ConnectCR Continues to Make Strides Since Launching Capital Campaign

Aug 28, 2019

Since beginning a capital campaign in 2018, 75% of the funds needed for the $20 million ConnectCR project have been raised and significant progress has been made to move the project forward.

ConnectCR brings together two major projects in Cedar Rapids - the revitalization of Cedar Lake (rendering shown on the right) and the creation of an iconic pedestrian/trail bridge in the Czech Village/New Bohemia District, the Smokestack Bridge. ConnectCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in Linn County and beyond by expanding connectivity for recreation, improving under-utilized community assets, leveraging flood mitigation, and creating an iconic symbol for Cedar Rapids. This public-private partnership has humble beginnings from a group of local citizens who went on to form the nonprofit, ConnectCR.

The project’s capital campaign, Awakening Connections, began in September 2018. In April 2019, a press conference was held to publicly debut the fundraising effort. Read more about the press conference here.

In June, the City of Cedar Rapids purchased Cedar Lake from Alliant Energy for $1. Read more about that here. Other progress to-date includes project leads meeting with City staff to strategize Connect CR plans, meeting with state and federal partners about possible grant funding, holding a spring clean-up day at Cedar Lake and more.

Project leads and volunteers will continue to move ConnectCR forward. The transfer of the Smokestack Bridge site to the City is anticipated to happen later this year. Fundraising efforts will continue as well. Once ConnectCR is completed, it will be owned and properly maintained by the City. Learn more about ConnectCR on their website.

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