Photo Credit: Gregg Alliss, 2nd place winner, Iowa Water category. 
October 2021 Newsletter
Past Winner: Twila Ingham, 2nd place winner, Iowa Wildlife Category
Keep Iowa Beautiful’s 12th Annual Photography Contest
Enter Your Photos Today!
The seasons are changing and it is a great time to grab your camera, or phone, and enter Keep Iowa Beautiful’s 12thAnnual Photography Contest!

“This is a great way for Iowans to share what you like about Iowa,” said Kevin Techau, Keep Iowa Beautiful Executive Director.  “There are five categories to enter your favorite photo of what makes you proud to be an Iowan and captures the beauty and spirit of Iowa,” added Techau.  “Again, this year our contest will feature over $2,000 in cash awards.”

The deadline to enter your photos for this year’s contest is December 18, 2021. Each of the five categories will be awarded 1st place: $100, 2nd place: $75, and 3rd place: $50. 

From January 17th -31st, 2022, the five first-place winners will be featured on Keep Iowa Beautiful social media for voting and selection of the Public Favorite Photo.  The Public Favorite Photo winner will receive an additional $100.  The Robert D. Ray Best of Show Awards, determined by a distinguished panel, will also be announced at that time.  The Robert D. Ray Best of Show award amounts are as follows; 1st place: $500, 2nd place: $250 and 3rd place: $100.

The five categories are:
  • Iowa Landscape: Capture Iowa’s beauty through depictions of Iowa’s landscape, including but not limited to: farm fields, rolling hills, and wooded forests.
  • Iowa Water: Feature Iowa’s beautiful water systems with depictions of Iowa rivers, streams, ponds and lakes.
  • Iowa Cities: Iowa’s urban centers are hubs of history, culture, and beauty. This category features depictions of Iowa’s cities, street scenes, and urban landmarks.
  • Iowans in Action: This category aims to capture the spirit of Iowa through depictions of the people that live, work, and play in Iowa.  All means of action that can be captured: biking, running, fishing, hunting and hiking are but a few. 
  • Iowa Wildlife: Iowa is home to a variety of beautiful critters. This category aims to showcase Iowa’s beauty through depictions of Iowa’s wildlife animals: mammals, fish, birds, bugs and more!

A $5 fee is required for each photo entered. Contest rules and entry guidelines can be found on our website
Paint Iowa Beautiful Grant Program Open for 2022 Application
Paint Iowa Beautiful
Keep Iowa Beautiful and Diamond Vogel Paint are pleased to announce the 2022 Paint Iowa Beautiful program. The program provides free paint to a wide variety of community projects throughout Iowa. Administered through Keep Iowa Beautiful with the paint provided by the Diamond Vogel Paint Company.

“The partnership with Keep Iowa Beautiful allows Diamond Vogel to assist and work with many local volunteers that help build communities, making Iowa a great place to live,” said Doug Vogel, Vice President, Marketing, of the Iowa based company. “This is a great opportunity for Iowans to improve the attractiveness of their community.”

Kevin Techau, Executive Director of Keep Iowa Beautiful added, “The Paint Iowa Beautiful program helps increase our assistance to communities, neighborhoods, historic projects and volunteer organizations improve attractiveness and beauty across Iowa.”  

In the 19-year partnership with Keep Iowa Beautiful, Diamond Vogel has awarded over 11,860 gallons of paint for 1,132 community projects in Iowa.

The online grant application is now open to Iowans and can be completed and submitted by February 14, 2022.
Thank You for Making Pick-Up Iowa a Success!
105 community groups signed-up for Pick-up Iowa 2021 – more than ever before! Cities, community and civic associations, schools, church groups, clubs, neighborhoods, families, businesses, scouts and others organized their members and participated in a Pick-Up Iowa event in their communities. The program was held March 26th to September 30th, 2021 on dates that were convenient for the local organization.  
The program is part of Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup—the nation’s largest community improvement program. It is estimated 20,000 communities participate nationwide. The 105 Iowa communities participated by cleaning up litter and trash along Iowa’s roadsides, neighborhoods, streets, school grounds, parks and streams.
Karras Carts 
On his birthday, the friends of RAGBRAI Co-founder John Karras presented him with a prototype for the first “Karras Cart”. The Karras Carts are utility trailers that can be attached to the hub of a bicycle’s rear axle for the easy pick-up and disposal of litter and debris along Iowa trail ways. In the spirit of RAGBRAI, this initiative is a fun way to get some exercise while helping to improve the cleanliness and sustainability of communities across Iowa. 

Since their public introduction last spring, the fleet of carts have been spotted in the State Fair parade, along Cedar Valley trails in Blackhawk County, along roadsides in Des Moines, and on the Raccoon Trail in Dallas County. On almost all occasions the one constant has been the adaptability of the carts. They can haul supplies, drinking water, filled trash bags, serve one lone volunteer or a crew of twenty. With a grabber a rider can grab and go without dismounting. 

Given the increased opportunities to “adopt” trails in Iowa, Karras Carts can provide great value to cities and towns across Iowa. Keep Iowa Beautiful is looking to expand the Karras Cart fleet and offer the resource to our Hometown Pride communities.

Keep an eye out for the Karras Carts in your community and share a picture with Keep Iowa Beautiful! 
Community Highlights 
Anamosa and Monticello Honor 9/11 Victims with Scarecrow Contest
Hometown Pride communities, Anamosa and Monticello are showing their patriotic spirit by participating in the Scarecrow Contest - Anamosa & Monticello in honor of those we lost on 9/11. This effort was created to give thanks to those who keep us safe by putting out a scarecrow in their honor and to remember that freedom isn't free. Many innocent citizens were lost on 9/11/2001 when terror came to our borders and it takes continued protection, so we can enjoy our many freedoms. 

