Iowa State Fair
August 2020 Newsletter
Keep Iowa Beautiful and the Iowa State Fair
In 2001— one year after the founding of Keep Iowa Beautiful by former Governor Robert Ray and Casey’s Founder and Chairman Donald F. Lamberti— an idea was presented to the Iowa State Fair to make it the “cleanest” in the United States.  

Inspired by the cleanliness of the Disney parks, the “OK Crew” was established at the State Fair.  Each year, the Fair hires 20-24 people to pick up litter. KIB provided some instruction and a free T-shirt. During the Fair, OK Crews of four walk the grounds with a grabber and plastic bucket picking up trash.

As the success of the partnership grew, the number of trash barrels was expanded and included “plastic wraps” that promoted KIB and a litter-free Fair.

In 2012, Keep Iowa Beautiful, Doll Distributing and Wee’s Tees & Athletic Apparel sponsored the Green Runners first Capitol to Corndogs litter pick up “run” from the State Capitol to the Iowa State Fair grounds. To learn more about the Green Runners, contact Rachel Scheib at
Virtual State Fair Photo Contest
We know you are missing the Iowa State Fair just as much as us, so we are bringing our Annual State Fair Photo Contest to YOU! Vote for your favorite photo from past Iowa State Fairs and you could be entered for a chance to win Robert D. Ray’s An Iowa Treasure—a collection of photos taken by the late former Governor. 

Participating is easy!
  1. Like and follow Keep Iowa Beautiful on Facebook.
  2. Watch for the State Fair Photo Contest launch on Friday, August 14th.
  3. “Like” your favorite photo.
  4. Those who “Like” the winning photo will be entered in a drawing to win An Iowa Treasure!
Dubuque Shows Their Solidarity
Dubuque’s newest downtown mural aims to evoke a spirit of change. Standing 28 feet tall and 105 feet wide, the mural titled “SOLIDARITY” features black, white, and brown fists featuring symbols that depict support for the LGBTQ+ community, human rights, mental health care, and persons with disabilities. 

Local artist Shelby Fry, the artistic director and designer of the mural, said it was inspired by the diverse crowds that have come together across the nation to protest in the wake of the death of a Black man, George Floyd, in the custody of Minneapolis police.  
If you're in the area and want to see this work in person, it's located on the Five Flags Center in Downtown Dubuque. 
Anamosa Gets Creative with Outdoor Seating for Restaurants
We love Anamosa’s creative solution for expanding outdoor seating for downtown restaurants struggling to serve their customers during the pandemic! Anamosa converted several parking spots in front of restaurants in to parklets—outdoor seating for local restaurants. 

Not only has this idea improved seating capacity for their local eateries, but with so many people taking advantage of the outdoors, it’s also helped invigorate Anamosa’s downtown!
Anamosa Parklet
New Virginia Mural
New Virginia is boasting a beautiful new mural thanks to local artist and designer, Ally Frame! New Virginia Hometown Pride worked with members in the community and the artist to commission a mural that captures the spirit of the town. 

A special thanks to Warren County Economic Development for offering this grant opportunity! A second mural— featuring more historical themes— is planned and in the design stages. Well done New Virginia!
New Virginia Mural
Cumming Water Tower
In an effort to draw more visitors to the town and beautify an existing structure for residents, Warren County Hometown Pride and Cumming Hometown Pride members have spent the last eight months creating a plan that has transformed the city's old water tower into a work of art—and a large one!

Artist Ben Schuh, known around Des Moines for his mural work, had never painted a water tower before, but he was up for the challenge! For more than a week, Schuh has spent hours each day on a lift propelling him into the air to paint the mural, which he said is 100 feet tall and 12 feet across.

Down the length of the water tower is the town's name followed by the depiction of a train that calls back to the town's history when a railroad ran through where a portion of the Great Western Trail now exists. An homage to the trail also has a place on the tower, where a square scene shows two bikers high-fiving. Another square honors the town's one-room schoolhouse, and a third depicts farmland.

The new water tower is a great attraction for both residents and visitors. Head to Cumming and check out this one-of-a-kind work of art today!
Cumming Water Tower
Cumming Water Tower
Cumming Water Tower
You Can Help Reduce Litter in Iowa
When you see litter happening on Iowa’s roadways, call 1-888-NOLITTR (1-888-665-4887) to report littering from a vehicle. Reported offenders will receive a warning letter from Keep Iowa Beautiful drawing attention to their offense. Send the message that people like you are watching.
Social Media Submissions
Keep Iowa Beautiful wants to share your community’s good news!
Are you proud of a completed project in your town? Do you want to show off a new mural in your downtown? Did you host a fun, exciting event for your community? We want to know about it!

Click on the button below to share short descriptions of events, projects, or news from your town! You can include pictures and captions as well. Keep Iowa Beautiful will share your post on our social media!
Your Support Matters!

Keep Iowa Beautiful is a non-profit organization and, as such, relies on your support to ensure the success of our environmental education and community outreach programs.

Donations will help KIB's efforts to support our community. Any amount is valued and appreciated. 

Donations can be made online or checks can be mailed to our office:
Keep Iowa Beautiful
2910 Westown Pkwy #302,
West Des Moines, IA 50266
2910 Westown Parkway, Suite 302 | West Des Moines, IA 50266