All posts by Donna Taylor

2016 Renovated Residential Winner :: School House Apartments :: Todd Schneider

The Renovated Residential category features the use of an existing structure to create single or multi-family permanent or temporary housing. Notable aspects include but are not limited to reinvestment in an existing property and community, plus use of sustainable building materials, salvaging of existing materials, promotion of connectivity, public transportation, and walkability, accessibility to affordable or mixed market-rate housing, and adherence to historic preservation practices if applicable.

2016 BDA, renovated residential, winner, school house apartments

Developer Todd Schneider worked closely with an historic preservation architect, the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the National Park Service to adhere to historic preservation standards on the School House Apartments Project.

School House Apartments Proejct demonstrates the power of strong community buy-in, renewable energy, and adaptive reuse of public infrastructure. Developer Todd Schneider believes this model can be replicated elsewhere, provided funding is available and the local rental market is strong enough. School House Apartments represent a major reinvestment in an existing public school building in Fort Madison, Iowa. It helps revitalize the downtown community and incorporates a 300 kW solar array system (200 kW on roof and 100 kW over the tenant carport); each apartment features high-efficiency appliances, hybrid electric/heat pump water heater, Iowa Green Streets-compliant plumbing, and insulation to lower the building’s energy costs and resource use. Overbuilding the former middle school’s roof, floors, and walls gives the building a very long life expectancy. Close proximity to downtown make walking and cycling viable options for tenants. The 37-unit mixed-income apartment complex includes both affordable and market-rate options, and received Community Development Block Grant funding.

2016 BDA winner :: Renovated Civic :: Iowa Quilt Museum

The Renovated Civic category features the use of existing structures for civic purposes. Sustainable qualities include but are not limited to the use of salvaged materials as well as sustainable building materials, utilization of energy-efficient technologies, and the adherence to historical preservation practices if applicable. Community-led projects or projects that combine various organizational efforts, as well as the inclusion of placemaking, walkability and accessible transportation aspects are also valued qualities.

The Iowa Quilt Museum Board purchased a vacant former retail store for a new quilt museum. This move built on the momentum of listing the entire Winterset town square and downtown businesses on the National Register of Historic Places, the success of the John Wayne Birthplace Museum, and the community’s desire to revitalize its downtown area.

iowa quilt museum, 2016 bdaThe 130 year old building reused the original hardwood floors, tin ceiling, woodwork, lights, and cabinets, as well as four turn of the century glass display cases salvaged from the John Wayne Museum. Energy efficient elements incorporated into the project include high efficiency HVAC, LED lighting, and removal of canvas awnings to bring natural light into the gift store.

Very little environmental and economic construction impact was sustained because the building was repurposed, utilities already existed, and needed only minor tuckpointing on a rear exterior wall. The historic integrity of the building was maintained, thus the National Register designation was maintained. By adaptively reusing an existing retail space, the final cost was about $15 per sq. ft. as opposed to estimated new construction cost of about $250 per sq. ft. minimum.

2016 BDA winner :: Innovative Leadership :: Johnston County

1000 Friends of Iowa seeks to recognize an individual, group, or organization that has demonstrated exemplary work in the areas of sustainable development, smart growth principles, or the protection of farmland or natural areas through its Best Development Award in the category of Innovative Leadership. Other valued leadership qualities include the positive impact on future generations and inspiring other communities to mirror their efforts with a replicable model.

johnson county, solar array, iowa, renewable energy, best development award

1000 Friends of Iowa had five independent jurors use the following criteria to score nominations.

  • Advocacy: raising awareness, effective communications, and influencing stakeholders to take action in support of projects aligned with the Mission of 1000 Friends of Iowa
  • Conservation: protecting natural and built resources and promoting sustainable practices
  • Community Outreach: creating inclusivity and measuring impact
  • Vision: applying principles and practices of sustainability, conservation or placemaking to programs and projects
  • Replication: encouraging others to follow as a model of success

The 2016 Innovative Leadership winner is Johnson County for its Solar Array and Soil Quality Restoration at Johnson County Administration Building, in Iowa City.

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors had success with solar projects in the past. It saw this project as an opportunity to fulfill goals of its strategic plan — commitment to wise land use and reduction of impact on climate change. It also merged soil restoration with a solar array.

The array sits above a former brownfield site, adjacent to the Administration Building. Soil Quality Restoration beneath the array helps manage stormwater, improving water quality and reducing the amount of water that drains into nearby Ralston Creek, which outlets to the Iowa River. Low-grow, no-mow grass under the array was planted as a turf alternative. Located less than a mile from the center of Iowa City, the array and soil project are visible to thousands of passersby each day.

