The plantings at the Kirkwood/Highway 30 exit were originally envisioned as a “bookend” to the project in Hiawatha. Former Kirkwood landscape design student, Diane Hoefer, created the Kirkwood layout as an honors project. Native plant species for the site were selected with three criteria in mind: (1) less mowing needed, (2) road salt tolerance, and (3) the ability to maintain original sightlines.
Under requirements of the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT), applications for grants must be made by a public body. For the Boyson project, the application was made by the City of Hiawatha. On Oct. 12, 2010, the Cedar Rapids City Council formally approved the Kirkwood exit planning and application.
The IDOT grant program is a wonderful example of public/private partnership. Future maintenance costs will be the responsibility of Eye 380 supporters. There are roadside improvement programs in Iowa for both small and large communities.
Originally laid out as 5 specific beds designed in an “eye” formation, each bed was planted with Dart’s Gold Ninebark, Porcupine Grass, Eastern Red Cedar, Bur Oak, Redtwig Dogwood, and Vanhoutte Spirea. Because of poor drainage and soil conditions discovered after planting, 2 of the “eye” beds were eliminated from the site. Additionally, the Bur Oak trees were replaced with Swamp White Oak trees.