Hiawatha FunFest Photos 2016

Hiawatha held its first-ever FunFest Aug. 26-27, 2016 with activities for the entire family, including a Movie under the Moon and concert in the park; a 5K Run/Walk and breakfast; bouncy houses and other fun activities! Watch the video on Hiawatha Today’s Facebook page! 

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Your Chance to Be Heard

The consulting Firm MSA Professional Services Inc. has been hired by the City of hiawathaHiawatha to gather data on a comprehensive plan update. MSA will hold a public meeting at City Hall in the Multi-Purpose Room on the lower level on April 27 at 7 p.m.

In addition to holding meetings, the Project Team is also using a new tool to help gather the data it needs to formulate a plan.

Crowdsource Mapping allows you to propose ideas for changes to the community and share your vision for the future of Hiawatha.  This tool can be used on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or cell phone. The Project Team will use this data, as well as other community input, to form goals to help move the plan forward.

To use the map, click on the mapping link, which can also be found on the plan’s page. Click on the pen tool (top left corner of the map) if the icons are not showing. The icons shown can be placed on the map to pinpoint where you think something needs improvement, areas you think are eyesores, or landmarks you think are assets to the community.

To map your ideas, simply click on the icon and then click on the spot you want to “drop” it. Once it is in place, you can click on it and add a note to why you chose that icon. You can scroll up or down to zoom in or out, or use the + and – icons to the left.

I put a heart icon (community asset) on the Hiawatha Library, the trail head on Boyson, and Tucker Park, because I believe those places are assets to the community. (There were already hearts on the other two parks.)

I put the “pedestrian improvement” icon on N. Center Point Road, because I think something more needs to be done to warn drivers that bikers don’t always stop as they are crossing W. Willman Street (even though the bikers have a stop sign). The drivers turning right might not see them in time.

I also put the same icon on Emmons St. and N. Center Point Road because there are always bikers crossing in the middle of the road and drivers can’t always see them, either.

I put a transportation icon on Boyson Road because I believe the traffic moves too fast on that road. The speed limit is 35, but many people drive 5 over. With so much traffic on the narrow 2 lane road, it can be a bit frustrating for those who are trying to cross or turn onto Boyson.

I care about Hiawatha and like the direction it is going.  With the help of this mapping tool, even if I can’t attend the meetings, I still have the opportunity to be heard.

For more information go to www.hiawathaplan.com or visit the City’s website.

Hiawatha planning summer fun fest

Hiawatha Parks & Recreation is planning a family fun weekend event with activities for the whole family!hiawatha fun fest

The fun fest will begin at 6 pm Friday, Aug. 26, with a concert featuring Past Masters, followed by Movie under the Moon at 9 pm.

Rise and shine the next morning with a Pancake Breakfast in Guthridge Park, sponsored by the HiCREW Kiwanis Club.

A 5K Fun Run will take place later, followed by a parade at midday.

A variety of activities are planned after the parade in Guthridge Park, including inflatables, live music, fireworks, food, and much more!

For an updated event schedule visit http://www.hiawatha-iowa.com or follow Hiawatha Parks & Recreation on Facebook.

Little Free Libraries intention is to ‘take a book, leave a book’

Chris “C.J.” Flynn is a man of his word.

Chris and Jim Flynn install a Little Free Library in Hiawatha's Guthridge Park April 22. (Photo by Cynthia Petersen)
Chris and Jim Flynn install a Little Free Library in Hiawatha’s Guthridge Park April 22. (Photo by Cynthia Petersen)

The Hiawatha man spent the past year working on a plan to promote reading and literacy in the Hiawatha community. His hard work and determination is paying off.

A Little Free Library (LFL) is a wooden box that is filled with books. Members of the community can stop by and pick up a book to read. All that is asked is that they bring it back when they are done and perhaps place one in the box they would like to share.

Flynn said he first got the idea a few years ago when he was in Iowa City.

“I did some research and the more I learned about the LFL movement, the more passionate I became about wanting them here (in Hiawatha),” said Flynn.

Flynn said he sought the support of the Hiawatha Library Board and the Friends of the Hiawatha Library.  The idea was then submitted to the Hiawatha City Council and was approved to build fourLFLs.

The Little Free Library is ready to go.  (Photo by Cynthia Petersen)
The Little Free Library is ready to go. (Photo by Cynthia Petersen)

Creating them was solved through the generosity of the Makers at Makerspace, as well as a Hiawatha art teacher, who agreed to have a group of her 5th graders paint one, said Flynn.

“The director at the Artisans Sanctuary in Czech Village offered to have three of their local artists, Jennifer Ocken, Mary Swanson, and Carissa Starleaf, decorate the others and the whole project became a beneficial collaboration.”

The LFLs were installed April 22. Two were placed in Gutheridge Park; one near the 7th Ave. parking lot and the other near the 10th Ave. parking lot.  The third one was installed at Tucker Park near the parking lot by the splash pad.

Flynn said the fourth’s location has yet to be installed, and will be announced at a later date.

“I’ve been really excited about bringing LFLs to Hiawatha and I hope Hiawatha residents will enjoy them,” he said.  “Patrons at the Hiawatha Public Library have been asking when they will be available, so I think there are book lovers out there that are awaiting their arrival.”

Flynn said the Friends of the Hiawatha Library will initially supply the books and check the libraries periodically, but we hope the LFLs will eventually become self-sustaining and people will honor the “Take a book, leave a book” philosophy.

“Our LFLs will be registered with the national organization and will be added to a database and be accessible on their website,” said Flynn. “Hiawatha just might get a few more tourists looking for an LFL destination location.”

Flynn said up to 50 books can be stored in the LFL, depending on the size of the library.

The idea was first conceptualized by Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisc., who built a model of a one-room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former schoolteacher, who loved reading.

According to http://www.littlefreelibrary.org, Bol filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard.  His neighbors and friends loved it.  He built several more and gave them away.  Each one had a sign that said “Free Books.”

Cedar Rapids and Marion already have LFLs in several locations, including NewBo Market and Lowe Park.

“I hope these LFLs enrich the lives of Hiawatha residents and visitors for years to come,” said Flynn

For more information about LFLs, go to ww.littlefreelibrary.org.

Hiawatha Today