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2018 BEST DEVELOPMENT AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

1000 FRIENDS OF IOWA ANNOUNCES 2018 BEST DEVELOPMENT AWARD RECIPIENTS

Celebrating Iowa’s ‘development heroes’ and recognizing smart growth principles across the state

Dec. 11, 2018 (Des Moines, Iowa) – 1000 Friends of Iowa proudly announces eight recipients of its Best Development Award for 2018. These recipients were chosen because they implement the efficient use of resources to develop sustainable communities and provide a high quality of life.

“These are our state’s ‘development heroes,’” according to Julia McGuire, Program Coordinator. The 2018 Best Development Award winners are listed below (category, recipient, project, city):

  • In the Innovative Leadership category, the City of Storm Lake for building a sustainable community through food, youth service and education, flood control, and stormwater management in Storm Lake
  • In the Placemaking/Greenspace category, Primary Health Care’s East Side Clinic for its Healing Garden in Des Moines
  • In the Renewable Energy category, Stuff Etc. for its unique “solar plus storage” technology in Coralville
  • In the Renovated Civic – Small Community category, the Bricker-Price Block for the restoration of the Bricker-Price Block in Earlham
  • In the Renovated Civic – Large Community, the Davenport Community School District for its J.B. Young Opportunity Center in Davenport
  • In the Renovated Residential category, Professional Property Management for Sun Prairie Apartments in West Des Moines
  • In the Stormwater Management category, the City of Algona for its Downtown Green Parking Lot Infrastructure Renewal in Algona
  • In the Transportation/Complete Streets category, the City of Manning for its Trails Network in Manning

“The nominations for 2018 were very diverse. The jurors really appreciated the number of renovations that were nominated. There are so many great developments occurring in our state,” stated Kari Carney, Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Iowa. “Iowa should celebrate the communities where thoughtful planning is happening. Hopefully other communities can replicate the successes of our 2018 category winners.”

The Best Development Award winners are selected from a pool of nominations each year by an independent group of jurors. This year’s jurors were Pat Boddy, Senior Partner Emeritus at RDG Planning & Design; 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; Ulrike Passe, Associate Professor of Architecture at Iowa State University and Director of the Center for Building Energy Research, and Ryan Peterson, President of Impact7G.

The Best Development Awards Program recognizes projects in up to 12 different categories as a way for 1000 Friends of Iowa to express the fact that smart land use and sustainable communities are more than constructed buildings. All of the award recipients help advance sustainability across our state by considering site design, outdoor and indoor environmental impact, public use, and long-term benefits.

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.

For more information about the Best Development Awards Program, please contact Julia McGuire at 515-988-1828 or email awards@1000friendsofiowa.org.

Mapping City Climate Action

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In 2017, President Trump removed the US from the Paris Climate Agreement. In response, many local jurisdictions who often deal with the brunt of the weather related impacts of climate change stood up and declared that they were going to “stay in” the agreement.

1000 Friends of Iowa agrees and believes that we can have the greatest impact working locally for solutions that can add up to real impacts.

Analyses done by ARUP for the C40 Initiative concluded that cities are essential actors in reducing emissions and that the 758 US cities with populations of 50,000 or more can deliver about on third of the US Paris commitment. Cities can deliver emission reductions that are additive to those of nations and states, ARUP concludes, because they control land use, transportation systems, and the attributes of buildings.

They further conclude that there is a deadline. They conclude that cities have until 2020 to get on a pathway to achieving future deep emission reductions. In other words, city action is urgent but harder to get our hands around because it requires hundreds of individual policy and programmatic decisions. To succeed, we must be able to achieve change at scale. We need to work together to figure out how to do that.

About 150 of the 758 cities are in the Midwest. We already know that in general, the core city in each of the largest metro areas is taking some action – often with the help of nonprofits and foundations, such as, Chicago, Madison, Minneapolis, Cleveland. The ARUP analysis tells us that this is not enough.

We know that we need more of the communities across Iowa and the Midwest to take action. While we work with local communities in Iowa, we wanted to do analysis by identifying the status of clean energy, climate work, and sustainability efforts in these cities and to develop a plan of action for spurring all to action.

Partnering with organizations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan, 1000 Friends of Iowa just completed a comprehensive mapping project looking at whether or not cities with a population of 40,000 or more were currently addressing these issues and what they were doing if they were. In Iowa, there are 13 cities that met the criteria. Eleven of those cities participated in the mapping project.

Of the participating cities, five of them have completed greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventories and four have set GHG reduction goals. Three cities have established an energy plan, climate action plan or resiliency plan. Two other cities are in progress of developing a plan. Five Iowa Cities have energy efficiency goals and Nine of the eleven cities that responded are participating in a sustainability program.

From anecdotal data gathered, the two most important factors that seem to drive a cities success in their efforts to address climate change and become more sustainable were: 1. a supportive city council and Mayor and 2. a staff person who acted as the sustainability coordinator or director for the city. Click here to view an interactive map with the results and Click here to see the raw data results.

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

 

2016 Stormwater Management: Private Winner :: Cherry Glen Learning Farm :: Ray and Sue Meylor

This category features projects that are successful in mitigating, directing, and decreasing storm water run off in urban or rural settings. Commercial, civic, or residential projects can include but are not limited to the use of natural or sustainable filtration systems with the aim to improve water quality through landscaping or streetscaping, or to recycle and reuse collected water for conservation purposes, such as landscape watering.

