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Celebrate Earth Month with the City's Green Homes Challenge

Celebrate Earth Month with the City's Green Homes Challenge

April 4, 2022

Celebrate Earth Month with the City's Green Homes Challenge

Participants to be Recognized at EcoFest on April 23

April is Earth Month, and to celebrate, the City of Cedar Rapids is asking residents to participate in the City’s Green Homes program by completing sustainable actions or making future commitments and then logging them online. Cedar Rapids residents and neighborhoods participating in the program challenge will be recognized at EcoFest, held in person this year on Saturday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at NewBo City Market.  

The Green Homes program (formerly the Sustainable Neighborhoods program) was launched last fall, celebrating sustainable actions in neighborhoods and supporting the mission of the City’s Community Climate Action Plan (CCAP). The CCAP declares an urgency to take climate action in Cedar Rapids and to support the community’s most vulnerable residents while doing so.  

Green Homes encourages all citizens, including homeowners and renters, to complete sustainable actions, such as riding a bike or taking the bus; raising chickens or bees; planting a tree (see the ReLeaf plan for ideas) or pollinator plants; shopping secondhand; growing fruits and vegetables at home or participating in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program; picking up litter through the City Manager’s 1 Bag Challenge; and more.  

Residents are encouraged to view sustainable actions and future commitments on the City’s online interactive dashboard, which shows neighborhood and quadrant participation, sustainability actions, and commitments.  

At 12 p.m. noon at EcoFest, Mayor Tiffany O’Donnell will recognize the Cedar Rapids quadrant and top three neighborhoods who have logged the most participation on the Green Homes dashboard. To be counted toward the quadrant/neighborhood recognition, residents must complete the program survey and log their actions by Thursday, April 21, at 5 p.m. All Green Homes challenge participants who attend EcoFest can also receive a sustainability giveaway item at the event, such as an LED light bulb or a countertop compost bucket. 

“The Green Homes challenge provides residents with an easy way to take stock of their sustainability actions and shoot for more,” said Eric Holthaus, Sustainability Coordinator at the City of Cedar Rapids. “The program is the first action in the City’s Community Climate Action Plan — which has a lot of actions in it. Amid the size and complexity of all that important work, I’m glad we can provide tangible actions for residents to take and keep moving, wherever they are, on their sustainability journey.” 

So far, over 100 homes have participated in the Green Homes challenge, and the neighborhood associations with the most participation are Taylor, Wellington Heights, and Cherry Hill. 

“The Green Homes program offers a tangible way for residents to become involved in sustainability efforts and the Community Climate Action Plan at their own homes, as well as start a discussion with neighbors on ways to make their neighborhoods more sustainable,” said Jeff Wozencraft, City of Cedar Rapids Planner of Community Development. “It’s a great way to reinforce that, together, residents can have a collective impact on the sustainability of Cedar Rapids.” 

The Green Homes program is represented in the CCAP’s vision to reduce carbon emissions by 45 percent by the year 2030 and to net-zero by 2050, listed as “Action 1: Build a Sustainable Neighborhood program to advance sustainability achievements in each neighborhood and provide an exciting neighborhood-building opportunity for Neighborhood Associations.”   

For more information on joining the challenge and ideas for sustainable actions, visit CityofCR.com/Green. For more on this year’s EcoFest event, visit EcoFestCR.org.  

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