The County used an internal sustainability reinvestment fund for the project and was the first county to use Power Purchase Agreements. Rebates from utilities will roll into the fund for new projects, and staff has helped many other governments and non-profit organizations study solar feasibility and learn about reinvestment funds. Staff also educated its project partners about each other’s goals, and continues to educate employees in sustainable practices that support the projects of the reinvestment fund and of the fund itself. Energy production is tracked via B3 <click here> .

2016 New Commercial Category Winner: Hope Haven’s Hopefully Yours

1000 Friends of Iowa recognizes organizations that are doing great work toward responsible land use every year with its Best Development Awards. The Award program was established in 2001 and includes New Commercial projects.

The New Commercial category highlights new structures for commercial purposes that minimize environmental impact, utilize energy-efficient technologies, offer placemaking qualities, create jobs, or otherwise positively impact the community. Land use development of brownfield sites, use of sustainable building materials, projects that combined various organizational efforts with a diversity of stakeholders, as well as the inclusion of walkability and accessible transportation aspects are also valued qualities.

Applicants were scored by our jurors for the following:

  • Water saving features, such as dual flush toilets, gray water use, sustainable landscape design, etc.
  • Stormwater best management practices, such as reducing impervious surfaces, soil quality restoration, permeable pavements, native plantings, bioretention practices, rainwater harvesting, and green roofs
  • Use of sustainable or recycle materials in building and structure features or other green infrastructure
  • Energy-efficient construction utilizing high-performance walls, daylighting, and passive solar strategies and efficient technologies such as geothermal, sensors and lighting controls
  • Redevelopment of brownfield or other designated sites, is located within a redevelopment district or corridor, utilizes urban infill, or development practice that minimizes sprawl
  • Renewable energy, such as solar photovoltaics and solar thermal
  • Promote transportation alternatives by providing showers to support biking and walking and incentives for traveling by modes other than single occupant cars
  • Adaptively reuse an existing, underutilized, or vacant building

The 2016 New Commercial winner is Hopefully Yours Thrift and Gift Shop in Burlington, IA.

hopefully yours, winner of 2016 best development award in the new commercial category

Hope Haven has operated a thrift and gift store since 2002. After a devastating fire burned the old store to the ground, Hope Haven chose to build a brand new store to continue serving its 530 clients with disabilities and to continue to promote the economic growth of downtown Burlington. As the first new construction on Jefferson St. in 40 years, the new store is close to the old location and takes space that had been vacant for nearly a decade.

Construction was done to be smart on the inside and the outside of the building: the architecture blends in with other downtown structures, has high efficiency HVAC, and LED lighting. It features thermally dynamic glass in all storefront glazing, which darkens when heated by solar gain along the western facade and solar panels. The building meets ADA standards and has a Warren lift (hydraulic lift toilet).  The nature of the business supports its responsible construction goals by employing 11 persons with disabilities, recycling textiles that are not suitable for sale by baling them, which in turn keeps material out of the landfill. The recycling program was also expanded to include cardboard, glass, and metals.

Community support is very high for the project, which is seen by the tripling of donations and increase in sales. Donations in the new building occur under a covered drop-off area, which is more convenient for donors who are physically disabled or elderly.

1000 Friends of Iowa will publicly recognize Hope Haven at its Best Development Award Ceremony, details <here.>

2016 Best Development Award Ceremony

 

1000 Friends of Iowa to hold 2016 Best Development Award Ceremony

January 4, 2017 (Des Moines, Iowa) – 1000 Friends of Iowa is pleased to announce the winners of its 2016 Best Development Awards. The awards program publicly recognizes efforts that visibly support the organization’s mission of responsible land use. The winners are models of responsible development practices. Julia McGuire, Award Coordinator, notes, “Our winners and their respective works will positively impact future generations of Iowans and deserve our applause.”

1000 Friends of Iowa will hold an awards ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017 at the Iowa State Capitol Building 1st Floor Rotunda from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend and congratulate the 2016 Best Development Award winners.

