Sustainable landscaping community master plan to be unveiled at Coe

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or

2015-11-04 10:18:24 - General

Members of the Iowa State University Community Design Lab's (CDL) Agricultural Urbanism Toolkit, in partnership with Blue Zones Project Cedar Rapids, will introduce a sustainable landscaping master plan concept for Coe College and surrounding areas of the city. The presentation will be held on Thursday, Nov. 19, beginning at 7 p.m. in Clark Alumni House, located at 200 College Drive NE. The public is encouraged to participate by providing input on the ideas presented in the plan.

Over the past few months, members of the ISU CDL team have been working with the Coe Sustainability Council, student groups and staff, as well as assessing the Coe campus and the neighborhoods. The purpose of the project is to build a further sense of community by establishing sustainable landscapes at Coe and in the urban setting of the near-northeast side of Cedar Rapids. Various designs for edible landscapes, storm water management, sustainable landscaping and rain gardens are envisioned to serve as educational models for the greater Cedar Rapids community. As part of the project, community partnerships will be strengthened with local groups to utilize the projects as learning opportunities.

The ISU CDL partners with communities and organizations combining local knowledge and design research expertise to create equity and resilience through inclusive, transferable and innovative strategies and tactics. The ISU CDL is a partnership between the Iowa State University College of Design and the Office of Extension and Outreach. The ISU Community Design Lab encompasses many fields of expertise including landscape architecture, architecture, sustainable agriculture, community and regional planning, and community engagement.

The Agricultural Urbanism Toolkit began as a grant project through the Leopold Center of Sustainable Agriculture and is a community-based design process within the CDL that develops and designs local food systems. The Coe College sustainable landscape master plan is one of five projects that has been developed within Cedar Rapids through the Agricultural Urbanism Toolkit and Blue Zones Project Cedar Rapids, specifically the Food Environment Alliance. While the CDL brings professional expertise and research-driven methodology to the table, the local knowledge and decision-making provided by community partners is essential for overall success.