Cherry Glen Learning Farm is the state’s first watershed mitigation farm and is located in Polk City. It also has solar-powered irrigation.  Designed by the Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District, this 10 A farm has two basins, one of which connects to farm tile. 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. Four acres are enrolled into prairie through NRCS, and another 4 A switched from commodity crops to annual 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 to improve soil health.

2016 Urban Placemaking Winner :: The Alley :: The Alley KADTS

Our Urban Placemaking/Green Spaces category spotlights spaces and attractions that combine sustainability, culture, inclusivity of an all-ages population, preservation of open spaces, and creative solutions that engage community members to interact with nature, with a local, small business economy, and with each other. Additional qualities include a community-led or multi-organizational effort with diverse stakeholders as well as accessibility for all to experience a sense of belonging and participation.

the alley, oskaloosa, 2016 winnerThe Alley had many organizations and companies involved in its transformation from an unwelcoming, litter-ridden space to an open corridor from 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. The signage allows for historic markers, artwork, and business and personal signs.

oskaloosa, the alley

Many community organizations and companies as well as the high school metal shop class  were involved. The project was privately funded through grants, donations (cash and in-kind), advertising, and sponsorships to encourage community pride and ownership. 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.”

2016 Stormwater Management: Civic Winner: City of Storm Lake’s North Central Stormwater Project

Our Stormwater Management category features projects that are successful in mitigating, directing, and decreasing storm water run off in urban or rural settings. Commercial, civic, or residential projects can include but are not limited to the use of natural or sustainable filtration systems with the aim to improve water quality through landscaping or streetscaping, or to recycle and reuse collected water for conservation purposes, such as landscape watering.

The North Central Storm Water Project was designed to relieve substantial overland flooding from approximately 150 acres of developed watershed consisting of residential and school property. A unique treatment train concept diverts storm water runoff from the main drainage channel into linear treatment basins in lieu 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. A sand-iron filing filtration system component was developed at the University of Minnesota as part of its Storm Water Research Program and augmented for this unique site application. Using a gabion weir sandwiched around the sand-iron filing filtration system represents the first time this innovative approach to removing soluble phosphorus has been implemented in the State of Iowa.

2016 Renewable Energy Winner: Steffensmeier Welding and Mfg.’s Solar Field

The Renewable Energy category features the use of renewable energy on a small or large scale, such as civic or commercial implementation or residential or small business integration. Renewable energy includes sources such as wind, solar, hydropower, or geothermal. These projects will seek and have success in decreasing use of fossil fuels and reducing carbon emissions, as well as serving as viable models for others looking to adopt renewable energy solutions.  

solar field, steffensmeier, iowa, 2016 winner, best development award

The Steffensmeier Solar Field was the result of employees meeting to determine the benefits of solar energy at the manufacturing plant. The Steffensmeier Solar Field is functioning at 100%, or 430.66 kW, and comprised of 1412-305 watt panels spanning 3-½ acres adjacent to the manufacturing headquarters in Pilot Grove, Iowa and will significantly reduce overall costs over a 4-5 year time period and have 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 in Iowa. Using net-metering, the array will overproduce electricity in the summer, allowing credit to build with the serving utility. The credit is then drawn upon during winter months when production is lower due to shorter daylight periods and more cloudy days.

2016 Mixed Use Winner :: Green & Main :: Indigo Dawn

The Mixed Use category features mixed use properties that combine both commercial and residential use. Notable aspects include but are not limited to minimized environmental impact, accessibility to affordable or mixed market-rate housing, use of sustainable building materials, utilization of energy-efficient technologies, plus the integration of walkability, placemaking, and alternative transportation options.

Green & Main, Des Moines, Indigo DawnThe  Green & Main project transformed a complicated site into a successful mixed use building with a health center on the bottom floors and a residential apartment on upper level. It was known that the vacant, commercial building was on the National Register of Historic Places, but work for the geothermal system  revealed an additional two historic foundations — a nineteenth century laundry and a Victorian house.
Green & Main, 2016 mixed use winner, before, des moinesMany regional and community organizations contributed to the success of Green and Main in terms of donations, support, and volunteering. State brownfield and historic tax credit programs were used. An I-JOBS Improved Green Urban Stormwater Best Management Practices grant helped bring soil quality restoration, bioswales, permeable pavers, subterranean retention, a green roof, rain gardens, and rain barrels to the project. Passive and active solar strategies are used, such as double paned windows for the exterior, transom windows for the interior, and solar panels augment power consumption while shading a rooftop deck.

(interior photos coming soon)

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.

2016 Renovated Commercial Winner :: Market One Building :: Blackbird Investments

The Renovated Commercial category highlights the use of existing structures for commercial 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, the adherence to historical preservation practices if applicable, plus the integration of walkability, placemaking, and alternative transportation options. Projects that solicit and implement community feedback are also valued qualities.

2016 Best Development Awards, winner, Renovated Commercial, Market One, Blackbird InvestmentsThe Market One Building, located in Des Moines’ East Village, is on the National HIstoric Register and used state and federal tax credits to restore and repair 97.8% of the structure, floors, roof, and building envelope. It adaptively reuses a factory for commercial space. A glass-enclosed conference room and 3000 square feet of deck and shade canopy were added to the roof.

(photo of roof coming soon)

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, and capture and delay water retention; geothermal heating and cooling technologies; solar photovoltaics on the parking canopy (with the roof array, the building has net-zero status); dual flush toilets; permeable walk surfaces; maximized daylighting, LED lighting, sensors and lighting controls; dedicated parking for 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.

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.