Grassroots effort takes shape in Cedar Rapids to revitalize Shakespeare Garden

Mary Jo Crane waters plants at the Shakespeare Garden in Ellis Park in Cedar Rapids on Monday. The garden was established in the 1920s. It has been damaged in recent years by the 2008 flood and the 2020 derecho. Now, a group of residents is working together to revitalize the garden. (Nick Rohlman/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — As a young mother decades ago, Sylvia Popelka would take her daughters to Shakespeare Garden to sit and have lunch. It was a place “lush with beauty” — filled with long, gorgeous flower beds, she recalled.

“It was just an amazingly beautiful place,” Popelka said.

Over time, she learned about the nearly 100-year-old garden’s history and the efforts that went into keeping it alive, and dove deeper into the works of iconic English playwright and poet William Shakespeare.

Comments: (319) 398-8494;

 Landscape Architecture    

Marissa PayneRead More