All posts in “Community Engagement”

The Hill High Point

College Hill Partnership Update

March 2022

As we draw close to the 2022 annual meeting, we thought we should send out an update of the past year.

In 2022 the College Hill Partnership has worked on many projects that align with our mission. “College Hill Partnership (CHP) is a non-profit organization that serves as the leader in revitalization and promotion of the College Hill area, an urban neighborhood community. The scope of its mission includes promoting healthy neighborhood businesses and housing enhancement; strengthening collaboration and pride; developing public/private partnerships; and serving as an advocate for addressing area concerns.”

To name a few, we have worked closely with city staff to ensure the word got out about the College Hill Vision Plan and the data that was collected from the public, including many of you. We hope that the Imagine Hill Vision Plan will lead to meaningful zoning code changes. These changes will allow the Hill to provide a wide range of housing options, including the missing middle housing Cedar Falls so desperately needs and growth in our business district to improve the economic vibrancy of the Hill. In addition to new housing and business opportunities, the upcoming zoning code changes will continue to value the historical nature of our neighborhood district and work to stabilize the mix of owner-occupied homes and rental homes in our neighborhood.

This year we have also welcomed many new members to our board, including Hannah Crisman, Frank Darrah, Sam Blatt, and Angela Johnson. We look forward to their continued involvement in the CHP and the elections at the annual meeting to include additional new board members.

Throughout the year, as always, we co-hosted several College Hill clean-ups. We worked collaboratively with Green Iowa Americorps, Threehouse Collaborative Miseries, UNI NOW, and the City of Cedar Falls to successfully clean the Hill. Clean-ups help us care for the Hill during the high traffic times, including the start and end of school and holidays like Halloween. In addition to clean-ups, the College Hill Partnership, with the help of an economic development grant from the City of Cedar Falls, can hire a very part-time staff member to help clean and care for the Hill. Trevor Smith has been a loyal employee doing his best to help us keep the Hill tidied and collaborates with our beautification committee to work to keep the Hill watered and weeded.

Cold but very successful clean-up

Over the last few months, the CHP has used several new committees to push forward some of the initiatives from the CHP Board. For example, our “Light Up College Hill” committee has been doing a lot of research to bring an iconic public light display to the Hill. We know the importance of placemaking for a cohesive district, and the CHP Board believes that lighting could be a natural step forward to creating a welcoming entertainment district.

Our Seerley Park commitee received the great news that the City of Cedar Falls has committed to a $300,000 project to revitalize and renew the park. This committee is committed to improving the park’s aesthetics, working towards better accessibility of the park, and ensuring the historical elements of the neighborhood and park are kept. The committee is looking forward to raising funds to improve the park soon.

Our communication committee jump started a new program called Saturdays in Seerley which the CHP hosted neighbors in Seerley Park for free coffee and breakfast sweets. As a result, we were able to bring neighbors together, have conversations about the neighborhood, talk with elected officials, and discuss potential park improvements.

Saturdays In Seerley

Some other highlights of 2021-2022 have been:

  • Adding new tables to Pettersen Plaza thanks to the Friends of Pettersen Plaza and the Community Betterment Grant awarded to the CHP by the Cedar Falls Tourism and Travel Bureau
  • The first Illuminate Light Festival co-hosted with Dana Potter’s University class
  • UNI Homecoming Window Painting
  • 2022 Named the Year of College Hill by Mayor Rob Green

We are looking forward to a great new 2022-2023 year, where we plan to host many more events and continue to work towards a more inviting and revitalized College Hill District. Some upcoming events include:

Other things to watch out for in 2022-2023:

  • Parking lot improvements in the College Hill Business District
  • Invitation to share your time, talents, and treasures to support Seerley Park Improvements
  • Announcement about the College Hill Arts Festival
  • Additional improvements to Pettersen Plaza

We hope you will join us soon at one of our events or join in the fun of service by giving your time and talents to one of our committees or fundraising efforts.

