Your Connection to Healthy Living!

A guide to local Energy Conservation, Recycling, Gardens, Lawns, Native Plants, Environmental Quality: Air, Water, Soil, Habitat, Natural Areas, Local Green Organizations, Local Food and Dining, Transportation, Renewable Energy Information / Products / Installation, and Publications (all area codes 319 unless otherwise listed).

Energy Conservation

Cedar Falls Utilities


  Free Energy Audits: 268-5355
Rebates on Energy Star appliances, heating and cooling systems: 268-5359
Change a Light rebates on compact fluorescent bulbs purchased from local businesses: 266-1761


Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE)


  Sponsors programs, speakers, and workshops on implementing renewable energy and conservation; engaging educators in environmental and energy education; and partnering with community organizations, businesses and local governments to increase the quality of life while reducing a community's ecological footprint.




Cedar Falls Recycling / Transfer Station / Yard Waste / Compost


  Lists all materials accepted plus regulations on large items and yard waste. Ask about free compost and wood chip mulch.


Remote Recycling Sites:

  College Square Mall, south parking lot bins
Walmart on Brandilynn Boulevard, southeast parking lot
Panther Parkway on UNI Campus
Fareway at Thunder Ridge
Wind Grace Community off south Main Street


UNI Campus Recycling Substation


  Accepts recyclables in bins on UNI campus; students assist with maintenance.


City Carton (Private Recycling Business)


  Recycles all grades of paper and cardboard; markets plastics, glass and tin; destroys documents; supplies recycling equipment.




  Post usable items to give away to others; in return you may also request items you want from site.


Hazardous Materials Collection


  Each September, residents can bring hazardous materials to the CFU Energy Fair for proper disposal and to get information on energy saving strategies and products.


Iowa Waste Reduction Center


  Provides free, confidential, environmental assistance to small businesses in Iowa and conducts applied research on recycling waste products.


Recycling and Reuse Technology Transfer Center


  Works with Iowa business and industry sectors to promote recycling activities.


WasteTrac Recycling Education


  Programs for schools and the community on all aspects of recycling, reusing, worm composting, and more.


Gardens, Lawns, Native Plants

Cedar Falls Trees
A volunteer organization funded by CFU that offers planting grants for energy-saving shade trees through local nurseries. Anyone planting a tree on property with CFU electrical services is eligible. Forty percent off the retail cost of the trees, up to a maximum of $100 per family/ year, is covered.

Craig Ritland Landscape Design

Incorporates native plants into landscape designs.

 Dick Young Greenhouse

This is a county-wide, integrated community/school garden resource center with an experienced horticulturist and volunteer staff located at George Washington Carver Academy Middle School in Waterloo. Programs are under development.

Enviro One Lawn Care

Provides individual consultation about residential and commercial lawns to find healthy solutions using mineral-based fertilizer and their own brand of Iowa Grown Compost for use on lawns or gardens.

 Enviro Pest Solutions

Eco-Smart botanicals, organic pest control, low-impact growth regulators.

 Garden Information, ISU Extension

Master Gardener and Master Conservationist Programs

Green Scene Plant Sale (May) and Seminar (March)

Non-profit, volunteer organization providing trees for public areas in Black Hawk County and educating the public about trees and horticulture.

Jordan's Nursery

Organic lawn care products and instructions (e.g. corn gluten pre-emergent weed control, Milorganite, Turf Tone).

Tallgrass Prairie Center
(273-7957 / 273-2813,

Advocates, researches, educates, and grows seeds for restoration of native vegetation in rights of way and other lands.

 Wapsie Pines Organic Lawn Care

A full range of lawn care and landscaping, mowing, shrub and tree grooming, organic products for pest and weed control.

Yards for Kids

A project of the Center for Energy and Environmental Education aimed at reducing toxic chemicals on our lawns, preserving our wetlands, and encouraging edible landscaping.

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Environmental Quality: Air, Water, Soil, Habitat

Black Hawk County Board of Health

Oversees delivery of services and makes policies in public safety, public health, human services and administration.

Black Hawk County Solid Waste Management Commission

Manages the landfill at 657 Reserve Drive, Cedar Falls

Environmental Health Working Group
(Christine Carpenter, 266-0194,

This group, networking through CEEE, seeks to build community awareness of environmental toxins, organize a coalition to address these problems, and identify and implement “upstream” action strategies.

 Materials Innovation Service

Analyzes, tests, and consults with industries to make best use of by-products.


