116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Over the past 18 months, outdoor spaces have been a refuge, whether in man-made spaces like a socially distanced patio or the tree canopy of a city park. As I reviewed images from the past week for this, my final Iowa Photo installment, these two very different images came to mind for what they reveal about our community’s renewed appreciation of natural spaces in the wake of the derecho.
At the new Marion fire station, natural and living elements are incorporated into the design. Covered patios offer fresh air and a place to unwind, and a living roof brings nature onto the second level of the fire station. The texture and grain patterns of the wood are revealed by a charring process that renders the wood resistant to rot, insects and fire, and the blackened wood contrasts with the bright green of the living roof.
As Cedar Rapids and Marion marked the anniversary of the derecho, Trees Forever honored “survivor trees” with bright green ribbons. This tree, large enough that it would take two or three people to encircle it, provided a shady patch of grass to meet with friends last summer, and is one that stood tall through the storm.