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Sustainability

Contact
sustainability@cedar-rapids.org

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What is sustainability?

Overlapping hexagons display the words Environmental - Social - and Economic

To be sustainable is to meet the needs of today without preventing future generations from meeting their needs.

Pursuing sustainability in the City operation means addressing and improving environmental, social, and economic health concurrently — the triple bottom line of sustainability.




GreenCR News

No matter where you are on your green journey, everyone can play a part in moving Cedar Rapids toward a more sustainable future. Check out our latest GreenCR Newsletter. Keep reading »

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GreenCR Current Highlights

GreenCR brings together all of the City's sustainability efforts under one roof. The Community Climate Action Plan guides GreenCR efforts, both within the City operations and throughout the entire community. Current GreenCR program highlights:

  • Community Gardens
    • The City's Community Climate Action Plan (CCAP) envisions a resilient and accessible city where all residents have access to high-quality green space, healthy food, and clean air and water. Throughout the CCAP planning process, efforts to expand healthy food access emerged as the top community priority to support climate action locally.  As such, Cedar Rapids is taking action to ensure all residents have affordable and accessible options for growing and consuming healthy, culturally relevant food.

      One of the City's first actions in supporting increased food access was the completion of a community-driven planning process to add to the network of community gardens in parks across the City. Community gardens can provide numerous benefits to neighborhoods through improved healthy food choices, instilling a sense of pride, and creating opportunities to connect with neighbors. 

      Interested in renting a garden plot? Visit our garden plot rental webpage to learn more!

  • Alliant Energy Community Solar Garden
    • The City of Cedar Rapids is looking to participate in the Alliant Energy Community Solar Program. For this program, the City will purchase 900 blocks of 250-watt solar panels. Energy will be delivered to the grid from the solar panels, and renewable energy will be used to power the Cedar Rapids community. Alliant Energy will own and maintain the site, and the City will sign a 20-year subscription term. The City will receive a bill credit based on solar production. The location of the solar panels is north of the 1100 block of 33rd Ave. SW, where signage will recognize the City's purchase. By purchasing 900 solar blocks, the City becomes an anchor tenant, demonstrating the City’s leadership and commitment to sustainable practices.

      The City's participation in this program is in support of the Cedar Rapids Community Climate Action Plan, Goal 1B, to increase renewable energy usage to 70-100%, and specifically to support large-scale solar installations in underutilized areas and urban reserve areas that offer multiple benefits. The program also supports the City's Envision CR plan's goal of being stewards for the environment, as well as promoting economic and social growth while restoring the relationship between the City and the natural environment. This program was developed by Alliant Energy in an effort to provide a healthier environment and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.  

      More information will be shared if the project moves forward.

CR Community Climate Action logo in green and blue text with silhouette of City's Tree of Five Seasons statue.

On September 28, 2021, City Council approved Cedar Rapids' Community Climate Action Plan. The Plan was developed in response to responds to Council's 2020 Climate Resolution calling for the community to take urgent action to respond to the impacts of climate change.

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Climate Action is also underway in several key areas across the City. The following major initiatives are all important elements of GreenCR:

Cedar Rapids - Flood Control System - Strengthening our Community

Cedar River Flood Control System

Designed to convey the same water volume as the 2008 Flood, the Cedar River Flood Control System will reduce flood risk through the heart of Cedar Rapids on both the west and east sides of the river. A project spanning several decades, this monumental effort is one of the community's largest investments in climate change adaptation.

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ReLeaf Cedar Rapids

ReLeaf Cedar Rapids

Following the 2020 Derecho, City leadership recognized the need for a comprehensive guide to implement reforestation in Cedar Rapids over multiple years. The plan provides a "green print" for leaders, volunteers, Trees Forever, and residents to follow while rebuilding a health tree canopy. The effort includes a $1-million-per-year reforestation investment from the City of Cedar Rapids for ten years.

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Spot the Hot Web Graphic

Spot the Hot Urban Heat Mapping

Residents in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City had the opportunity to serve as community scientists to gather temperature data at the hottest parts of our Corridor communities as part of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) heat island project.

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Truck for Website

Garbage Truck Art Campaign

The City of Cedar Rapids is seeking artists/artist teams to transform garbage and recycling collection trucks into vibrant, rolling works of art. 

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Take Action!

From installing green energy in your home or business to taking advantage of water conservation rebates and careers in sustainability — we encourage you to bring GreenCR sustainability principles with you wherever you go! Check out our list of available tools and resources to improve your own economic, social, and environmental wellbeing.

Take the Green Homes Challenge
Participate in the Green Homes challenge and make a green commitment, like riding a bike or gardening. Then log your commitment with our online interactive dashboard.

Water Conservation Rebates
GreenCR encourages water customers to implement cost-saving, water-efficient measures on their properties. Learn about rebate programs offered by the City.

Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) Cost-Share Program
Save up to $2,000 dollars or 50% of eligible project costs for the installation of stormwater BMPs on your residential or commercial property. Learn about which projects qualify and how to apply.


More Tools & Resources

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