Because of the rolling Iowa terrain, walls are used to convert hillsides to a series of flat, open spaces. Low walls are built to create planting beds, walk-out basements and transition a front yard to a street. Tall walls are built to retain soil in large building projects, deep street cuts, and large parking lots.
Material used in these walls is often limestone blocks. Short walls use natural bed limestone blocks that can be moved easily by hand. Larger blocks are used in taller walls and are often supplemented with various tie-back systems. The natural beauty of limestone enhances the surrounding landscape and has a lower appearance than other wall materials, such as concrete or wood. With careful planning, these walls are structurally sound and can have amenities added, such as benches and flower beds.