A sustainable village in the heart of Cedar Rapids

An update on the progress of the Oakhill Jackson and Wellington Heights residents’ community vegetable gardens will be among the topics discussed at a community forum scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, at the Jane Boyd Community Center, 943 14th Ave. SE, in Cedar Rapids.

Lynette Richards and Kathy McCarthy will also provide a report on the local healthy food access alliance project operating as a joint effort between the Oakhill Jackson Neighborhood, Metro High School students and Kalona Organics.

Other topics at the meeting include discussion of plans for a sustainable urban community in the heart of Cedar Rapids. The meeting is open to the public.


5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Doug said,

    This neighborhood is on the cusp of incredible things happening. Hopefully, the HAND program will get the infrastructure and housing back where it once was. From there, the community organically developing will be wonderful. Infill is critical.

  2. 2

    Steve Hanken said,

    First things first, lets get a community happening from within the neighborhood that is already there before we worry about infill. I haven’t heard anyting about the poor state of the infrastructure that has to be taken into consideration before the “infill” happens, like what are they going to do with 1890’s sanitary sewers? For now I would be just as happy with a fully functioning garden program that contributes to the building of a warm and welcoming community for both Wellington Heights and Oakhill Jackson.

  3. 3

    Doug said,

    For the past 25 years, the people who live in Wellington and Oak Hill have been saying that they want better streets and sidewalks, residential single family or lower density residential, newer storm sewers so it doesn’t flood every time you get a decent rain of melt.

    The gardens are a great idea, but only part of a solution. The core of the neighborhood is gone because of neglect and so many empty lots because of speculative purchases of land, where the owner thought it would become part of the demical district. Mercy made an agreement that it wouldn’t drop further south than 9th, and the land was onyl good for rqesidential development, something the owner didn’t want anything to do with.

    Empty lots and vacant buildings attract crime. New streets and sidewalks, more pedestrian friendly neighborhood with good lighting, that’s what will reclaim that neighborhood.

  4. 4

    Steve Hanken said,

    I have lived in Wellington Heights for 30 years. I have watched the city of Cedar Rapids sytematically distroy housing as a “final answer” to there not taking responsibility to maintain property at a minimal levels. The using of the Community Development Block Grant Programs to suppliment the city budget for maintainence in the neighborhoods rather than use it to expand the amount of work in addition to the cities budget also shows the way they chose to neglect these neighborhoods.
    Go to the Wellington Heights web site and listen to the mayor tell you about infilling and note she uses her own house as an example. Then go look up her house on the property tax list and see what she is suggesting.
    We need to raise all the boats in these neighborhoods and bring up conditions for everyone that live here. This is not a replay of 1960 “Urban Renewal.” Establishing the community that lives here first will give them voice to tell the city what they want instead of the top down, business as usual, if you aren’t part of the answer get out of the way we have the answer, mentality. Growing the gardens may not be fast enough for some, but the city had fifty years to neglect this neighborhood into the state it is in, give us a few growing seasons to see what we can grow besides vegetables that will help direct the city before it drives all of us out. And I have to say, I never met a vacant lot that wouldn’t grow food well before it sprouted its first criminal!

  5. 5

    Carrie said,

    Due to previous inclement weather, a second community forum is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, at the Jane Boyd Community Center, 943 14th Ave. SE, in Cedar Rapids.

    Or, if you can’t make it but still want to contribute your thoughts on the “greening” of Oak Hill or other Oak Hill related urban development topics, please feel free to email me at carrie.a.marsh@gmail.com

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