By late 2021, the dust had largely settled from the August 2020 derecho. Recovery was far from complete, but the community had transitioned to assessing and addressing long-term needs. For organizations that rely on grounds for programming, this meant finalizing cleanup and finally looking for a path forward. In December, the Community Foundation’s Disaster Recovery Fund distributed Nonprofit Recovery Grants to six such organizations whose costs were not covered by insurance or other fundraising.
Indian Creek Nature Center
“Sixty percent of Indian Creek Nature Center’s tree canopy was destroyed in the derecho, and nearly every signature event, program or activity at the Nature Center has a land component. But nature is resilient and there is hope. ICNC has committed to a four-year restoration timeline focused on clearing debris, making structures safe, reworking existing trails, and replanting ecologically and programmatically significant areas. Support from the Community Foundation will help to fund our derecho recovery work so we can maintain a healthy, sustainable forest.”
-John Myers, Executive Director
National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library
“This grant assisted in restoring the trees and landscape that are so important to the edifice and cultural ambience of the Czech Village and NewBo areas. The funding also provided us with an opportunity to develop a daffodil garden as part of a larger initiative to honor Holocaust victims. As we commemorate the 80th anniversary of the tragedy in Lidice, in what is now the Czech Republic, the enhanced landscaping will also serve as a memorial to our ancestors and the fight for democracy and freedom.”
-Dr. Cecilia Rokusek, President & CEO
Affordable Housing Network, Inc.
“Across AHNI’s entire Cedar Rapids property portfolio, the organization incurred more than $1 million in out-of-pocket costs from unreimbursed tree removal fees and insurance deductibles. An estimated 400 trees were lost. The Nonprofit Recovery Grant provided much-needed funds to assist in the recovery and restoration of the grounds across AHNI’s properties to help ensure not only safety, but also stability and community for tenants.”
-Mary Beth O’Neill, CEO
“The derecho destroyed four generations of growth at Brucemore in 45 minutes including over 450 trees. We will continue to recover, restore, and reconstruct this iconic estate in the decade to come for the benefit of the community, knowing that it will take a generation to return the estate’s nationally significant landscape and buildings to their full glory. This grant from the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation is a positive step in that ongoing work.”
-David Janssen, CEO
“Prospect Meadows was very fortunate and appreciative to receive this grant from the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. This funding will allow us to restore the warning track to its original state prior to the derecho. The lost warning track material was causing a safety problem for the players on several different fronts.”
-Jack Roeder, President/CEO
“Nearly all trees on the Camp Tanager property sustained heavy damage, and we had to completely remove over 100 mature trees in the immediate aftermath of the derecho. Volunteer crews spent over a week simply cleaning up debris and broken limbs from the ground after the storm. Professional crews came in later to clean up the challenging and dangerous damaged trees.”
-Donald Pirrie, Camp Tanager Director