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Beauty and Function

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) The Greenway Project in Cedar Rapids is a way to develop land bought with FEMA money after the flood, meaning that nothing permanent can be built there. The city
 Says the rest is up to anyone with an idea.

The empty lots scattered throughout the Time Check area are just a few blocks away from Al Piersons Flower Shop.

"I think most people would agree that we want more people in the neighborhood, said Pierson.

One way to bring them in is through recreation, whether its parks, water access or sports fields.

"Bringing more people to the neighborhood would make it a much nicer environment but would help my business and other businesses and would attract other businesses to the neighborhood, said Pierson.

Thats where those lots come in. When water levels are low, the land could be playgrounds, a park or a campground.

"And then in times of foul weather, in times of high water, the river is swelling and it's not impacting anybody's investment, said Cedar Rapids Director of Parks and Recreation Sven Leff.

The same concept is already being used just down river at the McGrath Amphitheater. The berm behind the seating works as a natural barrier for the water. That's roughly the plan in other places too.

"That's exactly what it is. All the things constructed in the Greenway kind of has to be expected that it may flood, said Leff.

With that in mind, Cedar Rapids wants the specifics to come from people like Al, but also people like the President of the Northwest Neighborhood Association Linda Seger. She generally supports the project but wants to know more.

"I would just like to see a little more formality and finalization as to what the Northwest quadrant flood protection will look like, and then what we're going to do with our parks system and greenway."

Seger says she feels like the whole process is putting the cart before the horse just a little bit. She says lock in a flood protection layout then work on beautification.

The public input meeting is at the National Czech and Slovak Museum on March 26th at 5 pm.
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