While Link CCD is a Christian Community Development nonprofit committed to the flourishing of Iowa’s Cedar Valley (Waterloo, Cedar Falls, and surrounding towns), it has a specific geographic base, the Walnut Neighborhood of Waterloo, out of which focus and strategies are applied toward neighborhood development.
History & Location
The Walnut Neighborhood is in a historic section of East Waterloo, IA, approximately four-square blocks bordering on the northeast edge of Downtown Waterloo. The boundaries are Franklin Street, E. 4th St., Dane Street and Highway 63. There are approximately 85 homes, many dating back to the turn of the 20th century. The architectural mixture is large Victorian houses and smaller two story and single story houses intermixed within large spans of now vacant lots. Walnut Court Apartments, a grand structure with over ninety senior residents, was built in the 1920’s and remains a pillar in the neighborhood. Along with neighbors who live in Walnut, there are many positive nonprofits, businesses, and churches who add to the charm and promise of the neighborhood.
WALNUT NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
Today, the Walnut Neighborhood remains a vital Waterloo neighborhood with an active neighborhood association. The Walnut Neighborhood Association meets monthly from April through December on the first Thursday of each month from 6 to 7 p.m. in the neighborhood at Harvest Vineyard Church, 715 E. 4th St., Waterloo. Goals of WNA include:
1. Introducing and cultivating positive relationships among Walnut neighbors. Having good neighbors begins with being a good neighbor. The WNA works to the end of strengthening our commitment to being good neighbors to one another.
2. Engaging neighbors toward collective action through asset-based community development (what bright spots exist? What beauty and gifts can we build from to strengthen our neighborhood?) and mutuality (we all have gifts and resources to offer and needs to be addressed).
3. Staying connected with the City of Waterloo by sharing news, information, needs, and opportunities that will strengthen both our neighborhood and our community as a whole. This includes safety, street work, economic development, events, ways to serve, policies, etc. We do this by inviting Walnut residents and partners, Ward 4 City Council representatives, police officers, the Waterloo Neighborhood Coalition Coordinator, and other agency reps to monthly meetings.
Despite the fact that many historic homes of the neighborhood have been demolished within the past two decades due to decay, there are still many amazing assets and contributors in the Walnut Neighborhood.