Natural Areas

Black Hawk County Conservation Board

Manages maintenance and public use of parks, trails, and wetlands including (visit web site for maps and directions):

        Black Hawk Park
        Hickory Hills
        McFarlane Park
        Cedar Valley Nature Trail
        Rotary Lodge
        Beaver Valley Wetlands
        Access to Rivers

Cedar Hills Sand Prairie

Offers diverse habitats from dry sand prairie to fen with native plants and wildlife.

 Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

Local arboretum providing educational, social, and volunteer opportunities in different areas; accessible to persons with physical handicaps.

 George Wyth Memorial State Park

Located on the Cedar River, wooded areas and four lakes provide boating, fishing, birding, camping, hiking and biking trails, picnicking and shelters.

Hartman Reserve Nature Center

A Nature Center providing youth and family outdoor programs throughout the year including maple syrup making, fishing, canoeing, snowshoe rental; facility can be rented for parties.


Local Green Organizations

Bike Tech Group Ride

Trained cyclists ride together for a real workout. Local rides of 1-1 1/2 hours, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6:10 p.m., riding at speeds of 14-20 mph. Expectations, rules on the web site.      

Cedar Falls Trail Patrol

Volunteer organization to help keep our bicycle trails safe and beautiful.

 Cedar River Festival Group

Volunteers have fun with music and food while spending a weekend cleaning debris out of the Cedar River. Their goal is to remove the river from the impaired waterways list.

 Cedar Trails Partnership

Advocacy group for the local Cedar Valley Trail system. Hosts an annual 4-day Cedar Trails Festival in August with Senior Trail Tram, Bike Rodeo and Candlelight Ride.

 Cedar Valley Paddlers
(231-0541, Download Map)

You can join with other kayakers and canoeists to learn the art, plan trips, and experience our lakes and river trails.

Cool Congregations

Any church can participate to learn strategies for reducing global warming one family at a time and encourage energy conservation in our communities. They are affiliated with Iowa Interfaith Power and Light.

 Green Thumbs of Black Hawk County
(269-4341 or 232-2703)

Make friends, share gardening knowledge, hear guest speakers, enjoy field trips, promote and protect horticulture and wildlife

 Iowa Native Plant Society

A forum for native plant enthusiasts.

Iowa Prairie Network

Non-profit, grass-roots, volunteer organization that sponsors numerous field trips across the state.

Prairie Rapids Audubon Society

Meets the second Tuesday each month featuring programs with speakers and refreshments, bird outings, field trips.

Sierra Club, Cedar Prairie Group

Meets monthly for speakers, outings, community volunteering, political action, and service projects.


Local Food and Dining

Buy Fresh Buy Local (CEEE)
(Farmers Markets and Community Supported Agriculture, 273-7883,

Download the most recent “Buy Fresh, Buy Local" Directory

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Bike Tech

Locally owned shop for bikes, repairs, bike route maps, clothing, equipment, connections with other bikers, and trail patrol volunteers. 

Europe Cycle & Ski

Locally owned shop for bike, bike repairs, rental of downhill and cross county skis and boots, clothing.  

 Bike Routes

Download local trail maps or pick one up! Maps available at City Hall, Chamber of Commerce, Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Center, Bike Tech, and Europa Cycle & Ski.

Bus Routes (Metropolitan Transit and Para-transit)
(234-5714, for routes & schedules)


Renewable Energy Information / Products / Installation

Dalton Plumbing, Heating& Cooling

Provider of geothermal systems, on-demand water heaters, solar thermal water systems (domestic hot water), heat pumps, Energy Star furnaces and boilers.

I-Renew (Iowa Renewable Energy Association)


Provides online directory of professional consultants and installers in many renewable energy sectors, annual I-Renew Energy and Sustainability Expo in September, and workshops on installing small scale solar hot water, solar PV, and wind systems.

 Natural Solutions

Provider of solar PV systems, small wind turbines, solar light tubes, solar hot water systems.

 “Skystream” wind turbine consultant
(Jim Hasty, 984-9115)

Jim Hasty installed a wind turbine at his home and will share about care and maintenance.

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The Iowan Magazine

This magazine features an annual tribute to Iowa's great outdoors and parks and other interesting sites to visit.

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

A member-supported organization whose priorities include permanent land protection, promotion of improved land management, and bringing new conservation ideas and opportunities to Iowa. Can subscribe to monthly publication.

Iowa Outdoors

Iowa Department of Natural Resources' Magazine of conservation and recreation.


A monthly guide to improving you health through natural foods, products, resources, and services of Western Illinois and Eastern Iowa.

Edible Iowa River Valley

Quarterly magazine celebrating an abundance of local foods.