Towns selected for 2023 community visioning program

AMES, Iowa – Ten Iowa communities have been selected to participate in the Iowa's Living Roadways Community Visioning Program in 2023.

map of iowa

This award-winning program integrates technical landscape planning and design techniques with sustainable community action to assist community leaders and volunteers in making sound and meaningful decisions about the local landscape.

The 2023 visioning communities are Denison, Dysart, Gilmore City, Glenwood, Independence, Marquette, McGregor, Slater, Vinton and West Burlington. Seven of the communities had participated in the program previously: Dysart and Slater (1997–98), Vinton (1999–2000), Glenwood (2008–09), Independence (2009–10), McGregor (2010–11), and Gilmore City (2012-13). 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 environmental advocacy organization.

To qualify for the visioning program, a community must have a population of fewer than 10,000 residents, existing transportation-related issues, and a committee of volunteers willing to dedicate their time and talent to the visioning process.

The Community Visioning Program empowers local leaders through a planning process that results in a transportation enhancement plan reflecting the values and identity of the community.

A committee of local residents participates in a series of steps toward creating a conceptual design plan, including:

  • Identifying issues
  • Investigating the physical and cultural dimensions of landscape issues
  • Setting goals for change
  • Developing strategies to meet those goals
  • Creating an implementation plan

Throughout the process, the committee receives support from the technical experts at Trees Forever, a professional landscape architecture firm, and the ISU Department of Landscape Architecture.

The sustainability and success of the program is evident by the number of communities with which it has collaborated. Since Iowa’s Living Roadways was created in 1996, more than 250 communities have participated in Community Visioning, more than two dozen of which have gone through the process more than once.


Sandra Oberbroeckling, Iowa State University, 515-294-3721,

Brad Riphagen, Trees Forever, 515-370-1291,