The 2016 Best Development Award winners are listed below (category, winner, project, city, short description. Long descriptions with photographs are forthcoming on the 1000 Friends of Iowa website):

    • In the Renovated Residential category, Todd Schneider for the School House Apartments in Fort Madison. The School House Apartments, a 37-unit mixed-income apartment complex, includes affordable and market-rate options and was a major reinvestment in an existing public school building. Its close proximity to downtown makes walking and cycling viable for tenants. The complex has a 300 kW solar array system and each apartment features high-efficiency appliances, hybrid electric/heat pump water heater, Iowa Green Streets-compliant plumbing, and insulation to lower the building’s energy costs and resource use.
    • In the New Commercial category, Hope Haven Area Development Center Corporation for the Hopefully Yours Thrift and Gift Shop in Burlington. After a devastating fire burned the old store to the ground, Hope Haven chose to build a brand new store to continue serving its 530 clients with disabilities and promoting the economic growth of downtown Burlington. As the first new construction on Jefferson St. in 40 years, the new store was built on space that had been vacant for nearly a decade. The architecture blends in with other downtown structures, has high efficiency HVAC, and LED lighting. It features thermally dynamic glass in all storefront glazing. The building meets ADA standards and has a Warren lift (hydraulic lift toilet). The nature of the business supports its responsible construction goals by employing 11 persons with disabilities, recycling textiles that are not suitable for sale by baling them, which in turn keeps material out of the landfill. The recycling program was also expanded to include cardboard, glass, and metals. Community support is evident by the tripling of donations and increase in sales. Donations in the new building occur under a covered drop-off area, which is more convenient for donors who are physically disabled or elderly.
    • In the Renovated Commercial category, Blackbird Investments for the Market One Building in Des Moines’ East Village. The Market One Building is on the National Register of Historic Places and adaptively reuses a factory for commercial space. A glass-enclosed conference room and 3,000 square feet of deck and shade canopy were added to the roof. The remainder of the roof was covered with photovoltaic panels and a planted (green) roof system. Additional primary sustainable building elements include: mini-rain gardens, native and perennial plantings, capture and delay water retention, geothermal heating and cooling technologies, solar photovoltaics on the parking canopy, dual flush toilets, permeable walk surfaces, lighting strategies, dedicated parking for High Occupancy Vehicle (also called HOV) workers and four charging stations for electric vehicles, and showers at each floor level. The combination of geothermal and solar energy sources along with LED lighting and an advanced refrigerant-based heating and cooling system has allowed project to achieve net-zero energy usage. The project is LEED platinum eligible.
    • In the Renovated Civic category, Angelo Architects for the Iowa Quilt Museum in Winterset. This 130-year old building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and uses the original hardwood floors, tin ceiling, woodwork, lights, and cabinets. Energy efficient elements incorporated into the project include high efficiency HVAC, LED lighting, and removal of canvas awnings to bring natural light into the gift store. Very little environmental and economic construction impact was sustained because the building was repurposed and utilities already existed; despite minor tuckpointing, its historic status was maintained. By adaptively reusing an existing retail space, the final cost was approximately $15 per sq. ft. as opposed to estimated new construction cost of approximately $250 per sq. ft. minimum.
    • In the Mixed Use category, Indigo Dawn for the Green & Main project in Des Moines. The Green & Main project transformed an historic site from the National Register of Historic Places into a successful mixed use building with a health center on the bottom floors and a residential apartment on the upper level. Sustainability features of the site include soil quality restoration, bioswales, permeable pavers, subterranean retention, a green roof, rain gardens, rain barrels, and passive and active solar strategies. Each room can control its own climate with variable refrigerant flow technology and is supported by a geothermal well. Lighting is controlled by sensors, which feed data to the ISU Center for Building Energy Research. Waste diversion of 90 – 95% was achieved through resale, recycling, or repurposing items through site source separation.  The building sits on a bus route and has an electric charging station for alternative fuel vehicles. It is seeking LEED Platinum status.
    • In the Innovative Leadership category, Johnson County for its Solar Array and Soil Quality Restoration at Johnson County Administration Building in Iowa City. This 85 kW solar array sits above ground on a floodplain and former brownfield and armory site, and delivers 23% of the building’s electrical needs. Soil Quality Restoration beneath the array helps manage stormwater, improving water quality and reducing the amount of water that drains into nearby Ralston Creek, which outlets to the Iowa River. “Low-grow” grass under the array requires infrequent mowing. Located less than a mile from the center of Iowa City, the array and soil project are visible to thousands of passersby each day. The County has taken many outreach and education opportunities to a wide variety of organizations.
    • In the Renewable Energy category, Steffensmeier Welding and Manufacturing for its Solar Field in Pilot Grove. This project was the result of employees meeting to determine the benefits of solar energy at the manufacturing plant. The project is functioning at 100% and will significantly reduce overall costs over a 4-5 year time period with a return on costs after 5-6 years. It was designed to power all of the company’s electrical needs on a net-annual basis and is the first industrial manufacturing operation exclusively using solar energy in Iowa. With net-metering, the array will overproduce electricity in the summer, allowing credit to build with the serving utility. The credit will be drawn upon during winter months when production is lower due to shorter daylight periods and cloudy days.
    • In the Stormwater: Civic category, the City of Storm Lake for its North Central Stormwater Project in Storm Lake. This project was designed to relieve substantial overland flooding from approximately 150 acres of residential and school property. A unique treatment train concept diverts stormwater runoff from the main drainage channel into linear treatment basins instead of traditional pipe conveyance. This cost effective concept reduces infrastructure costs, provides significant regional flood control, reduces pollutant loading to Poor Farm Creek, adds aesthetics to the area, and is adaptive to future flooding. The project is the first in Iowa to use a gabion weir and sand-iron filing filtration system to remove soluble phosphorus.
    • In the Stormwater: Private category, Cherry Glen Learning Farm, for its Designed Watershed Mitigation in Polk City. Cherry Glen Learning Farm is the state’s first watershed mitigation farm. Containing two basins, the system receives mocha-looking high nitrate water and pumps clear and mostly nitrate-free water through irrigation via solar power. Forty percent of the clean water is returned to the aquifer. The farm includes acres committed to prairie and agro-forestry cropping. A high tunnel and attached greenhouse extend the growing season. Indoor and outdoor cooking centers are available for classes. On-site composting supplements the water management and improves soil health. 
    • In the Urban Placemaking category, The Alley KADTS for The Alley in Oskaloosa. An unwelcoming, litter-ridden space was transformed to an open corridor between the local mall to the historic Oskaloosa square. A grassroots group led the effort in a makeover that includes tables, umbrellas, seating, strings of LED ambience lights, planters (repurposed livestock tanks) with attached ‘walls’ for signage displays, and an artistic metal entrance archway. Many community organizations, companies, and the high school metal shop class were involved. The Alley has been used for community events, meetings, collaborations, musical and theatrical performances, as well as informal neighborly gatherings. The entrance arch embodies The Alley’s slogan, “Preserving Our Heritage While Building Our Future.”

