The CR Parks system is extensive but tax dollars cannot sustain and support growth to the Parks and local recreational opportunities. Everyone benefits from the Cedar Rapids Park Foundation’s work to add to and enhance our local park system.
The Bever Park Zoo and Old MacDonald’s Farm holds an iconic place in Cedar Rapids history. Generations of Cedar Rapidians remember waking to the roar of the lions and bear at the old Zoo, and the chattering of the chimpanzee building. But the age of exotic animals in Bever Park passed; and the Zoo had lost its place in the community. In 2003, Bever Zoo formally became Old MacDonald’s Farm with young farm animals rather than exotics. Modernizing and re-purposing the Zoo into an urban farm gave this historical space a new purpose in the community.
Old MacDonald’s Farm is special. It is the only facility of its kind in the Midwest. It is publicly owned by the Cedar Rapids Park system and admission is always free to all visitors. During the 2022 season over 34,000 people visited Old MacDonald’s Farm.
Rebuild and maintain OMF retaining wall and farm fences. CRPF donated funds in support of this project to help support the cost of reconstruction and updated animal pen fences.
Food and beverage were included with a ticket purchase:
In 2022, the annual fundraiser event netted over $25,000 and attracted over 200 supporters. The philanthropic support for this event is growing and this year the net proceeds will be aimed in support of ReLeaf for Parks, an intentional, long-term plan to replant and care for over 8000 trees in our Cedar Rapids Parks system.
CRPF is focused on assuring our parks are sustained properly and are usable and accessible by all community members. In that light, we are working to support more shade structures in high need parks. The first two shade shelters coming in 2024 will be at Delaney and Jones Parks. It’s our hope that these shelters will offer a place to gather and create happy memories for friends and families.
Contact CRPF at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in donating a picnic table or park bench in honor or memory of a group or loved one. A donation of $2500 to CRPF covers the cost of the bench or picnic table and a plaque acknowledging the individual or group you would like to honor or memorialize. Donors will be offered options for bench colors and approved locations where they can be placed. Picnic tables are a standard design and color. Picnic tables location options will be shared with the donor upon purchase. CR Parks Staff installs the picnic tables and benches in the months of June and July.
Supporting the ongoing Community Gardens in Parks initiative lead by CR Community Development and CR Parks & Recreation is of high importance for CRPF. In 2024, we will fund garden sheds, garden support items and raised beds to help support this effort!
The August 2020 derecho had a devastating and lasting impact on our entire community. Daniels Park is no exception as shown in these before and after photos.
ReLeaf for Parks is a concerted effort to not only replant but maintain 8,175 trees in 38 Cedar Rapids parks. It’s easy to overlook costly watering requirements for a tree to establish itself during the critical years after replanting so the reforest project has our full support.