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Redmond Park Adds StoryWalk® to Enhance Literacy and Wellness with H&R Block’s Make Every Block Better Grant

3 min read

3 min read

June 13, 2023

H&R Block

H&R Block and Nextdoor have partnered to Make Every Block Better in communities across the United States. Now in its third year, the partnership allows community members to nominate projects that uplift and improve their neighborhood and give people a place to connect. Read below to learn how Make Every Block Better funds made an impact in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and visit the partnership website to learn about the 30 other projects spanning the nation.


Located in the heart of the Wellington Heights neighborhood, Redmond Park is a natural meeting point for neighbors to connect with each other. Wellington Heights is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, encompassing some of the highest- and lowest-income residents.

Project nominator Norah Hammond applied for a Make Ever Block Better grant to add a StoryWalk® to help promote literacy, exercise, family and community building, being outdoors and enjoying nature while taking advantage of the City’s other great parks and recreation amenities at Redmond Park.

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vt., and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in 2007. The concept has now reached all 50 states and at least 12 countries across the globe.

“The ability to connect our neighborhood with resources at events like this where people can come together to meet, learn about each other and neighbor is a big part of what the Association is about,” said Eric Gutschmidt, Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association Board President. “We are excited to bring this great feature to Redmond for all to enjoy. The walk adds so much value to the park experience and the neighborhood in general.”

Volunteers were invited to a neighborhood clean-up to ensure the park was in spectacular shape before the StoryWalk® launch ceremony which featured remarks by Cedar Rapids Mayor Tiffany O’Donnell followed by activities hosted by Cedar Rapids Public Library, the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission, Reading into Success, Therapy Dogs International, Neighborhood Finance, His Hands Free Clinic and more organizations and nonprofits.

“Through our Make Every Block Better program we’re dedicated to improving the spaces and places where neighbors connect. Engaged residents and community members like those who serve on the Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association play an important role in building connections for neighbors and we’re honored to support their work,” said Jen Houston, Senior Manager of Community Impact, H&R Block. “This StoryWalk® Project fosters a spirit of learning while helping families stay active as they connect and enjoy Redmond Park.”

Later this summer, the neighborhood association will host an Art in the Park event on Sunday, July 30 at Redmond Park.

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