Scarecrows will be up through October - make sure to check them out!
Cedar Rapids Czech Murals 
If you’re in the Cedar Rapids area, make sure to check out the new commission by the Czech Village/New Bohemia SSMID! The mural is called “Homage to Immigrants” and was made possible in part by the Paint Iowa Beautiful Grant Program, in partnership with Diamond Vogel Paints. 
Clinton County Walk of Fame
The Clinton Hometown Pride Community has selected seven Clintonians to be inducted into the inaugural class of the Clinton County Walk of Fame!

Felix Adler and Linda Luckstead will be inducted in the fine arts category, Duke Slater in athletics, Charles Toney for professional achievement and Russell Volckmann, Artemus Gates, and Henry Langrehr for military service. 

The Walk of Fame project was Created by the Clinton Hometown Pride Committee to give residents and visitors an interesting and innovative way to showcase and appreciate historic individuals who planted their roots in Clinton County. 

To read more about the Walk of Fame and the members of the inaugural class, check out this article in the Clinton Herald.
Henry Langrehr and his wife, Arlene
Linda Luckstead receives her award from Gary DeLacy, Clinton Community School District Superintendent as Frank Boggus, Hometown Pride Coach, applauds.
Dina White shares memories of her famous cousin Duke Slater
2019 KIB Scholarship Winner Proposes New Bike Accessibility Plan for Bellevue
Bellevue graduating high school student, Kyle Guenther, received the Keep Iowa Beautiful Byer’s scholarship award for 2019. He was one of five $1,000 scholarship winners and majored in architecture at Iowa State University in the Fall.
The following is a portion of a story from the September 26 edition of the Dubuque Telegraph Herald.

A former Bellevue High School student hopes to improve connectivity in the city’s downtown area through the creation of a bike lane.

Kyle Guenther reflected on the recent development of Off Shore Resort, as well as the opening of several businesses in downtown Bellevue, he sought a way to link the two areas. “It just felt like there was a hole missing in between,” he said. “…I was thinking of ways that small communities like Bellevue can make big changes without spending a lot of money, and the answer is bike lanes, because it’s just paint and signs.”
Guenther’s proposal, which he recently presented to the Bellevue City Council, would create bike lanes along U.S. 52 between High Street and Park Street.
Kyle Guenther (center-white shirt) holding his scholarship check he was presented in the Governor’s Office.  Others include Kyle’s family and Keep Iowa Beautiful officials.
Governor Reynolds Announces Funds Available to Support Rural Communities
On Tuesday, October 5th, Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced four competitive funds available for rural communities with a population under 20,000.
  • Rural Innovation Grant Program – Provides up to $200,000 in grants supporting creative, non-traditional ideas that focus on current issues and challenges faced by rural communities associated with the themes of community investment, growth and connection; the 
  • Rural Housing Assessment Grant Program – Provides up to $100,000 to support the use of publicly available online information through the “Profile of Iowa” tool and rural community efforts to interpret this hard data with supplemental information, as well as to implement through changes to development codes, local ordinances and housing incentives specific to their community needs in partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach; the 
  • Rural Child Care Market Study Grant Program – Provides up to $100,000 to support the use of data and analysis by rural communities to determine the specific needs and solutions for their area. In partnership with First Children’s Finance, funding from the program will empower communities to assess their current child care market environment and develop strategies; and the 
  • Rural Return Program – Provides up to $100,000 to support creative programming that attracts new residents to move and/or work in rural communities. Grant funding will support the development and implementation of incentive programs.  
Guidelines and scoring rubrics for all programs are available on the Center for Rural Revitalization’s website. The programs, defined in Iowa Administrative Code, are administered by the Center for Rural Revitalization, a division of IEDA, in consultation with the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative Task Forces. 
Applications for FY 2022 are currently being accepted via and are due by December 1, 2021. Applications will be scored by volunteer panels that will include the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative Task Force members and expert professionals. Successful applicants will be informed in mid-December. 
 “We are committed to revitalizing our rural Iowa communities to ensure they continue to grow and prosper,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative grant opportunities will provide the tools that will enable leaders and innovators to build thriving communities in all corners of the state, making Iowa an even better place to live, work and raise families.” 
“By connecting, investing and growing our rural communities through these grant programs, we are elevating creative initiatives that will drive significant change in our rural communities and align with the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative,” said Lt. Governor Adam Gregg, co-chair of the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative. “These projects will keep rural Iowa moving in the right direction.” 
Derelict Building Program
Pioneered by Keep Iowa Beautiful, the Derelict Building Program is now sponsored by the Iowa DNR and offers Iowa communities of 5,000 or fewer residents’ financial assistance to address neglected structures that have sat vacant for at least six months.

The application deadline for FY 2023 is Friday, February 25, 2022 for applicants who are seeking funding assistance with conducting asbestos inspections, asbestos abatement, structural engineering analysis, phase I and phase II site assessments, building deconstruction and building renovation expenses.

To learn more and to submit an application for FY23, visit our website.
You Can Stop Litter!
When you see litter happening on Iowa’s roadways from a vehicle, Call 1-888-665-4887
Please provide as much detail about the incident as possible:
  • License plate number 
  • Time and specific location (street & city)
  • What was thrown from the vehicle
  • A vehicle description (color, make and model)

Call 1.888.NOLITTR (1-888-665-4887) to report littering from a vehicle.
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