Return to Nicholas Johnson's Main Web Site

Return to Nicholas Johnson's Coralville Rain Forest Web Site

Rain Forest Timeline

By Steve Nicoles


December 8, 2005

[Note: This material is copyright by KCRG-TV9, and is reproduced here as a matter of "fair use" for non-commercial, educational purposes only. Any other use may require the prior approval http://www.kwwl.comof KCRG-TV9.]

(Coralville – KCRG) -- What a long strange ride it has been for the rain forest project. And after six years, it is still without a home.

In February 1999, Des Moines businessman Ted Townsend announced his Iowa Child project to Cedar Rapids. Des Moines’ city council was not interested.

In September 2000, Coralville leaders announced their interest in the project. They wanted the rain forest east of I-380 and north of I-80.

In December that year, Iowa Child chose the Coralville location.

In April 2001, Iowa Child named Dave Oman chief administrative officer. He still holds that position today.

In September of that year, the rain forest moved to its current planned site, south of I-80.

Then in November 2003, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley announced he had secured $50 million for the project.

In August this year, Coralville gave the rain forest project a four week deadline to meet requirements of a binding agreement. The deadline passed without any resolution.

Also in August the Environmental Project dropped its architect. A month later it hired Grimshaw Architects of London. They built the Eden Project in England.

Last month, the Environmental Project set its own demands for Coralville. Those were discussed Thursday morning, and there was no progress.

Next week the Coralville city council will begin discussing new options for the 20-30 acres of prime real estate.
The Environmental Project will also start talking to other communities interested in their project.