116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
NORTH LIBERTY — North Liberty is now home to 11 new mythical residents and their numbers are growing.
As the story from the City of North Liberty goes, parks department workers mowing the lawn at the Community Center discovered 10 small doors in trees along the trail between Penn and Cherry Streets. Those doors lead to the homes of 11 fairies and trolls.
One resident is Frank Lee, cannot tell a lie. Another is Rita Book, who has a love for learning. Phil and Ann Thropy promote service in their community. Each troll or fairy is embodies a “core value,” said Jillian Miller, the city’s community engagement coordinator.
“We wanted to tie these values in to allow for conversations to happen,” Miller said. “What does it mean to face adversity? What is it like to have peace? What does it look like to be a good friend?”
The fairy trail was inspired by a fairy door Miller’s father built and put up in his yard, she said. Miller’s mother mentioned other residents in the Illinois community had put up fairy doors.
“We started talking about how cool that was,” Miller said. “I looked up what other communities have done.”
Miller said each door has a QR code next to it. Scanning the code will bring up a web page for the troll or fairy that lives there, featuring an illustration of the creature. But Miller said the tales of these fairies and trolls will be up to the community. On each landing form is a form for residents to submit their own short story about the resident.
“We wanted to hear the perspectives of everybody in the community,” Miller said. “What do they think the story of these fairies and trolls are?”
Pictures of the doors and their landing pages also can be found online.
The idea has inspired the arrival of more fairy doors in the community, Miller said. Three residences — including Miller’s — feature fairy doors, as does the public library. The city is encouraging businesses and residents to add their door to an online map the city has created.
Miller said she’s hopeful the proliferation of doors can lead to a scavenger hunt-like activity for families around town.
“Just let the imagination run wild for everyone,” she said.
The fairy trail is just one part of North Liberty’s Summer Slate, a collection of events and programs put on by the city this year that are designed to be free and “COVID-conscious,” Miller said. Upcoming activities include drive-in movies, concerts, a circus and fireworks.
“We’ve got overall about 35 programs and events on the schedule — all things we want people to know they can count on,” Miller said.
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