The Best Development Award winners are selected from a pool of applicants each year and judged by an independent group of jurors. This 2016 jurors were, in alphabetical order, Liz Christiansen, Director of the Office of Sustainability at the University of Iowa; Maureen Collins-Williams, an Iowa public sector professional who trains, speaks and consults with 21st century entrepreneurs and innovators; Jeff Geerts, Special Projects Manager with the Community Development Division of the Iowa Economic Development Authority; Jeff Hanson, Community Development Operations Manager of the City of Sioux City, and Ryan Peterson, President of Impact7G.

1000 Friends of Iowa, founded in 1998, is a statewide nonprofit organization focused on land use education. Its mission is to unite Iowans in efforts to protect farmland and natural areas; revitalize neighborhoods, towns and cities; and improve quality of life for future generations. Its Best Development Awards program was established in 2001.

Additional details about each winning project and 1000 Friends of Iowa’s smart growth priorities can be found at www.1000FriendsofIowa.org.

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1000 Friends of Iowa Announces 2016 Best Development Award Winners

BDA2016FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Julia McGuire, Best Development Award Coordinator, 515-988-1828, awards@1000friendsofiowa.org

1000 Friends of Iowa Announces 2016 Best Development Award Winners

Dec. 27, 2016 (Des Moines, Iowa)

1000 Friends of Iowa proudly announces ten recipients as its Best Development Award winners of 2016. Five independent jurors from across the state selected projects that implement the efficient use of our resources to develop sustainable communities that provide a high quality of life.

The 2016 Best Development Award winners are listed below (category, winner, project, city):

  • In the Renovated Residential category, Todd Schneider for the School House Apartments in Fort Madison
  • In the New Commercial category, Hope Haven Area Development Center Corporation for the Hopefully Yours Thrift and Gift Shop in Burlington
  • In the Renovated Commercial category, Blackbird Investments for the Market One Building in Des Moines
  • In the Mixed Use category, Indigo Dawn for the Green & Main project in Des Moines
  • In the Innovative Leadership category, Johnson County for its Solar Array and Soil Quality Restoration at Johnson County Administration Building in Iowa City
  • In the Renewable Energy category, Steffensmeier Welding and Manufacturing for its Solar Field in Pilot Grove
  • In the Stormwater: Civic category, the City of Storm Lake for its North Central Stormwater Project in Storm Lake
  • In the Stormwater: Private category, Cherry Glen Learning Farm, for its Designed Watershed Mitigation in Polk City
  • In the Urban Placemaking category, The Alley KADTS for The Alley in Oskaloosa

“Having such inspirational nominations from all over the state brought a great close to the 2016 calendar year,” stated Kari Carney, Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Iowa. “Publicly recognizing significant projects to a wide audience is critical to our mission of educating citizens about responsible land use. I hope our Best Development Award winners will be seen as models for other community projects in 2017.”

