Spring 2019

April is Earth Month!
Find out how the City of Cedar Rapids is celebrating sustainability, green initiatives, and our planet - and watch our Facebook page for special videos all month long!

  1. iGreenCR Sustainability Tours
  2. EcoFest is April 20th. Nominate an Eco Champ! today.
  3. 1-Bag Challenge & Neighborhood Cleanup Events
  4. Bike to Work Week & "Who Rides" story
  5. Storm Drain Art, Version 2.0
  6. Stormwater Cost-Share Program
Spring iGreenCR Sustainability Tours
See operations, ask questions and meet City staff!
Attend an iGreenCR tour this spring and see important, large-scale municipal operations in action!  Register here.

April 26, Water Pollution Control Facility
  • 9:30-11 a.m. | Tour for general public
  • Noon-1:30 p.m. | Tour for City staff
May 17, NW Water Treatment Plant
  • 9:30-11 a.m. | Tour for general public
  • Noon-1:30 p.m. | Tour for City staff
June 21, Solid Waste Agency Compost Operation @ Mt. Trashmore
  • 10-11:30 a.m. | Combined tour for general public and City staff
Attendees are welcome to bring home sustainability tools/souvenirs - travel eating utensils, LED light bulb, countertop compost bucket, steel pint cup, and drawstring or tote bags.

Please complete the  SIGN-UP FORM to attend any or all events!

Questions? Contact Eric Holthaus |  e.holthaus@cedar-rapids.org | 319-286-5927
EcoFest is April 20 at NewBo City Market
10th Annual Earth Day Festival  
Celebration, fun for all, and Eco Champ! Awards

Join us at Iowa's largest Earth Day celebration and festival from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 20 at NewBo City Market! Find green activities and resources at the market lawn and in surrounding venues. Full schedule available online at  www.EcoFestCR.org

11 a.m. | Stephanie Arne, Host of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom
  • Main stage
  • Learn how Arne became the host of one of the most loved and respected wildlife programs in television history. Arne will share some of her favorite conservation projects to date!
Noon | Eco Champ! Awards -  Nominate an Eco Champ! by April 12. 
  • Do you know a person or group that goes above and beyond to advocate for environmental sustainability in the community, at work or school? Make sure they're recognized with our new Eco Champ! award.
  • Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart will recognize Eco Champ! Award winners at Noon on the EcoFest main stage.
1-4 p.m. | Live Music
  • 1 p.m. | WaterRocks (water-quality-focused rock 'n roll band)
  • 2 p.m. | Waystoke
  • 3 p.m. | Cedar County Cobras
All day | Bus trips to the top of Mt. Trashmore
  • Meeting place: Geonetric parking lot
  • Buses run every 15 minutes from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
All day | Bring a t-shirt - and we'll screen print it!
  • Eduskate Board Shop is screen printing multiple Earth-inspired designs on-site.
  • Get new use out of a used t-shirt - and conserve water and energy in the process!
Watch the Eco Champ video!
1-Bag Challenge & Neighborhood Spring Cleanups
Residents across the community are invited to participate in a series of unique neighborhood spring clean-up events hosted by the City of Cedar Rapids, Matthew 25, Neighborhood Finance Corporation, and area Neighborhood Associations.
Local nonprofit Matthew 25 is supporting the clean-up efforts by offering the services of their Mobile Tool Library at each event. Need a hammer or table saw for a quick afternoon project? Maybe a mower to get your lawn in shape? Stop by one of the events to borrow a tool, courtesy of Matthew 25.
Full Schedule:
April 6, 2019 - Cleanup with Northwest Neighbors Neighborhood Association
  • 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • LOCATION - The Mobile Tool Library will be parked at 605 G Ave NW next to the Urban Ellis Lofts.
April 27, 2019 - Cleanup with Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association
  • 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • Location TBD

  May 5, 2019 - Cleanup with Taylor Area Neighborhood Association
  • 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • Location TBD
  May 11, 2019 - Cleanup with Oak Hill Jackson Neighborhood Association
  • 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • Location TBD
Follow your Neighborhood Association on Facebook or Nextdoor for notifications and updates from the Neighborhood Associations.

Questions? Contact Eric Pate | e.pate@cedar-rapids.org | 319-286-5115
Bike to Work Week | May 11-17
Calendar of  Events - Join us!
May 11
  • 9 a.m. | MPO Bike RideRegistration starts at 8 a.m.
May 13
  • 7 a.m. | Bike to Work Week Kickoff Ride & Proclamation
    Meet at Jimmy Z's (112 2nd St SE)
  • 5:30 p.m. | Bike Share Launch Party at Greene Square
May 14

 Pit Stops!

