Past Webinars

Aging in Place: A community-driven Collaborative Approach for Iowa's Seniors

The demographic mix across Iowa communities continues to change. In addition to becoming more racially diverse, communities are becoming ‘older’ as the percentage of the population 65 and over continues to climb upwards. Forecasts are that by the year 2030, communities will have about a fifth of their population in this age group. This brings to the surface several key issues including aging in place that need to be addressed locally. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines aging in place as "the ability to live in one's own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level." Further, research suggests that aging in place is a preference for many older households and is good for their overall health and well-being. It also provides their communities with many other types of benefits. A team at ISU is working on a research-extension framework in partnership with key stakeholders to utilize ongoing research and build an educational outreach program targeted at Iowa communities.

The main objective of the webinar is to highlight the aging in place issue and discuss opportunities that exist for Iowa communities to respond.  

The webinar will include discussions on:

  • What is aging in place and why it is important for Iowa communities?
  • Partnerships critical to address this issue
  • Ongoing research and proposed community-level work in Iowa
  • Opportunities for communities to take proactive steps

There will be breakout sessions to allow ‘peer’ conversations and sharing of ideas.

Come join other communities from Iowa in this important conversation.

Date: August 15, 2023, Tuesday, 11 am - 12:30 pm.

Presenters: Biswa Das, Daejin Kim, Erin Mullenix and Julie Aberg-Robison

Registration fee: Free


Parks and recreation in Iowa communities: Priorities and stories

Research suggests that among other things, communities where residents have a positive perception of quality of life identify amenities, both, essential and recreational, contributing toward that. Parks and recreation spending reflects the willingness, and sense of priority that communities assign to such amenities. Recreational amenities usually include parks and open spaces, swimming pools, splash pads, community centers, golf courses, walking and biking trails, dog parks, soccer fields, baseball fields, etc. How are communities in Iowa planning, prioritizing and implementing this important aspect? Is there a divergence between urban and rural, small versus larger places?

The main objective of the webinar is to better understand how communities in Iowa are prioritizing parks and recreation. A panel of community representatives will share stories to highlight creative ways in how their respective communities are providing recreational amenities.

The webinar will include:

  • A brief introduction on the value of parks and recreation to Iowa communities.
  • Trends in parks and recreation spending, in small and large communities in Iowa
  • Stories from select Iowa communities

There will be breakout sessions to allow ‘peer’ conversations and sharing of ideas.

Date: January 20, Friday, 11 am -12:30 pm
Presenters: Biswa Das, Erin Mullenix and Julie Aberg-Robison, Panelists from select communities.      
Registration fee: Free


Webinar 3: Fiscal Condition and Trends of Iowa Cities and Counties: Using available educational resources in Iowa.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach works closely with the Iowa League of Cities and Iowa State Association of Counties to provide cities and counties with educational resources. While the main emphasis is on local government finance, the Iowa Government Finance Initiative (IGFI), the public finance outreach initiative strives to provide resources and highlight topics that are not only educational but also assist in decision making for local government officials, elected and appointed and other stakeholder groups. As communities across Iowa, in rural and urban places confront the economic and fiscal challenges created due to the periodic volatility in the economy at all levels, continuing population loss, and state mandated legislations that impact local governments ability on revenue generation, the level of fiscal stress experienced by cities and counties in Iowa continues to be a challenge. To assist in better understanding local financial situation and trends, we recently published the FYE 2021 Fiscal condition reports for all 941 cities and 99 counties in Iowa.

The main objective of the webinar is to discuss what these resources provide and how best to utilize them.  

The webinar will include:

  • Introduction of the educational resources available through joint efforts of ISU Extension, the League of cities and ISAC.  
  • Trends in city and county revenues
  • Trends in city and county spending 
  • Using the reports in decision making
  • There will be breakout sessions to allow ‘peer’ conversations and sharing of ideas.

Come join other communities from Iowa in this important conversation.

Date: October 27, Thursday, 11 am -12:30 pm.
Presenters: Biswa Das, Erin Mullenix and Julie Aberg-Robison                             
Registration fee: Free
Registration link


Webinar 2: Strengthening Community Infrastructure – Creating long-term sustainable and resilient communities in Iowa

Community infrastructure is a critical aspect of every city. The quality of the streets, sidewalks, parks and recreation, water and sewer, electricity, schools, hospitals, high-speed internet, public library, public community centers go a long way in how residents feel about their lived experiences. The infrastructure caters to different groups of people – young children, adolescents, young adults, middle-aged households and older households. As our communities continue to age, it becomes important for cities to continually assess the community infrastructure, prioritize the need for maintenance, rehabilitation of existing and investing in new infrastructure.  Good community infrastructure helps a community to provide a good quality of life to its residents, contributes to the local economy and tax base and build a more sustainable and resilient future. 

The webinar will include:

  • A brief introduction on the value of good community infrastructure
  • State of infrastructure in Iowa communities
  • Areas of capital investments over past 7-8 years in Iowa communities
  • Getting community feedback  
  • Sharing of good practices in select Iowa communities

There will be breakout sessions to allow ‘peer’ conversations and sharing of ideas.  Come join other communities from Iowa and start this important conversation.

Date: June 03, 2022, Friday, 11am -12:30 pm.
Presenters: Biswa Das, Erin Mullenix and Julie Aberg-Robison
Registration fee: Free
Registration link:  


Webinar 1: Trends in local government revenues and spending in Iowa

The goal of the webinar is to use the Annual Fiscal Condition Reports customized for individual cities and counties in Iowa to examine trends in financial indicators. Impacts the pandemic has had on local government budgets. The webinar will also focus on major legislative changes at the state level and ways in which it has impacted both, revenue and spending. Finally, the webinar is an opportunity to interact with peers and share experiences to allow for peer learning.

Presenters: Biswa Das and Erin Mullenix

What you will learn?

  • How to use the annual city and county fiscal conditions reports published by IGFI annually.
  • Impact of major legislative changes on local government finances – review of the major legislative changes during 2010-2021
  • Comparison with ‘peers’ - using data - interacting with peers in breakout sessions to learn about peer experiences

November, 05, Friday, 12-2 pm.

Registration Fee and resources for Participants
Fee is $20 per participant
Each participant will receive

  • Latest customized IGFI annual fiscal conditions report for their city or county
  • Background material on the major legislative changes during 2010-2021
  • Peer-analysis summary for 6 peer-groups – for cities and counties

Who should attend?

  • Elected Officials – Iowa cities and counties
  • Appointed officials (city and county finance, planning, economic development)
  • Community and Economic Development professionals
  • Council of Governments in Iowa, County affiliates in Iowa Locations
  • Chambers of Commerce, Other stakeholder groups

Registration Online
Click here to register online for the webinar. When you register you will have the option to pay by credit card. If you have registered but find you cannot attend, you may send a substitute or cancel your registration; however, no refunds will be made for cancelations received less than 3 business days prior to the workshop. The registration fee is $20 per individual and covers the workshop instruction, and background materials.