Events/Announcements Feed

Songs to Make You SMILE, a virtual community cabaret April 3

Friday, April 3, at 7:30 pm, a virtual cabaret Songs to Make You SMILE will be held benefitting five area theatres: Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, Old Creamery Theatre, Riverside Theatre, SPT Theatre, and Theatre Cedar Rapids.

The times may be uncertain, but the power of the arts to inspire and uplift is constant. Join these theatre organizations as they come together — virtually — to celebrate some of the corridor’s most talented artists sharing songs and skits to make you smile.

The theatre community is facing incredibly difficult times. All have had to cancel significant programming, and as nonprofit performing arts organizations, they rely greatly on ticket sales to keep their doors open. Event donations help support these neighborhood theatres. All donations are fully tax-deductible and will be split evenly across participating organizations. In exchange, you can watch the heartwarming, soul-stirring virtual cabaret on Friday, April 3 at 7:30 pm!

For more information or to donate visit

April Parks and Recreation Programs Impacted by COVID-19

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Due to the COVID-19 virus, the Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department announces changes to programs and events originally scheduled to be held in April.

The following are canceled:

  • Easter Open House at the Noelridge Greenhouse, scheduled for Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12.
  • April session of swim lessons at Bender Pool. The next session of swim lessons is scheduled to be held in June.


  • Old MacDonald’s Farm in Bever Park will tentatively open in May.
  • Arbor Day celebrations are postponed to a later date.
  • The opening of park restrooms, drinking fountains and pavilions are postponed to a date to be determined. Patrons are asked to provide their own drinking water and hand sanitizer.

Parks, trails and dog parks are currently open but playgrounds and exercise stations remain closed. The public is urged to visit parks that are not as heavily used. When using parks, follow these guidelines.

  • Maintain social distancing standards of a minimum of six feet between you and other park users.
  • Avoid areas where 10 or more people are gathered.
  • Do not use park amenities where social distancing cannot be followed.
  • Please carry out any trash that is brought into the parks.
  • If you have been sick in the last two weeks or have a cough, fever or other flu like symptoms, stay home for your health and the safety of others.
  • Individuals 60 years of age and older, or those with underlying conditions, should stay at home to avoid potential exposures.

Spring Leaf Vacuum Collection Starts April 6

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Starting Monday, April 6, the Cedar Rapids Solid Waste and Recycling division will begin operating leaf vacuum trucks. The trucks are scheduled to run through Friday, May 1, barring any COVID-19-related scheduling constraints. Residents can expect leaf collection on their regular garbage day unless the trucks are slowed by weather or volume. If service is slowed by weather or volume, the division will strive to reach any missed properties the next day.

Residents should place leaves and other lawn rakings in long rows on the grass or parking area beside the street for collection. Leaves must be kept out of the street and away from obstacles like mailboxes, signs, poles and trees. Customers are advised NOT to rake leaves into the street.

Loose leaf vacuum operation helps keep the storm sewer system clear from clogs and backups and cleans our waterways. Leaf collection also assists in debris removal, ensuring safe streets for vehicles/motorcycles and bikes.

The vacuum truck will not collect leaves from alleys. Leaf piles should be free from brush and debris. Sticks and twigs can be placed in the YARDY cart for collection and litter should be bagged and placed in your garbage can. Please do not park cars in front of leaf piles; the truck will not be able to collect the leaves. Leaf bags will not be collected due to COVID-19 precautions. YARDY carts continue to be collected at this time.

  1. Why are leaf vacuum trucks running during the COVID-19 outbreak?
    A. Operating loose leaf vacuum trucks keeps leaves out the street, reducing the number of leaves swept into the storm sewer and the likelihood of street flooding due to plugged drains. The program helps improve water quality in our streams and river. When large numbers of leaves enter the storm sewer, the nutrients from decaying leaves overwhelm and choke out aquatic life. Leaf vacuum collection also assists in debris removal from streets, ensuring safe passage for vehicles/motorcycles and bicycles.

For more information about the Solid Waste & Recycling Division’s yard waste collection program, visit or call (319) 286-5897. Sign up for text and email alerts about garbage and recycling at

Iowa Lions Eye Bank Receives ESGR Award for Military Support

DSC_2055Iowa Lions Eye Bank of Coralville was recently honored with a prestigeous Above & Beyond Award from ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve) for the organization’s ongoing support of employee, Ryan Quesnell, a 1st Lieutenant in the Iowa Army National Guard.  The Above & Beyond Award honors employers who consistently exceed the requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Acts (USERRA).

“Supportive employers like Iowa Lions Eye Bank are vital to the success of our mission and the defense of this nation,” said Mark Henneseey, Iowa ESGR state chair. “Our Guard and Reserve members could not perform their military duty without knowing their civilian employers support them 100 percent.”

1LT Quesnell nominated his employer, stating, “My supervisor has continuously supported me in my military career, through countless Army training events which required long periods of absence from work.  She enables me to edit my work schedule allowing me to continue taking college courses to improve my military and civilian careers.  I would not be able to serve my state and country in the capabity that I do if it were not for such a supportive employer and co-workers – words cannot describe my gratitude.”

The award was presented at Iowa ESGR’s annual outstanding employer recognition dinner in Johnston.



City of Iowa City Community Garden Plot leasing begins Wednesday, April 1

The City of Iowa City’s Parks and Recreation Department will begin leasing garden plots for the 2020 season on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. This year, there are four locations for the community garden space – Chadek Greek Park, Kiwanis Park, Reno Street Park, and Wetherby Park.

Those interested in leasing a plot can fill out the online registration at, beginning April 1, at 7 a.m. Plots are available on a first-come first-serve basis. The digital time stamp on your registration will determine your place in the call back list.

Registrants will be required to sign a lease agreement to maintain the plot through October 1, 2020. Water is not currently available; however, when it is, no hoses may be attached to the spigots. Gardeners are encouraged to transport water to their plot by bucket or other means. Gardener’s must provide their own tools and supplies.

Garden plots at Wetherby Park are offered in two sizes. The 10’x23’ plots are available for $15.75 for residents and $20.75 for non-residents. The 10’x50’ plots are available for $25.75 for residents and $30.75 for non-residents.

Garden plots at Chadek Green Park, Kiwanis Park, and Reno Street Park are 10’x20’ and are $15.75 for residents and $20.75 for non-residents.

For more information, contact Juli Seydell Johnson, Parks & Recreation Director, at or 319-356-5104.