Extension News

Small Iowa Communities Invited to Apply for the 2008 Community Visioning Program


A program that provides technical landscape planning and design assistance to Iowa’s small towns is currently accepting applications for services in 2008.

The Iowa’s Living Roadways Community Visioning Program is set up to assist communities with populations of fewer than 10,000 that have existing transportation-related issues and a committee of volunteers willing to dedicate their time and talent to the visioning process.

The Visioning Program integrates technical landscape planning and design techniques with sustainable community action to empower local leaders through a planning process that results in an enhancement plan that reflects the values and identity of the community.

The visioning process is a series of 10 meetings during which a committee of local residents identifies issues, investigates physical and cultural dimensions of landscape issues, sets goals for change, develops strategies to meet those goals and creates an implementation plan.

Communities that are working with any of the following issues may benefit from the Visioning Program:

•     Relocation of highways or highway entrances

•     Definition of alternatives for local transportation systems, including trails, sidewalks, bikeways and streets

•     Protection/enhancement of historically significant areas (e.g., train depot, historic Main Street, etc.) and/or natural areas that are important to the community

•     Visioning and design of alternative transportation opportunities

Communities selected to participate are required to contribute $1,000 toward program implementation. In return, the Visioning Program provides professional services valued at more than $14,000.

One significant change to the Visioning Program in 2008 is the opportunity for communities that completed the Community Visioning Program more than four years ago to re-apply for additional assistance. This opportunity, titled “Renewing Community Vision,” follows the same application process as Community Visioning. However, past communities will be required to demonstrate a continued need for assistance and provide documentation of a $4,000 cash match.

The program is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Transportation in partnership with Iowa State University Landscape Architecture Extension and Trees Forever, an Iowa-based nonprofit with a mission to plant and care for trees and the environment by empowering people, building community and promoting stewardship.

Since 1996, 137 communities throughout the state have benefited from participation in the Community Visioning Program.

Communities interested in applying to the 2008 Community Visioning Program or the Renewing Community Vision Program should contact Pamela Helfer, Trees Forever field coordinator, at (800) 369-1269 or phelfer@treesforever.org or download an application at www.communityvisioning.org.

Applications must be postmarked by Oct. 1. Selections will be announced in early November.


Contacts :

Julia Badenhope, Landscape Architecture, (515) 294-3007, jmb@iastate.edu

Pamela Helfer, Trees Forever, (800) 369-1269, phelfer@treesforever.org

Sandra Oberbroeckling, Landscape Architecture, (515) 294-3721, soberbr@iastate.edu

Del Marks, Communications and Marketing, (515) 294-9807, delmarks@iastate.edu