Grant Wood Loop partners with Keep Iowa Beautiful

     Keep Iowa Beautiful (KIB) has partnered with the East Central Intergovernmental Association (ECIA) and the Grant Wood Mississippi River Region (GWMRR), which includes Dubuque, Jackson and Jones counties, in the successful Hometown Pride program. The 13 communities of Anamosa, Asbury, Bellevue, Cascade, Dubuque, Dyersville, Farley, Maquoketa, Monticello, Peosta, Preston, Stone City, and Sabula are active participants in this region.

     The Hometown Pride program requires a five-year commitment to enhancing the economic and cultural vitality of communities by supporting, facilitating, and furthering the implementation of community and county plans in a coordinated strategy with the assistance of a community coach.

     David Heiar has been selected to serve as the Community Coach for the GWMRR counties. Heiar has over 35 years of experience in city government in three Eastern Iowa cities, which includes: Bellevue, Manchester, and Dubuque. He joined the Jackson County Economic Alliance in July 2013. His background includes downtown redevelopment, community development, rural and urban economic development, including workforce development, existing industry services, business attraction, and new business development. Heiar is a Jackson County native.

     The GWMRR, now referred to as the Grant Wood Loop, was initially established in 2014 at the State of Iowa’s Parks to People pilot region. By partnering with KIB, the communities in this region have an opportunity to build upon and grow the momentum of this program, which aligns with the goals of Hometown Pride.

     “Our partnership with KIB adds a twist to their standard approach. Our region will have a coaching staff, which will include assistant coaches and other key partners. We have made great strides in developing short and long term plans and it is our intent to utilize this new partnership to continue implementation and further refinement of these community and regional plans,” said Heiar. Dusty Embree, the Jones County Economic Development director, will serve as an assistant coach to Jones County communities and selected ECIA staff will serve in this capacity in Dubuque County communities. Heiar will serve as the head coach for all three counties.

     “Keep Iowa Beautiful is excited to partner with the Grant Wood Mississippi River Region,” added Gerry Schnepf, executive director of KIB. “As a result, 13 communities and three counties in the region will increase their cultural and economic vitality. Additionally, the great work that the three counties have recently completed in tying together recreation and cultural opportunities for the region through the ‘Parks to People’ program will be achieved. An amazing and almost unparalleled partnership supported by a wide and diverse group of organizations.”

     KIB’s other Hometown Pride programs are in Fremont, Jasper, Louisa, Pocahontas, and Sac counties and three Des Moines Capitol neighborhoods. This includes 49 communities. Hometown Pride is funded by KIB, through support from private donors, a grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and the counties and communities. KIB is building strong communities with sustainable futures.


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