Five Seasons Plaza, Tree to be renovated - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Five Seasons Plaza, Tree to be renovated

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - The Five Seasons Plaza and Tree of Five Seasons have become a focal point for downtown Cedar Rapids, but it hasn't been the same since the Flood of 2008.

"People drive by, and it's a unique symbol for the community," said Julie Sina, Director of Parks and Recreation.

She says a group of private donors want to change that, and bring it back to its former glory.

"One of the things they're hoping to add is to put the 'rapids' back into Cedar Rapids, and have a water boulder feature that will tie that in with the river."

Not much has changed at the plaza since the tree was commissioned in 1996, but there are some updates planned for it, to make it better than ever. Plans for its renovation include a new spotlight system, replacing the one that was destroyed. Granite slabs will replace the 500 donor-engraved tiles that adorned the tree's base, many of which were washed away by the floodwaters.

The project will cost around $350,000, all from private donations.

"The goal, once the tree is renovated, is to have an endowment fund, and then the interest off that endowment fund would pay for maintenance of the area," Sina explained.

There's no telling how long it would have taken to fix the plaza and tree with funding from a tight city budget. But Quinn Pettifer with the Cedar Rapids' Downtown District office says the renovated area will once again serve as a showcase for the city's fifth season, "a time to enjoy life."

"I think that it's a really great reminder of downtown development being defined not only as new projects and brand-new concepts, but also taking those things that have been of historic value to the downtown area, and taking it to a new level of greatness," Pettifer said.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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