116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
I am writing as a very concerned citizen of Cedar Rapids and out of concern for one particular direction the City of Cedar Rapids seems to be taking. This direction is the decision by the City Council and Cargill to build a rail yard (operating 12 hours a day, 7 days a week) in the Rompot neighborhood on the southeast side of our city.
Construction has begun on this rail yard, sadly sacrificing a beautiful 27-acre prairie pollinator zone. On this pollinator zone are monarch butterflies, among other species who are needed to keep the environment plentiful and to keep the natural systems intact. According to the Science Museum of Minnesota website, "Today, the point [of a prairie pollinator zone] is how the prairie plays a part in the larger ecosystem. The prairie's role as habitat for a variety of other creatures is also key — especially the insects that pollinate our food."
Destroying this beautiful prairie pollinator zone in Cedar Rapids means destroying a natural habitat for many species that are helpful to the environment. Ironically, the decision to destroy this land seems diametrically opposed to other action items Cedar Rapids has made in the past related to the environment. In fact the city enjoys many parks and bike paths, and the Prairie Park Fishery is near this site.
Also, destroying this beautiful pollinator zone in the Cedar Rapids means a change in the neighborhood for Rompot residents. The noise will increase, and the rail yard will potentially pollute the Cedar River. In addition, the potential exists for property values to decline when a rail yard moves into a neighborhood. Would you want a rail yard in your neighborhood?
Additionally, the City of Cedar Rapids and Cargill seem hellbent on moving forward with construction of the Cargill rail yard, even when Cargill already has a rail yard at nearly the exact distance away that the new rail yard will be. Further, this decision to move forward is occurring while the matter still is at the Iowa Supreme Court level, waiting to be heard.
Really, Cedar Rapids? Is this decision really a wise one to make? I don't think so.
Mary Hogg lives in Cedar Rapids.