Cedar Rapids Zoo Project Deserves Public's Support

Robert Bates

The Gazette

April 8, 2005

    After encountering resistance from all levels of government and local media outlets to putting forth this idea for response, I ask the public to support a major addition and overhaul of the southeast side of our city.

    The idea is America’s Indoor/Outdoor Educational Zoo. Educational because we have a solid educational foundation with IMAX, Science Station, History Museum, African American Historical Museum, etc. Indoor/outdoor because we enjoy the winter season.

    Five continental areas would be represented: Czech for the community it’s in, African, Oriental, Australian and North Ice Cap (of which we’re losing more).

    The zoo would be developed on Mount Trashmore, and the project would go the other way to 12th Avenue, where Iowa’s first oasis restaurant would attach across the street to a 12- to 16-story hotel. To the east, in an open lot on Fifth Street, put a strip mall.

    Another addition would be on Otis Road by the roller dam. Shore up a wall with piers for fishing above and below the repaired dam, with camping below and the bike running path through the park area and beyond.

    This idea creates jobs; is a tourist destination; anchors the Technology Corridor; creates a package for the Amanas, Cedar Rapids and Coralville entertainment; and goes hand-in-hand with the Iowa Child project. America’s Zoo would include wildlife and its future with civilization’s growth.

    It’s time we tell the leaders what’s needed and leave no age group behind in the plan.

    Some of the property in this plan is city-owned. Tell the leaders ‘‘Don’t be scared; take a chance for all.’’

    Robert Bates

    Cedar Rapids