Official Blog

College Hill Partnership

Welcome to the official blog of College Hill Partnership! Follow along to stay up-to-date with the latest from College Hill!

The Beauty of Seerley Boulevard, Cedar Falls Iowa

The Beauty of Seerley Boulevard, Cedar Falls Iowa

Guest Blogger: Sabine Martin

Each May, Seerley Boulevard offers a breathtaking view of vibrant pink blossoms five blocks long, from Olive Street to Clay Street, but, these iconic crabapple trees have not always been part of the landscape.   In the first decades of the 1900s, Cedar Falls looked very different from what it is now. A trolley system ran through Cedar Falls streets as the main public transportation. The tracks ran south from downtown on Main, west on Seerley to campus, north on College Street, east on 18th Street and north on Walnut Street. The trolley service ended in Cedar Falls in 1941, and it was replaced by buses.   On Seerley Boulevard, which was called 24th Street before it was renamed in 1943 after UNI’s second president, what used to be trolley tracks left a median strip in the middle. But city officials were not quite sure what to do with it. In 1948, the median strip was narrowed to make lanes on Seerley wider for buses.   In 1954, there were petitions to widen Seerley even more and “hard surface the grassy strip between Olive and Walnut” for more parking, according to the Waterloo Daily Courier on March 7, 1954.   But two citizens objected to paving over the boulevard’s grassy strip, and instead suggested that the city widen the street four more feet on each side for parking. That idea won, and the grassy median strips remained.   By the early 1960s, flowering crabapple trees were added to the grassy median, creating a stunning display each springtime. According to a Waterloo Courier story from 2008, “The project wasn’t the easiest to do, as they had to dig down through old cinders from the rail line.”   Norm and Mimi Zischke have lived on Seerley Boulevard for 53 years and are very familiar with the crabapple trees. “They were much prettier when we first moved here in 1965 because they were fuller and in their prime of life. The bloom was more profuse,” Norm said. “There were street lights all along Seerley Boulevard with a big cast iron base and a globe that was enchanting. You would come home at night, and Seerley Boulevard would welcome you.”   The old street lights are gone, but the flowering crabapples still remain. “The crabapple trees are about at the end of their life. They have been trimming them for a long time. I think that they are beautiful for one, maximum two weeks, but then the other 50 weeks they look awful,” Zischke said.   Nevertheless the city of Cedar Falls is still maintaining the crabapple tree tradition.   “The city prunes the trees as necessary and will replace them if they die,” said Mark Ripplinger, Director of Municipal Operations and Programs of Cedar Falls.   (Map Courtesy of Cedar Falls Historical Society)        

Comedy & Cookies on College Hill: Guest Blogger Matty J

Comedy and Cookies on College Hill

Guest Blogger: Matty J

Hey College Hill! It’s your Local Stand Up Comic Matty J I’m going to be a guide on the amazing choices of food and live stand up comedy that College Hill brings to you monthly. Our first featured comic this month is Liberty Belle Who can be seen at the Octopus, Chads Pizza, and The Library. She’s been heavily involved in the comedy scene for over Two years Liberty Belle not only does stand up comedy but she produces her own shows and is responsible for almost all internet flyers for local shows. Insomnia cookies... Cedar Falls very own Local Comic Liberty Belle Telephoned a delivery Order from Insomnia cookies... Wait did you just say they Deliver Cookies!!?! Amazing Right? She reported that “the ordering was superb, staff fantastic on phone and take care of business. Obviously not the best cookies in the world because they’re not your Grandma’s but good cookies. Highly recommend white chocolate macadamia cookie. Almost better the second day. The moose track ice cream was a surprise. Super good. Creamy, not too hard, not to soft. Get the quart, you won’t regret it.” Catch Liberty Belle June 22nd at the The Library on the Hill in Cedar Falls @9pm Featuring southwestern Iowa comic Tiffany Buehneman.    

College Hill Farmers Market 2018 Season KICK OFF

Join us for Opening Day of the College Hill

Farmers Market on Thursday, June 7th from 4-6pm.  


Vendors at the market will offer seasonal produce, fresh herbs, flowers, healthy snacks, fresh bread and much more. Enjoy live music from Octopus Lounge, purchase hot foods from LaCalle, support the rain barrel art project (From 3pm-8pm on College Street from West 22nd Street to West 23rd) hosted by Americorps, enjoy face painting from the Hearst Center and more . This special market event will take place on College Street.

Various payments including EBT and FMNP vouchers are accepted. For updates about the College Hill Farmers Market like/follow them on Facebook at College Hill Farmers Market and Instagram/Twitter (@Collegehillfm)Want to express your creative side, for a good cause? Volunteer to paint a rain barrel!

DETAILS on Rain Barrel Painting:

AmeriCorps is hosting a rain barrel auction in June, but we want more than a boring, blue, barrel, blech! We're looking for artists to volunteer their time to paint a rain barrel to make it unique and decorative! During the first College Hill Farmer's Market, with speakers, La Calle, face painting, activity booths, and cornhole games! Watch artists paint the barrels live, along all of College Hill. Homeowners will bid on the painted rain barrels during the week of College Hill Arts Festival (June 11th - June 17th), and the proceeds will go towards paying for barrels, converter kits, and helping AmeriCorps fund more conservation programming. For more info head over to the AmeriCorps Event on Facebook


40th Anniversary of College Hill Arts Festival — June 15-16th

40th Annual College Hill Arts Festival

Head to the Hill for the 40th Anniversary of the College Hill Arts Festival on the corner of College Street and West 23rd Street in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  June 15th and 16th view artwork from 75 Artists.  Artists come from far and wide to display their ceramics, fibers, glassware, graphics, jewelry, paintings,  sculptures, and more.  Special performances on Saturday by Eulenspiegel Puppets and new preforming artists including a Mariachi band. To Celebrate the anniversary the College Hill Arts Festival will be holding two drawings for multiple $40 gift certificates. June 15th 5pm: Drawing for fifteen $40 gift certificates June 16th 12pm: Drawing for twenty-five $40 gift certificates Local favorite La Calle Food Truck will be present along with many other local food vendors, and community clubs serving delicous foods.  Make a day out of heading up to the Hill and enjoy everything from a cup of Sidecar Coffee in the morning to all of the night life College Hill has to offer. Check out the amazing selection of beers at our local bars such as Octopus, The Library, and Social House.  Want to rest your feet?  Take a break and grab something to eat in the newly rennovated Other Place or grab a smoothie to go at the NEW Smoothie Bar, The Shakery. (Art Work by Gary Kelley) For more information including all artists attending please head to the College Hill Arts Festival's Website. We hope to see you at the 40th Annual College Hill Arts Fesvial June 15th-16th. Times for CHAF: June 15th 12-8 pm June 16th: 10-5 pm