On August 10, 2020, a "derecho" devastated the tree canopy of Cedar Rapids and damaged several trees in the Market Yard beyond repair.
After these trees were removed, Friend of the Market David Maier, and his husband Matthew McGrane, donated their replacements so that NewBo City Market's outdoor activities would continue to be shaded for years to come.
"Tree equity is something that I became aware of and have become passionate about since the storm," David said. "We wanted to be able to help replant the trees as signal to the community that we're moving forward and looking to the future of Cedar Rapids. We can all do our share to help the city get back on its feet."
David and Matthew have replaced trees in several other areas of Cedar Rapids, including the Wellington Heights neighborhood, which neighbors the couple's home on the southeast side.
David and Matthew moved to Cedar Rapids from Chicago nearly three years ago. After searching for homes in Michigan and Wisconsin, they landed in Iowa, where Matthew is originally from.
"We just love it here," David said. "Since moving to Cedar Rapids, I feel that the Market is really a gathering place for the community to come together. It's a cultural hub for our city that's accessible to everyone. There's no entrance fee and there's a variety of offerings or events that cater to everyone. I really like how, recently, there have been a lot more multicultural events at the Market."
Not only have David and Matthew donated trees, they have also generously donated funds specifically to The Hatchery, an entrepreneurial development program and expansion of the Market's Business Incubator.
The Hatchery helps underserved residents of the community who want to start a food or retail business by reducing barriers to entry and giving them the tools and knowledge with which to thrive.
"That's something that we've specifically given to because it's really helping underserved entrepreneurs that may not have had mentorship, coaching or opportunities," David said. "The Market is giving them that chance."
"My husband and I are very supportive of the business incubator because it's great to see small startups that may not otherwise be able to afford this neighborhood, or have the guidance that the the Market provides," David said.
As a nonprofit business incubator NewBo City Market thrives with the help of generous donors like David and Matthew. Help the Market continue its mission as a small business incubator and community gathering place by becoming a Friend of the Market today.