Adding to and Enhancing the CR Parks System

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.

Donate to help support these and future projects

Old MacDonald’s Farm

Old MacDonald's Farm

The Bever Park Zoo and Old MacDonald’s Farm holds an iconic place in Cedar Rapids history. Generations of Cedar Radipians 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 publically owned by the Cedar Rapids Park system and admission is always free to all visitors.  During the 2017 season over 115,000 people visited Old MacDonald’s Farm.

Children petting rooster

Phase 1

Phase 1 is in process to be completed by December 2018. Funding is nearly complete thanks to our generous donors!


Phase 2

Phase 2 is currently in the planning stage.

Phase 1 tasks:

  • Installing raised vegetable gardens and re-purposing the silos for vertical gardens –all ADA accessible.
  • Bear cage area
  • Planting pollinator gardens with the help of the Planter for Pollinator committee of Linn County Master Gardeners.
  • Working with Murals and More to identify a regional artist to design and paint a mural surrounding the gardens.
  • Amphitheater renovation.

Phase 2 tasks:

  • Solve serious watershed issues.
  • Move back and rebuild retaining walls.
  • Increase the size and improve animal pens and barns.
  • Make all ADA accessible
  • Plant low maintenance native plants throughout Old MacDonalds Farm.

Other Projects

Kayak Beach

Currently in planning stages. Site is identified. Kayak Beach will provide access to paddlers in sandy beach area near Czech Village

Wheels Park

Future plan for the Greenways. The Cedar Rapids Park Foundation’s hope is to relocate the current park to the Greenway and build a state-of-the-art facility.