About Ely


Ely, Iowa (pop: 2,074) is a progressive community located in the thriving Cedar Rapids/Iowa City corridor. Ely has been welcoming new citizens to its neighborhoods in record numbers and the city has undergone tremendous growth over the last couple decades. Even with the influx of new residents, the community has not forgotten its past. Many of the historical buildings are still standing in Ely’s historic Dows Street business district and City Hall’s residence at the old Ely School House. Both areas are included on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.



Ely is located in the College Community School district. Students attend any of the five elementary schools in the Prairie Community School System. Students in middle school and high school attend Prairie Middle School and Prairie High School.

With three private four-year colleges, several universities and technical colleges, and an outstanding two-year community college, advanced education carries a high profile in our education structure. Four-year private colleges nearby such as CoeMount Mercy, and Cornell provide outstanding achievements in higher education. The Cedar Rapids campus of Kirkwood College provide a variety of two-year degree programs.

Big Ten academics thrive just 20 miles south of Ely at the University of Iowa, home of the Hawkeyes. The University of Iowa is a major public research university with a long-standing commitment to teaching, research, and service. About 25,000 undergraduates and 9,000 graduate and professional students are enrolled in the University’s 11 colleges. The university also has one of the most extensive arts campuses in the country. Performances and exhibitions by world-class artists, along with year-round conferences, lectures, and Big Ten athletics, attract more than a million visitors to the campus each year.


Fall Fest

The city of Ely offers Fall Fest, an annual festival held all throughout the town. The festival typically takes place in late September-early October. Fall Fest offers a variety of activities from a 5k race to a car show and a whole host of other family-friendly events.



The town features 4 parks – Community Center Park, Ely City Park, Schulte Park, & Vavra Park – each offering various recreational activities.

Community Center Park

Located right outside of Ely City Hall, Community Center Park features a playground, tennis court, and single-hoop basketball court.

Ely City Park

Recreational opportunities are numerous at Ely City Park. The park features an entrance to the 2.7-mile-long Hoover Trail, which stretches from Ely to Cedar Rapids. Visitors can fish the Ely Pond found within the parks boundaries. The park is a central location for Ely’s recreation leagues, including baseball, flag football, and soccer for the local youth.

Schulte Park

The George Reyhons Pavilion sits in the park and is equipped with picnic tables, counter space, a grill for charcoal cooking, electricity, lighting, restroom, playground, and open space for games or parking.  The pavilion may be rented through City Hall.

Vavra Park

Nestled quietly off the west side of Vavra Drive.