September 2020 Newsletter
Federal Recreational Trails Program Applications
The Iowa DOT is now accepting applications for the annual Federal Recreational Trails program. The Federal Recreation Trails program provides grant funding for recreational trails and trail-related projects. Applications should be e-mailed to no later than 5 p.m. October 1, 2020. An email submission must be followed by receipt of a single signed color original of the completed application via U.S. mail and received no later than close of business October 8, 2020.

Local government agencies, municipal corporations, counties, and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply.
Check out the Iowa DOT website for application materials and contact Scott Flagg, State Recreational Trails Program Manager, at, phone 515-239-1252, if you have any questions or concerns

All hardcopies shall be submitted via U.S. mail to:
State Recreational Trails Program
Iowa Department of Transportation
Systems Planning Bureau
800 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
Pocahontas Hometown Pride Invests in Their Parks
Pocahontas Hometown Pride has been hard at work making improvements to Princess City Park! The group’s efforts have made the park more handicap-accessible— re-pouring the sidewalks, making improvements to the Princess Park log cabin and bathroom, and adding a new, handicap-accessible picnic table as well. Pocahontas Hometown Pride members also worked on a new roof for the park’s log cabin and gave the park a makeover with some beautiful new landscaping!

These efforts were funded by community organizations, including the local Rotary, a grant from the district Rotary and the City of Pocahontas, as well as private donations. The new handicap-accessible picnic table, park bench, and trash receptacle were funded by the Build With Bags grant, a grant sponsored by Wood's Super Market through the Iowa Grocers Association. 

Great work Pocahontas Hometown Pride! We encourage everyone to check out the new improvements at Princess City Park. 
Maquoketa “Masks-up”
Maquoketa Hometown Pride has been working with community partners to launch a #MaskUpMaquoketa and #MaskUpJacksonCounty campaign! They have encouraged community members to share selfies and messages of support for this important public health initiative. Here are just a few comments from the wonderful community members in Maquoketa: 
  • "I love going to downtown Maquoketa to shop, see what's new, and enjoy the art and the historic buildings. I happily wear a mask to keep me, my husband, my friends and our community safe." 
  • "I mask up for my parents, who are both in their mid-90's and just celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary in July! I want them to be able to celebrate another one, and this is how we take care of each other right now!
  • "I mask up because I want the world to get 'back to normal' more quickly. I don't want to unknowingly spread something, or contract someone else's germs... (same reason I wash my hands!)"

Great work Maquoketa Hometown Pride! We love seeing neighbors working together to keep each other safe and healthy. 
Heart & Soul Monticello has Hometown Pride
The Monticello Hometown Pride committee led the charge to get banners back on Monticello light fixtures after a 4-year absence. The Chamber of Commerce spearheaded the banner program in 2012 but did not continue the project after those banners wore out in 2016. 

After a short fundraising campaign, the committee was able to get the banners ordered, delivered, and installed by Public Works! Local business, industries, and organizations sponsored the banners, proudly displaying their name on the top. Approximately 100 vinyl banners and 12 metal banners are currently up! We love the new look, Monticello!
Indianola is an “Iowa Great Place”
Congratulations Indianola! Indianola has just been named as an "Iowa Great Place" by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. 

This is the result of a rigorous application process and months of hard work by the Indianola Hometown Pride team and many others. We are grateful to all who helped Indianola receive this incredible commendation. For more information about the designation, and a list of those who helped, check out this blog post by Warren County Hometown Pride! You can also read the official press release from the Department of Cultural Affairs here.
Emerald Ash Borer Grant
Communities impacted by emerald ash borer can receive free seedlings from DNR State Forest Nursery!
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), through a grant with the U.S. Forest Service, has been awarding communities in counties that have confirmed emerald ash borer (EAB) up to 200 free seedlings from the DNR’s State Forest Nursery. Seedlings have been awarded since spring of 2019, so if a community has not received its free seedlings, there is still time to apply.

This grant will provide the free native hardwood and evergreen seedlings for up to 511 communities across the state. If awarded the seedlings, they can be shipped or picked up from the DNR State Forest Nursery in Ames.

The seedlings can be planted on public property or distributed to residents throughout the community for planting on private property. Cities or public organizations can choose to do both public and private property plantings.

This is another opportunity for cities with major tree damage or loss from the derecho to help repopulate the trees in the devastated communities, as long as the county is a confirmed EAB county.

“We know that several cities and residents within those cities sustained major property damage during the derecho and a majority of that included the loss of thousands of trees across our state,” said Aron Flickinger, forestry program specialist with the Iowa DNR. “Although this grant was in the works long before the derecho hit, it will help many communities begin to rebuild their tree population for free following the devastating loss.”

Any city or public organization interested in applying for the free seedlings, should complete the grant application online at Applications from communities that have already been awarded free seedlings cannot be approved.

Iowa has confirmed emerald ash borer in 73 of its 99 counties. To learn more about EAB and to see the latest map with confirmed counties, visit the Iowa DNR website.
Iowa State Fair Photo Contest: Winning Photo
Thank you to everyone who participated in our 2020 Virtual State Fair Photo Contest! 
Last month we made our Annual State Fair Photo Contest virtual and asked you to vote for your favorite photo from a selection of previous winners. Check out this year’s winning photo! Congratulations to Cora Mondloch, you have won Robert Ray’s photo collection book, An Iowa Treasure!

For nearly two decades, Keep Iowa Beautiful has worked to make the Iowa State Fair clean and fun for the whole family. We certainly missed the excitement of State Fair season this year, but we look forward to seeing all of you at the 2021 Iowa State Fair.
Laurens Prairie Preservation Trail Signs Refreshed 
Laurens Hometown Pride
The Laurens Hometown Pride Committee decided it was time to refresh the Prairie Preservation Trail Signs hanging high above the popular multi-use trail located south of Hwy 10. The wood signs have been welcoming trail users for more than 25 years, but were showing the impact of years of exposure to all kinds of weather. 

The Hometown Pride Committee applied for and received a Paint Iowa Beautiful grant to purchase the stain and paint for the signs. The grant program, sponsored by Diamond Vogel Paint and Keep Iowa Beautiful, provides free paint to a wide variety of public service projects throughout Iowa. Hometown Pride Committee members recently completed the project. 

Pictured in the photos are Hometown Pride Committee members John Pohlman and Doc Van Genderen pressure-washing and painting the two trail signs. Kaye Van Genderen also helped paint the signs. Laurens City employees assisted with the project by taking down the signs and will put the refreshed signs back in place. Special thanks to all who helped with this project!
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