Category Archives: 1000 Friends of Iowa News

2017 Best Development Award Nominations now open

Nominations for our Best Development Awards are open from Sept. 1 – Nov. 13, 2017.  In addition to the online nomination on our website (search the categories below), there is an application fee. Application fee must be done electronically with this link for acceptiva. Nominators will receive a confirmation by email. The email will have a subject line “Your resume was received for Job (category here).” Do not worry; we know that you are not applying for a job, but nominating a great agency for its wonderful work.

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Become a Sponsor for the 2017 BDA!

1000 Friends of Iowa’s Best Development Awards – Become a sponsor!

Iowa communities are facing turning points; how they move forward impacts Iowa for generations to come.

Showcasing Iowa’s very best works raises the bar, encouraging and inspiring tomorrow’s efforts to higher levels of sustainability.

With 15 years of project winners and more to come, the Best Development Awards create a platform of sustainable growth models that are innovative, economically viable, and serve their communities well.

The Best Development Awards recognizes projects in 12 categories:

  •   Residential – New, Renovated
  •   Commercial – New, Renovated
  •   Civic – New, Renovated
  •   Mixed Use Space
  •   Innovative Leadership
  •   Storm Water Management
  •   Transportation/Complete Streets
  •   Renewable Energy
  •   Urban Placemaking/Green Space

Timeline: Award nominations open September 1, 2017. Nominees are judged by independent jurors in December and the awards ceremony is January 16, 2018.

Your generous, tax-deductible sponsorship gift will enable us to amplify awareness of innovative development works and further inspire residents, cities, businesses, and organizations to do well by Iowa’s resources. 
Won’t you become a sponsor today?

To download the full sponsorship packet, click here.

To make a sponsorship gift, click here.

Sponsorship Benefits:

To see and read more about winners, check out The Iowan Magazine feature on 2015 winners: http://bit.ly/29SV8Xh and go to http://1000friendsofiowa.org/our- programs/best-development-awards/

People’s Climate Movement Des Moines

People’s Climate Movement Des Moines, IA Event

Saturday April 29, 2017

On Saturday April 29, Iowans from across the state will join together at the People’s Climate Rally in Des Moines, IA to stand up for good jobs, environmental justice and clean energy. At the same time Iowa will take a stand to oppose the dismantling of the Clean Power Plan, the expansion of fossil fuels, and the weakening of provisions that support renewable energy, equity and creation of good jobs.

Though the focus of the event is serious, there will be fun for the entire family. The day will be interspersed with music, great speakers and activities for young and old!

Who: The People’s Climate Movement Rally Des Moines, IA

When: Saturday, April 29 from1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Where: West Terrace on the Iowa State Capitol Grounds

What: Music, great speakers and kids activities

RSVP: People’s Climate Movement DSM

David Osterberg from the Iowa Policy Project will be the emcee for the event. There will be music featuring well know singer and songwriter Dartanyan Brown and Native American drummers. Numerous organizations from around the state will have booths and there will be kids activities including kite making and kite flying, art areas and games for kids as well.

The People’s Climate Movement Des Moines is a coalition of thirty organizations, Churches, scientists and more, who are joining together to find real solutions to the climate crisis while supporting good jobs, social justice and clean energy. Organizations include 1000 Friends of Iowa, Central Iowa Sierra Club, and the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition. Please RSVP at: People’s Climate Movement DSM

 

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.

Bakken Approved: Opponents Continue the Fight

Bakken hearing outside

The Iowa Utilities Board voted to approve the Bakken Pipeline  permit on Thursday, March 10 that will allow Dakota Access to build a 347-mile crude oil pipeline through the middle of our beautiful state.

Members of 1000 Friends of Iowa joined over 50 people from across Iowa who represent the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition at the Iowa Utilities Board hearing today to show their opposition to the proposed Bakken Pipeline.

Despite opposition from landowners and Iowans of all walks of life, the IUB ignored our voices and better judgment, and set a dangerous precedent by granting the out-of-state corporation a permit to use eminent to take private farmland to build their pipeline.

However, the Bakken Pipeline is not a done deal. Dakota Access still has other permits that it must obtain. In addition, landowners along the proposed route are considering a lawsuit to challenge the use of eminent domain.

1000 Friends of Iowa needs your help to stop this! Here are two things you can do:

  1. Make your voice heard — Write a letter to the editor showing your opposition to the pipeline. Click here for talking points
  1. Contact your state legislators — Ask them to work to strengthen Iowa’s law to prevent eminent domain use for private gain. Click here to find your legislator

1000 Friends of Iowa has always opposed the notion of forcing private landowners to give up their property rights for corporate gain. We believe that this is, at the very least, an inappropriate, if not illegal, use of eminent domain.

Together, we can stop this pipeline. Also, please consider supporting our efforts to stop eminent domain abuse and promote responsible land use and clean energy to protect our air, water, and soil with a gift. We thank you for your support.

For inspiration on compelling letters to the editor, check out these three letters that appeared in Thursday’s paper by Matt Ohloff of Food & Water Watch; Brad Lint, executive director of Iowa Association for Justice; and Paul Lunde, candidate for the U. S. House of Representatives, District 4.

www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/readers/2016/03/10/pipeline-approval-wont-serve-public-interest/81537550 

www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/readers/2016/03/10/pipeline-spill-could-cost-taxpayers-long-run/81496152 

www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/readers/2016/03/10/iowans-opposed-bakken-pipeline/81539600 

Iowa communities moving forward with topsoil rules.

Protecting topsoil is one of 1000 Friends of Iowa’s highest priorities. Last fall, 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, and we are turning to individual communities to take action.

The City of Clive is in the process of passing an 8-inch topsoil rule. While we strongly support this proposal, there are builders who would like to create a loophole allowing them to avoid maintaining topsoil if they implement other storm water management solutions. Though utilizing additional storm water management solutions is a great idea, it is still critically important that builders maintain topsoil on the property.

The City of Clive is asking for people to make comments on the proposed rule. Go to the link below to voice your opinion on the City’s open forum. Look for “Soil health for construction projects.” The forum is open until 6 p.m. on April 15: http://www.cityofclive.com/government/clive-open-forum#peak_democracy 

We are also encouraging people to email the Clive City Council directly to support the requirement that topsoil be maintained on the property, even with additional storm water management systems. Find their emails at: http://www.cityofclive.com/government/city-clerk/boards-and-commissions/council-members

Please plan to attend the Clive City Council meeting on Thursday, April 14 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Some talking points for the topsoil protection rule:

  • We strongly support requiring that builders maintain 8 inches of topsoil on properties after the build. This rule will not only help to manage stormwater runoff, but it will also reduce water pollution and add value to the property.
  • 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.
  • We understand that scraping soil is part of the site preparation process, but instead of hauling away the soil that has been scraped off, it can be stock piled and spread out after construction is completed. The extra cost to the building and construction industry for keeping the soil on site are nominal compared to the costs to the homeowners, the watershed and our drinking water if it is removed.
  • When the soil is stripped away, homeowners often turn to fertilizers and chemical amendments to encourage plant growth. Wit no soil to soak into, these chemicals find their way into our waterways after rain events, polluting  our rivers, lakes, and streams.
  • It is costly for homeowners 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.