Cedar Rapids urban farm design unveiled Saturday - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids urban farm design unveiled Saturday


Craig Seeley has deep roots in Cedar Rapids' Time Check neighborhood.

"I'm 3rd generation," he said.

Seeley's home is one of the few left standing in this area.  His home of 30 years was inundated with 11 feet of water in 2008.  The surrounding area suffered a similar fate.

"People really tried to make this neighborhood tremendous, and then to have a flood of that magnitude come and just wipe everything out, it's kind of disheartening," Seeley said.

But now, maybe a sign the Time Check neighborhood is on its way back.  A two acre plot of land in the neighborhood's heart will soon be transformed into an urban farm as part of the larger revitalization of the area.

The idea for a small plot farm stemmed from organizers of Matthew 25, a faith based non-profit organization that is also helping to rebuild homes in the area.

"We felt like it was an area that wasn't going to be reinvested in by other developers or other organizations and so we kind of felt like it was our need and our calling to go and attack those areas," said Matt Mayer, Director of Cultivate Hope for Matthew 25.

On the piece of land, Matthew 25 will grow and sell produce under market value for the surrounding area.

Saturday an Iowa State architecture class unveiled the design for the project.

The farm will include growing areas, play space for kids, and even takes into account watershed management, making it a gathering spot the neighborhood.

"We have more and more students every year who are looking for opportunities to do work like this," said Nadia Anderson, an assistant professor in architecture at Iowa State.

Seeley says he's encouraged by the way people have come together to make the project happen.  A sign that his neighborhood may be ripe for growth.

"I'm just really proud of what everybody's doing," he said.

Matthew 25 organizers estimate the project will take a couple of years to complete.

They expect to begin in the coming weeks.

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