuttle Cabin using an existing city owned alleyway.

Historic Pella Trust has partnered with the City of Pella to build a walkway that will link the two historic landmarks.

The Trust will do fundraising for 100% of the funds needed for the project. The project is divided into several phases allowing building to start while funds continue to be raised.  


  • Create an entertaining way for our children, adults and visitors to learn about Pella’s history and heritage
  • Connect two important historic Pella sites
  • Add a high-interest tourist attraction
  • Build a lasting tribute to the devoutness, courage and industriousness of our Dutch ancestors.

Description of Learning Walk 

The walkway will focus on the early history of Pella to create an educational experience using signage and landscaping to offer historical insights and information regarding Pella’s history. Limestone outcroppings and retaining walls will represent the literal foundations of our town. 

Signage will elaborate on the following topics:

  • Pella Area before Europeans, the native tribes and their role
  • The Tuttle couple and their farm along with the ownership history of the Tuttle Cabin
  • What motivated the Dutch to leave the Netherlands and the leadership of H. P. Scholte
  • Pella area when the Dutch arrived; the role of Rev. Moses J. Post, exploratory party, selection of the Pella location and acquisition of land in the early business of Pella.
  • Pella and the Civil War including the influence of Rev. Scholte
  • History of Sunken Garden Park, Tulip Town; Electric plant cooling pond; the businesses in the immediate area including the Buwalda Brothers, Roorda, Wisse and Lincoln School.
  • The impact of the early Dutch and their heritage on Pella’s present-day culture

Plants for the Learning Walk

Bushes and Shrubs:

  • Rose of Sharon, Gray Owl Juniper, Red Cedar Juniper, Japanese Spirea, Lilac, Fine Wine Weigela, Nearly Wild Rose, Incredible Hydrangea


  • Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry, Eastern Redbud

Native Prairie Grasses:

  • North Wind Switch Grass, Indian Grass, and Little Bluestem


  • Compass Plant, Butterfly Weed, English Bluebell, Shooting Star, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Blazing Star, Aster, White Snakeroot, Joe Pye Weed, Columbine, and Bee Balm


  • Large-flowered Tickseed, Magnus Purple Coneflower, Siberian Iris, Indian Summer Black-eyed Susan, Stone Crop, Fern Leaf Peony, May Night Salvia, and Bleeding Heart

(Stock plant photos courtesy of Google Images)

Pella City Council Meeting on February 5, 2019. The council accepted Klingner and Associates as the engineer for the project.  Powerpoint slides showing the Design timeline are contributed by the City of Pella. There are 2 slides, use the arrow to see the second slide containing the budget and timeline. 

02-05-19 – Learning Walkway Slides (2)


Klingner Associates, P.C.  is designing the

Tuttle Learning Walk project. 

Klingner and Associates have a branch office on the Molengracht in Pella, at 604 Liberty Street, Suite 129. The City of Pella and Historic Pella Trust will be in good hands with Klingner Architectural Group  designing the Tuttle Learning walk. Kim Mulch, the branch manager has visited with Bob Zylstra and Jennifer VanKooten at the Tuttle Cabin. Several of the HPT board members along with Jeanette V. and Chandler N. from the City were present at the first planning session at the Klingner office on Febuary 11, 2019.  Jeremy Steenhoek was working that day, he is an engineer with this firm. His ancestor, Jan Steenhoek was the first to own and live in Tuttle Cabin after the Dutch  bought it from the Tuttle’s. I see this connection as extra insurance the the project is going to be wonderful for our community. Please consider helping us complete this project with your money donation, it can be online using the link above or sent to Historic Pella Trust, Box 1, Pella, Iowa 50219. Thank you! 

Sunken Garden
Country Landscapes concept drawing several years ago

The learning walkway would link two Pella landmarks, the Tuttle Cabin and Sunken Garden Park, using an existing city owned alleyway.

An educational experience using signage, instructional capsules and landscaping  to offer historical insights and information regarding Pella’s early history

Information included in educational signage:

Historical insights and information regarding Pella’s early history

Historic impact of the early Dutch in Pella’s present day culture and architecture

History of Sunken Garden Park (Tulip Town), The Tuttle’s and their Farm and early lifestyles

Mikol Sesker and the Sesker Family

Business Donations

Midwest One

Bank Iowa 

Pella Walmart

Eagle Electric


J.B. Dahm Foundation

Boat Foundation

Marion County Charitable Foundation

Vermeer Charitable Foundation

3M Foundation

Marion County Community Foundation

Pella Community Foundation

Rolscreen Foundation

Clubs and Groups

Pella Garden Club

Memorial Donations

In Memory of Gerrit Vander Pol

In Memory of Amy Jean (Rush) Canade


Individual Designated Donations

Mary Griffith

Dale and Mary Andringa

Sallie De Reus

Jeff and Kristin Van Maanen

John and Phyllis Vander Wert

Beth Holcomb

Maurine and Gary Timmer

Wendy Dykema

Bob and Charlie Zylstra

Bruce Haustein

Cathy Rush


Mark and Kay De Cook

Paul and Vicki Jones

Mark and Lezlie Morris

Dody Boat

Shirley Borgman

Jeff and Lori Underwood

Elinor Bogaard

Cathy Cortney

Bruce and Cindy Boertje

Duane Rempe

Wayne Stienstra

Jim and Julie Mueller

David Vanden Over

Andy and Deb Vande Voort

Doug Bogaards

Jill  (Tysseling) Golrick

Doug and Kathy Kooyman

Kelvin and Tami Van Kooten

Kent and Val Van Kooten

Kraig and Jennifer VanKooten

Matt McCulla


Tina (Valdes) Spencer

Mindi Schnoebolen

Larry Hanthorn

Lori Richter

Mikol Sesker

Verle and Corrine Boat

Bob Andeweg

Ralph and Eileen Jaarsma

Lila Turnbull

Larry and Rosie DeVries