August 2021 College Hill Parking Update

Here is what you need to know:

1. Parking changes which include paid lots are effective immediately

2. Both Lots, 22nd Street West (L shaped lot on behind Sidecar Coffee, Chad’s Pizza, and includes diagonal parking in lot North of Octopus) and 22nd St Street East South (Behind The Other Place) will require payment to park (through Park Smarter App, or Kiosk)

3. If you are interested in purchasing a parking pass (this pass can only be used for 22nd Street East South Lot) you can do so here:

4.  There will still be “Free” Parking (15 minute, 1 hour, 2 hour, & day parking on the Hill).  This includes alternating street parking (which is all day), street parking (on College, W 22nd, & W 23rd, and parking lot parking.  Those lots are 22nd Street East North (2 hour), 23rd Street East (1 Hour), 20th Street East (2 Hour). 

Are you looking for more long term options?

Check out the Parking Permit Option for Lot 22nd Street East South. Parking Permits cost $35/month (as of 8/5/2021) and can be purchased by going to (Instructions on how to purchase are shown above.)

Or know that there will still be FREE (2+ Hour) street parking on the bordering streets of the Hill. We just encourage you to check signage before you park as many times there are alternating days.

To learn more about the pay by visit method & how to uses Park Smarter App:

Check out brochure above or head to To download the Park Smarter App head to the Apple Store, Google Play Store, or

Remember if you are going to be using the Smart Park App, or Kiosk you will need to know:

  • Your license plate number
  • Enforcement of all parking on and near the Hill is enforced Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm
  • You can use pay stations or download the Park Smarter App to your smart device

For more information about parking system please check out Please note there have also been changes to the parking system in the Downtown District. For more information about parking changes there head to

Have feedback or opinions on the new parking system? We’d love to hear them. Head to our feedback form ( and submit either with our name or without to pass along your feedback to the College Hill Partnership Board of Directors and our partners at the City of Cedar Falls.

Draft Of Imagine College Hill Vision Plan Ready for Public Feedback

The Draft Imagine College Hill Vision Plan is ready to review! Based on extensive public input gathered over the last nine months, including the Public Kick-Off events, numerous focus group discussions and interviews with community stakeholders, and the week-long Virtual Design Charrette the City held this past October, the plan will provide a framework for future growth and development on College Hill and nearby neighborhoods. All members of the public are welcome to download and review the draft.
We encourage you to review the plan by going to the draft College Hill Vision Plan and watching the presentation and downloading the pdf.  After you have time to review the draft vision plan we hope you will take some time to fill out the survey which also can be found here College Hill Draft Vision Plan.
Please feel free to reach out to the CHP with any questions or comments!
Thank you all for everything you do for the Hill and your continued support in making our community a better place to live work and play.

Conversations about the feedback about the current draft will start at the Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting on March 10th at 5:30pm.

Details on how to participate can be found HERE.  If you were unable to comment via survey you can still communicate your feedback to the planner heading up the project Michelle Pezley.  Click HERE to send her an email.


Pettersen Plaza Expansion & Olive Street Box Culvert

The City of Cedar Falls is looking for feedback from you on an upcoming project regarding the Olive Street Culvert.  They are hoping you will review the video and provide feedback on the worksheet (via email) both can be located on the website below.  This project is a large improvement for the College Hill District.  We hope you will take time to provide your opinions on this project as we want this project to serve all in our neighborhood.
Learn more and provide feedback about the Pettersen Plaza Expansion Project/ Olive Street Culvert
Stay up to date with the entire process by liking the Olive Street Box Culvert Facebook Page

Olive Street

Find information about Olive Street Construction here.

Virtual Public Information Meeting

Open January 4, 2021 – January 18, 2021

The City of Cedar Falls is conducting a Virtual Public Information Meeting to obtain information for the Olive Street Box Culvert Project and to present initial alternatives that are being considered. This project is located on Olive Street between W. 20th Street and W. 21st Street in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and includes the extension of the Pettersen Plaza.

All interested persons are invited to view the virtual presentation and submit their feedback or questions via e-mail, phone, or by mail by January 18, 2021.

