April 2017

Stump stunts at Eco  Fest 2016
EcoFest is on Earth Day, April 22!

The timing is right!  This year, the Cedar Rapids Earth Month Celebration will take place on Earth Day, April 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the New Bo Market lawn.  

More info at: www.ecofestcr.org .
With family and friends to enjoy, come enjoy:
  • 10:30: Our Feathered Friends Raptor Program
  • 11:00: New Bohemia Architectural Tour
  • 12:00: New Bo Tree Walk with Trees Forever
  • 12:45: Polliscaping - Designing from a Pollinator's Eyes
  • 2:30: Colin Lyons, Grant Wood Fellow and Visiting Professor at the UI
The City of Cedar Rapids will be among a crowd of vendors and educators at the Eco-Fair.  Visit City staff to discuss the #1BagBlitz, Solar, Stormwater Cost-Share, Bike Trail Plans and Safety, and more. 
By Eric Holthaus, Sustainability Coordinator
Full speed ahead with the City Manager's 1 Bag Challenge

We're teaming up with Blue Zones and organizations around town to inject new partnerships and healthy living into the City Manager's 1 Bag Challenge.

1.   Take the 1 Bag Challenge; cleaning up means being active.
2.   Challenge an organization or friend.
3.   Start the cascade of community cleaning, walking, and pride.
Head to www.CleanUpCR.com for more.  
By Sara Baughman, Communications Coordinator, Utilities
SAVE THE DATE: April 24 @ 6pm
Sustainable City Talk:
City Leaders 
Pursuing Sustainability

Monday, April 24, 2017


Downtown Library, Whipple Auditorium

3:00 - 4:30 p.m. City staff and professional partners

6:00 - 7:30 p.m. Community members

Q&A will be 30-40 minutes at the end of each session.


Speakers: Sandi Fowler (Assistant City Manager), Steve Hershner (Utilities Director), Sven Leff (Parks and Recreation Director), and Jennifer Pratt (Community Development Director)


Facebook event

A participant from Urbana-Champaign's Solar Group Buy, 2016.
Solar Group Buy is coming!

Good news:  A Solar Group Buy is coming to Cedar Rapids.
What's a group buy?  It's a program where individual homes, businesses, and farms buy solar, their demand is aggregated, and prices come down for everyone.

Stay tuned for more news in May. If your interest is piqued, contact Eric at e.holthaus@cedar-rapids.org or 319-286-5927.
Click here to see successes in Urbana-Champaign and Milwaukee .  
By Eric Holthaus, Sustainability Coordinator
Stormwater BMPs improve water qualitya and decrease water runoff, and they're beautiful for you and the pollinators
Take Action!  
Stormwater BMP Cost-Share

The Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) Cost-Share Program provides property owners financial and technical assistance in implementing  stormwater BMPs  for 
improving water quality and reducing the amount of stormwater runoff.
Financial assistance will help cover the cost of materials and/or contractor labor for completing the projects. Projects can range from rain gardens and bioretention cells to pervious pavement and soil quality restoration.  The City will provide partial reimbursement up to 50% of the project cost.  Anyone subject to the City of Cedar Rapids stormwater utility fee will be eligible
for participation in the program.
Contact  sewer@cedar-rapids.org  or 319-286-5802 for more info.
By Sandy Pumphrey, Project Engineer, Public Works
My job is a sustainability job:
Sara Baughman

As a communications coordinator, I'm always learning.  The Utilities Department houses Water, Wastewater, Solid Waste and Recycling, and Sustainability, and my role also supports the Sewer and Stormwater Divisions. Every function within these Divisions is deeply connected to the triple bottom line-social, environmental, and economic health.  My job is to communicate these essential functions to our residents.  

Work on the Middle Cedar Partnership Project has excellent elements of  long-term water and land stewardship, diverse partnerships, and economic vitality.  Sustainability is at the core.  Our Solid Waste and Recycling Division provides each citizen with yard waste carts--which can be used for most organic material including food waste, napkins and paper towels, dryer lint, and coffee grounds and filters.  This is our commitment to turning soil into food and then back to soil.  It reduces methane emissions at the landfill and makes longer use of our existing landfill--which makes economic sense and also makes 
social sense.  

As we advertise for Eco Fest on 4/22 at NewBo City Market and our next Sustainable City Talk on 4/24 at the downtown library, I have the opportunity to promote the events and be immersed in the innovation, health, and pride that comes with sustainability events and culture.

By Sara Baughman, Communications Coordinator, Utilities
What do you think?
Contact sustainability@cedar-rapids.org.

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