  • 7-9 a.m. | 1st Avenue at the Trail hosted by Wells Fargo
  • 4-6 p.m. | 1st Avenue at the Trail hosted Hall Bicycle
  • 5-7 p.m. | McCloud Run at the Trail (across from NewPi) hosted by New Pioneer Food Coop
May 15
  • 11:30 a.m. | Bike to Lunch - Business Challenge
    Grab your co-workers and bike to the NewBo District for lunch
  • 6 p.m. | Linn County Ride of Silence
    8-mile ride starting in Marion's City Square Park
May 16

 Pit Stops!

  • 7-9 a.m. | 1st Avenue at the Trail hosted by Wells Fargo
  • 7-9 a.m. | Corner of F Ave/Collins Rd hosted by Northtowne Cycling and Fitness
  • 4-6 p.m. | NewBo Market hosted by Goldfinch Cycling
  • 6 p.m. | Meet Me at the Market
    Bike Ride starting at NewBo City Market
May 17
  • 6 p.m. | Handlebar Happy Hour and Group Photo
    Join us at Kickstand (203 16th Ave SE) for the grand finale, group photo, and prizes!

Questions? Contact Holly Ruble | h.ruble@cedar-rapids.org | 319-286-4859

Biking is an affordable transportation for "need" riders and "choice" riders.

When you think of a cyclist, what image comes to mind?  For many biking advocates or an observer of the weekend recreational cyclist, it may be a person that has all the right gear, a nice bike, and is just out having a good time.  That's a "choice" rider--someone riding for fun.  Or sometimes that "choice" rider is commuting to work because they made the choice to leave their bike at home because bike commuting is healthy or bike commuting is cheaper.

"Need" riders might have similar intentions (healthy, affordability), but they have fewer choices.  Looking at income brackets, the three lowest income brackets demonstrate the highest percentages of bike commuters.  "Need" riders bike because they don't have the luxury of a better option--and they're biking out of necessity to get to work, to get groceries, or to do whatever basic things they need that day.  

Building streets for more types of users is about inclusiveness.  Absolutely roads are for cars--and they also need to be viable for bikers, walkers, bus riders, and people with different abilities.  Related to biking, there are so many different types of people that bike, and it's important that they have safe and predictable opportunities to bike.  Maybe these individuals have a license but cannot afford a car (example--75% of clients using Willis Dady Homeless Services bike as their primary mode of transportation).  Maybe they don't have a license because they don't want one or because they lost it (example, 100% of individuals at Nelson Correctional Services are not allowed to drive and must bus or bike to get around independently).  Maybe the biker is a kid biking to school.  Bike-able streets are inclusive streets.  

A bike-able community has layers of benefits that do not always meet the eye.  Get your bike ready for this spring and ride for whatever reason is fitting for you!  We hope to see you at one of our Bike to Work Week events in May!
Storm Drain Art Version 2.0 - Coming soon! 
Storm Drain Murals were painted in spring of 2018 in the downtown area to add beauty to our downtown spaces and spread the message that what you put in the drain flows directly to the river--untreated.  View finished murals and the mural map here.

Version 2.0 is coming soon! Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a Request for Proposals.  Eight new storm drain mural locations have been identified. Interested artists will be encouraged to submit their designs and be selected for a small commission upon completion.

Questions?  Contact Eric Holthaus |  e.holthaus@cedar-rapids.org  | 319-286-5927
- Let Eric know if you'd like to be notified when the RFP is available.
Stormwater Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program

The City's Stormwater BMP (best management practice) Cost-Share Program funds projects on home and commercial properties that intercept and absorb rainwater as close to where it falls as possible.  Rather than rely on grey infrastructure (streets, pipes), green infrastructure like rain gardens infiltrate water and can help reduce instances of flash flooding and also improve water quality.  Stormwater BMPs, like rain gardens, also add beauty to a yard.  

The City provides provides cost-share dollars to qualifying residential and commercial stormwater BMP projects. For commercial properties, this could be permeable paving, bioswales, or rain gardens. For homes, rain gardens are the typical practice.  $250,000 is allotted to the commercial cost-share program, and funding for individual projects is not capped. For homes, the City cost-share dollars match project costs and are limited to a $2,000 maximum reimbursement for any project.
Questions? Contact Cara Matteson | c.matteson@cedar-rapids.org | 319-286-5604
We want to hear from you!
iGreenCR is a City of Cedar Rapids sustainability initiative.

Questions or comments?

Contact Eric Holthaus, Sustainability Coordinator
e.holthaus@cedar-rapids.org | 3 19-286-5927