$5 million gives big boost to Cedar Lake and Sleeping Giant

a rendering shows a boardwalk across part of Cedar Lake. Courtesy: Felicia Wyrick.

The revitalization of Cedar Lake and construction of the Sleeping Giant Bridge have been dreams of the Cedar Rapids community for years.

Now a $5 million grant from the Hall-Perrine foundation, those dreams are a huge step closer to reality.

Project leaders envision Cedar Lake with board walks, kayaks and play grounds; add that to 100 mile of trail connected by the Sleeping Giant Bridge and you have a central attraction worth supporting.

“This is the kind of project that really will make life more enjoyable for people of all ages with varying interests,” says Darrel Morf, a member of the Hall-Perrine Board.

Morf presented the grant to Connect CR and City leaders on the shore of Cedar Lake Thursday morning.

The money does come with conditions, Connect CR and Friends of Cedar Lake must raise an additional $10 million to receive the funding.

“The fact that they're putting such a large sum of $5 million out there really gives confidence then to the donor community,” says Mayor Ron Corbett.

It also depends on the City to acquire the Cedar Lake property from Alliant Energy.

Project leaders expect that transition to be complete by June 2018.

The City has also committed $5 million to the estimated $20 million cost.

Felicia Wyrick, Outreach Chair for friends of Cedar Lake hopes the projects will be an attention grabber.

“When people drive by they're like wow what’s going on down there that looks like a cool place. let’s stop or let’s come back this weekend with our families,” says Wyrick.

One assessment of the project estimates it will attract more that $17 million in tourism to the city each year.

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