This year’s award categories expanded to include Renewable Energy, Transportation/Complete Streets, and Placemaking/Green Space as a way for 1000 Friends of Iowa to express the fact that smart land use and sustainable communities are more than buildings. All of the nominated projects help advance sustainability across our state by considering site placement, design, water efficiency, energy management, materials and resources used, indoor environmental quality, public use, and long-term benefits.

The Best Development Award winners are selected from a pool of applicants each year and judged by an independent group of jurors. This year’s jurors were Ryan Peterson, President of Impact7G; Liz Christiansen, Director of the Office of Sustainability at the University of Iowa; Jeff Geerts, Special Projects Manager with the Community Development Division of the Iowa Economic Development Authority; Maureen Collins-Williams, an Iowa public sector professional who trains, speaks and consults with 21st century entrepreneurs and innovators; and Jeff Hanson, Community Development Operations Manager of the City of Sioux City.

Founded in 1998, 1000 Friends of Iowa is the only organization in the state focused solely on promoting responsible land use in community, state, and federal development decisions. Its mission is to unite Iowans in efforts to protect farmland and natural areas, revitalize neighborhoods, towns and cities, and improve quality of life for future generations.

Additional details about each winning project will be forthcoming.

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New Farm-a-Save signs go up

For over 18 years, 1000 Friends of Iowa has been working to address land use issues in Iowa. One of the first tactics our early founders used to draw attention to land use issues across the state was by putting up Farm-a-Save signs along well traveled roads.

18 years later, the familiar signs are still letting motorists know that there is a better way! Recently, the signs that are on the south side of Interstate 80 near Earlham got an upgrade with new signs.

Co-founder LaVon Griffieon has recently re-painted and created fresh signs that are ready to go to their new homes!

If you are interested in hosting a set of Farm-a-Save signs, here is  what you need to know:

  1. Pick a strip of land along a well-traveled roadway, or empty store front windows.
  1. In order to ensure passerby’s can read the signs, the signs should be spaced 90 feet apart with a total length of 360 feet.
  1. Choose the set of signs you want, based on what is relevant for your area
    •  To the earth/make amends/park your car/bike with friends
    • These old buildings/Still got magic/their destruction/would be tragic
    • Urban sprawl/ain’t too pretty/save our farms/build in the city
    • Urban growth/on rural ground/how ‘bout raising/hogs downtown
    • Wal-marts and roads/Sprout up like weeds/and our tax dollars/are the seeds
    • Keep our mainstreets/strong and healthy/when we buy local/our towns stay wealthy
    • These lovely hills/unique beyond measure/time is a ticking/to save such a treasure
  1. You can pick up the signs or we can deliver to you.
  1. Once installed, keep the area mowed or free of weeds, shrubs, etc that will block the view of the signs.
  1. Take pictures and send them to us! We’ll let others know where they can see the signs at!

For more information or to get your get of signs contact us at kfoi@1000friendsofiowa.org or call 515-288-5364.

 

Best Development Awards – Become a Sponsor!


Celebrating 16 Years of Recognizing Smart Growth & Sustainable Development Across Iowa

The Best Development Awards program recognizes cities, companies, nonprofit organizations, and individuals who demonstrate how responsible development and planning practices provide benefits to the community, the environment, and quality of life for future generations. Nominated projects help advance sustainability across our state by considering site placement, design, water efficiency, energy management, materials and resources used, indoor environmental quality, public use, and long-term benefits.

Our Best Development Awards Program is made possible because of the generous donations of our sponsors. Please consider becoming a sponsor this year.  For more information on sponsorships, click here.

Click here to make a sponsorship gift.

