Happy 50th Birthday Noelridge Greenhouses
While the Parks Division has been producing flowers for public spaces in Cedar Rapids since 1930, the greenhouses at Noelridge Park just turned 50 at the end of 2021. We will celebrate this milestone monthly this year by telling you about many of the programs at the greenhouse. You will learn how volunteers help us, how we create beautiful gardens at Noelridge Park, how you can enjoy a warm green oasis year-round and much, much more.
The first greenhouses were built at Bever Park. They were three, 20 x 80 foot glass houses that were attached to the east side of the maintenance building that still exists. The five greenhouses at Noelridge Park opened on December 27, 1971 are still in operation today. It took months of moving and planting plants to prepare for the first open house on May 13 and 14, 1972. Fifty years later, we still have some of the original plants from the greenhouses at Bever Park in our permanent display of tropical plants.
We grow between 40,000 and 64,000 flowers and plants annually that are planted at parks, golf courses, the airport, in planters downtown and in many other public places. The greenhouse has hundreds of types of plants with something new and interesting growing year-round.
We have a small, but extremely dedicated, crew of employees that plan flower beds, seed, plant, take cuttings, and host open houses and events. We will introduce you to Lori Farmer, the Lead Greenhouse Worker, who has 28 years of service to the department, and Jacob Melichar who joined greenhouse operations last August. With the help of a few seasonal employees and very committed volunteers, we are able to create beautiful parks and public spaces for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Watch monthly for fun facts, videos and upcoming events as we celebrate 50 years.