View the Public Information Meeting here:

Submit your comments or questions:

If you have any questions or comments regarding the meeting, please notify the Cedar Falls Engineering Division at (319) 268-5161 or complete a comment sheet: Olive Street Comment Sheet (Pdf)  Olive Street Comment Sheet (Word) and email it to

Stay updated throughout the meeting process by finding us on Facebook at

OUR CEDAR FALLS IMAGINE COLLEGE HILL – Virtual Design Charrette Oct 3rd-8th


We hope you will join us for Imagine College Hill Charrette Week Oct 3rd – 8th.


What is the Virtual Design Charrette?

A virtual community design charrette focuses on the College Hill area and surrounding neighborhoods. Events will take place on-line, beginning with a Hands-On Visioning session on Saturday morning and wrapping-up with a Work-in Progress presentation the following week.

There will be several other opportunities for public involvement via the web, including daily studio updates, topical presentations, questions and surveys, and opportunities to virtually “drop-in” to the studio to talk with members of the design team. All are encouraged to participate. This effort will lead to a new College Hill Vision Plan, followed by updates to the zoning code for the area.

How Do I Participate?

Check for more details and the weblink for each virtual activity.

Important Dates:

  • October 3: 9:00 am – 11:00 am. The week will start with a virtual Hands-on Community Design Workshop on Saturday morning. Participate from the comfort of your own home (or any other location you choose with an internet connection!) City residents will gather virtually to share their ideas about the future of College Hill. The workshop will include on-line facilitated small group discussions. People will share their aspirations for the future — using words and images to discuss topics like urban design; walkability; character and scale of new buildings; areas for change; and areas for protection. Facebook EVENT – With Zoom Information
  • October 5: 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm; October 7, Noon – 1:00 pm. Virtual Design Studio. “Drop” by at scheduled times to chat with the design team!! The design team will work remotely all week, building on the ideas from the Hands-On Community Design Workshop, exploring and testing options, getting feedback, and creating drawings and visualizations to help us imagine the future of College Hill and surrounding neighborhoods. The studio will be “open” at several times during the week and you are welcome to “stop by” and ask questions about the teams work.  October 5th Facebook Event – With Zoom Information, October 7th Facebook Event – With Zoom Information
  • October 14: 5:30 pm. Wednesday evening, Charrette Week activities will conclude with a “Work-in-Progress” presentation during the Planning Commission meeting. The design team will share the preliminary work on the College Hill Vision Plan. Facebook Event- With Zoom Information

Why is this important?


Because you want…

  • a vibrant neighborhood center that provides a wide variety of goods, services, and activities for students and the larger community;
  • the edges of College Hill to transition to your neighborhoods in a positive way;
  • walkable neighborhoods with a variety of housing types for people of all ages;
  • your children to inherit a Cedar Falls that is a great place to live, work, and play;
  • a community that is designed to manage the growth pressures of today and tomorrow,
  • a chance to express your opinions on College Hill and future developments.
We hope you will join us for this exciting event to help shape the future of College Hill.  Again, for more details head over to And if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us at

Guest Blog: UNI Fraternity & Sorority Life

FSL Overview:
Fraternity & Sorority life provides UNI students with meaningful student engagement experiences, develops leadership skills and contributes to student learning. The Greek community promotes living by the four pillars which untie all Greek-letter organizations: Scholarship, Leadership, Service and Friendship.
We are seeking leaders, doers and creators to join our organizations. If that’s you or you know of someone, complete an interest or referral form at or register for recruitment!
Check out our promotional video:
For more information about UNI Fraternity & Sorority Life:
Instagram @UNIFSL (
Facebook @UNIFSL (
Heading to UNI this Fall?  Check out the UNIFSL Quick Guide to life in Cedar Falls (check out the highlighted businesses on College Hill).

We love having guest bloggers to highlight elements of our community & neighborhood.  Our friends at UNI Fraternity and Sorority Life provided us with some information about their programming and highlighted some College Hill Businesses.  Big thank you to Taberie Van Boening for this information. If you would like to be a guest blogger (please reach out to us at