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.
Phase 1 was completed January 2020 thanks to our generous donors!
Beers in the Barnyard (BITB) is the major annual fundraising event of the Cedar Rapids Parks Foundation. The event was held the evening of October 6, 2022 at Old MacDonald’s Farm located in Bever Park.
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.
Plan to join us in 2023 for a fun night in support of our great CR Parks!
Rollin’ Recmobile I has completed its second summer bringing fun to 13 different CR Parks each week. During Summer 2021, over 3,298 youth were served by the program, a 35% increase over summer 2020. School supplies were distributed to 820 youth and 25 hot meals and snack meals were distributed daily with Friday numbers increasing to 40 each. Rollin’ Rec currently partners with 41 different organizations to provide crafts, recreational games and activities, and reading access and meals to families across Cedar Rapids.
Rollin’ Recmobile II hit the streets in Summer 2022. Thousands of Cedar Rapids citizens have enjoyed fun youth and recreational programming, food insecurity support and great collaboration activities with various community partners via their neighborhood park visits from the Rollin’ Recmobile team. The Rollin’ Recmobile fleet is another proud accomplishment supported by Cedar Rapids Parks Foundation and our Friends of CR Parks!
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.