Nominations for the 2017 Awards will open on September 1, 2017.
Download the Best Development Awards informational brochure here.
HOW TO APPLY:

STEP 1: Download the category application (see links below)

STEP 2: Review the awards program and category criteria

STEP 3: Submit your nomination by the Nov. 15th deadline

Entry Fee: $50 

Pay entry fee online by clicking here or make checks payable to: 1000 Friends of Iowa 3850 Merle Hay Road, Suite 605 Des Moines, IA 50310 (Please note Best Development Awards entry fee)

2017 Categories (Click the specific category for its application) 

Questions? Contact: Awards@1000friendsofiowa.org

Now more than ever we must raise awareness of people doing great things in our communities. We are facing a critical time when our water, land, air, and climate are so threatened by the impacts of poor land use decisions — it is imperative that we work to promote efforts that are doing it right. Because we know that smart land use and sustainable communities are more that just buildings, we’ve added three new categories this year:

  • Renewable Energy, including solar and wind for commercial and residential properties
  • Transportation/Complete Streets, including walkability and bicycle-friendly measures that cut the dependency on fossil fuels and decrease sprawl
  • Placemaking/Green Space, which turn blight and poor planning into a living vision
Want to sponsor the 2017 Best Development Awards?
Get information here, including sponsorship benefits.

1000 Friends of Iowa established the Best Development Awards in 2001 to showcase development projects and programs in Iowa that best reflect the principles of smart growth, sustainability, and uphold the mission of 1000 Friends of Iowa. We also recognize the efforts of businesses, developers, cities, organizations, and individuals responsible for these projects. The Best Development Awards are selected from a pool of applicants each year and judged by an independent group of jurors. Become a sponsor today!

Stay up to date on awards announcements and happenings on Facebook and Twitter!

Comments Needed on Transportation Plan

The Metropolitan Planning Area for Polk, Warren, and Dallas Counties is seeking comments on the proposed Transportation Improvement Program plan. This plan covers spending and transportation projects for the next four years within these counties.

The transportation decisions we make today will have long lasting impacts on our quality of life and our climate; and are a prime driver for the type of development and the type of communities we have.

1000 Friends of Iowa supports transportation projects that focus on repairing and rebuilding existing infrastructure, expanding and improving biking and pedestrian trails, and improving and expanding walkability in our urban areas.

We oppose transportation projects to build new roads designed to encourage urban sprawl – such as the proposed Grand Prairie Parkway. This road is proposed to connect Mills Civic Parkway with the Raccoon River Road and ultimately continue on to county highway G-14 in Warren County. This West Des Moines road proposal would lead to the development of hundreds of acres of farmland and woodland and takes us in the wrong direction.

To download the entire proposed plan, please click here.

Please submit comments on the proposal by July 15, 2016.

To submit comments, call or email: 

Andrew Collings at 515-334-0075 or acollings@dmampo.org

1000 Friends Offers Topsoil Protection Toolkit & Update

Protecting topsoil is one of 1000 Friends of Iowa’s highest priorities. In 2015, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Commission gutted the requirement to maintain at least 4 inches of topsoil on residential construction sites. Because topsoil is so crucial for flood mitigation, carbon sequestering, filtering out pollutants to keep our water clean and for growing the pants and food we depend on;  we are turning to local communities to take action to protect our topsoil.

To help communities and Iowa residents take action to adopt topsoil restoration and protection ordinances, 1000 Friends of Iowa has created a handy toolkit with how to’s, talking points and sample ordinances that we like.

Congratulations to both the cities of Clive and Cedar Rapids for being the most recent communities to adopt topsoil restoration ordinances!

In 2017, we will reach out to additional communities around the state to adopt similar ordinances. Our soil is too precious not to.

Click here to download the toolkit

Click here to to see the Topsoil Restoration Guide from King County, WA

Click here to view the preliminary ordinance for the city of Clive

Let us know if you take this ordinance to your community by emailing us at kfoi@1000friendsofiowa.org 

Why it matters:

* Topsoil retention is very important to urban landscapes — growing plants need healthy soil. New homeowners with no topsoil left in place are often faced with very expensive soil remediation to even begin to establish healthy lawns, trees, and gardens. The savings to the building and construction industry (numbers that keep changing and are unsubstantiated) comes at a great cost to the homeowner and to the watershed.

* Rain events quickly wash fertilizers, also called nutrients, off lots that have been stripped of topsoil. This pollutes our rivers, lakes, and streams. Furthermore, it is costly for the landowner who must spend extra money for repeat fertilizer applications. Keeping soil in place contributes to natural storm water management solutions and helps build healthy, green, and more sustainable neighborhoods for future generations.

Stay updated on our topsoil protection actions at www.1000friendsofiowa.org.