Hometown Pride program to provide community coaching to five Iowa towns

Hometown Pride

A new partnership between the East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG) and Keep Iowa Beautiful’s Hometown Pride program will provide extra support to five rural Iowa towns.

“Keep Iowa Beautiful is partnering with ECICOG and leaders in Center Point, Hills, Shellsburg, Springville and Walker,” said Reo Menning, Chair of the Keep Iowa Beautiful Board of Directors in a news release. “As a result, five more communities will have the potential to increase their cultural and economic vitality, improving them as great places to live, work and raise a family.”

The Hometown Pride program was developed in 2012 as an effort to assist and improve communities through a five-year coaching commitment. The comprehensive coaching is intended to adapt to the individual and unique circumstances of its communities, so local leaders are integral in planning and decision making.

According to the release, the coach for the five towns in ECICOG’s region is Community Development Specialist Jessica Johnson, who will work with the communities to coordinate strong advocates and activists for the mission.

“We are thrilled to help Keep Iowa Beautiful expand the Hometown Pride program to five communities in our region,” said Ms. Johnson. “Building vibrant communities is one of seven strategic pillars in the Envision East Central Iowa economic development plan and this program is a perfect fit for that work.”

Ms. Johnson will conduct a full assessment of existing community plans and programs, gather community input and assist each community with developing an action plan. She will then work with local leaders to recruit and select local steering committees to lead certain areas of the action plan and programs.

Statewide, the Hometown Pride program is operating in Clinton, Dubuque, Jackson, Johnson, Linn, Pocahontas, Vinton and Warren counties, with a total of 69 communities participating.

For more information on the Hometown Pride Program, contact Community Development Specialist Jessica Johnson at jessica.johnson@ecicog.org or visit the Keep Iowa Beautiful website.