September 2017

Cleaning up litter means doing your part to keep CR beautiful!
Adopt a Road!

The wastewater treatment team performed their second litter cleanup of the year! 

5 volunteers picked up 4 bags along Bertram Road between Otis Rd and Highway 13.  The team adopted this road as part of the City's Adopt a Road program.  

Has your organization adopted a road?  Would you like to?  It just takes two cleanups per year to take part.

Visit the Adopt a Road website, see who's involved, and see what's available.  We can all play a part in keeping Cedar Rapids beautiful.

By Holly Ruble, Energy Management Specialist, 319-286-5286 x4859
Solar Group Buy's success is accelerating!

52 homes and 331kW later, the Solarize Cedar Rapids and Linn County solar group buy program is nearing its 4th milestone and the end of the program.

Since June, 23 free educational "Solar Power Hour" sessions have been held in Linn County, reaching Cedar Rapids, Marion, Hiawatha, Center Point, and Central City.  483 residents attended.

The program's goal is to inform interested residents on solar basics and whether solar may be a good fit for their home.  Renewable energy, clean air, lower energy bills, and technology that's always improving--there are many reasons solar's appeal is growing.

The program ends on September 30, and the goal is to hit 350kW of total solar installed, the 4th milestone of the program.  50, 150, and 250kW milestones have been passed, each one triggering a $0.05/W rebate to participants.  If the program hits 350kW, all participants will pay $2.25/W, which is $0.20/W lower than the $2.45/W starting price.  With an average installation of  6.37kW, saving $0.20/W means a $1,274 savings.  And then there remains the federal and state tax incentives.

Time is running out, but if you're still interested, head to to learn more about the program.  

By Eric Holthaus, Sustainability Coordinator, 319-286-5927

"Build Outside the Box" Panel and Q&A tonight!

The City of Cedar Rapids and Urban Land Institute Iowa invite residents to a special panel series:

"Build Outside the Box: Rethinking form, function, and financials" 

Monday, September 18
5:30 p.m.
Cedar Rapids Public Library Whipple Auditorium
(450 5th Avenue SE)

Across Iowa, cities are vying for competitive development projects that are meeting shifting market demands. New development that creatively incorporates a broad range of design concepts, densities, uses, and market strategies are not only viable, but have been successful in other Iowa communities. This panel will provide access to outside experts who will demonstrate the benefits, challenges, and results of incorporating form-based development.

Topics to include:
  • Risk and reward of development projects that meet shifting market demands in Iowa
  • The benefits and challenges of designing under a form-based zoning code
  • Creative design options that incorporate diverse housing needs and pedestrian / transit options
  • Q and A with panelists
For more info, head here.  
By Anne Russett, Planner III, 319-286-5075

Growing Sustainable Communities:  The Midwest's Premier Sustainability Conference

The Midwest's premier sustainability conference is October 3-4 in Dubuque, IA, and registration is open at 

One-day and two-day registrations are available. Come enjoy the expert and inspirational panel discussions on topics including affordable housing, tree canopy benefits, urban agriculture, alternative fuel vehicles, streetlight conversions, equity, urban resilience, climate action plans, and integrating sustainability metrics into city operations. 

Presenters join the conference from around the Country. Two City of Cedar Rapids employees, Sandy Pumphrey and Eric Holthaus, will be presenting on green infrastructure and STAR Communities, respectively.

Taken from the conference website, the keynote speakers are amazing:
  • Majora Carter - Urban revitalization strategist and Peabody Award winning broadcaster (TED Talk 1, TED Talk 2)
  • Kristin BajaClimate resilience officer for the Urban Sustainability Directors Network
  • Louie Psihoyos - Oscar winning documentary filmmaker and executive director of the Oceanic Preservation Society (TED Talk)
Come grow the inspiration!

By Eric Holthaus, Sustainability Coordinator, 319-286-5927
Questions?  Ideas?
Contact Eric Holthaus at or 319-286-5927.

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