Greene Square’s Honeymoon May Be Over
Greene Square (formerly known as Greene Square Park) in downtown Cedar Rapids was revamped after the 2008 flood, turning it into a beautiful spot to enjoy the splash pad, take in the gorgeous surroundings over your lunch, or just hang out and read a good book.
Things are apparently changing in and around Greene Square after a very short grace period. When the park reopened in 2016, many thought that it was yet another overdone waste of money. It appears some of their worries may be coming to fruition.
In May alone, the Gazette reports that the Cedar Rapids police have responded to at least five different violent or semi-violent confrontations in or near Greene Square, including an incident that made its way into the library across the street. On May 7, a brawl ensued between a group of teenagers. One female was charged with interfering with official acts, and a miscellaneous weapons charge was levied against a male with a BB gun.
City council member Dale Todd has submitted a report with recommendations to nip these growing concerns in the bud. They include installing more security cameras and clearer signs outlining the rules of the park. Another recommendation is to keep food trucks, yoga classes and other such public programs and events in place surrounding Greene Square more often for socialization purposes. The idea is, more people in the park in general will keep the bad ones away. Todd also suggested offering more seasonal maintenance and cleanup employment opportunities for teenagers in the park to keep them productive.
It's a start. Whatever can be done to keep Greene Square safe and fun for everyone should be considered.