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!

Call for Bakken Oil Pipeline Construction Monitors

Print

**UPDATE July 19, 2016

The Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition, which 1000 Friends of Iowa is a member, is looking for people to “adopt” a section of the pipeline route to watch DAPL’s construction and be the eyes and ears for justice.

To sign up to be a Pipeline monitor, just follow this link: Pipeline Monitors

Because it is crucial to protect our waters and support landowners who are trying to protect their land, we want to create a team of people along the pipeline route who can monitor their section for violations of the law.

For those who are willing to help monitor a section of the pipeline, you will:
  • Participate in a training call
  • Receive a short guidebook to the rules for either Iowa or South Dakota with all the information you need to do the monitoring
  • Monitor your segment of the pipeline when construction begins
  • Notify authorities if DAPL violates the law
  • Notify the Resistance Coalition with regular updates by posting pictures, videos, and written notes on a Facebook page
  • Work with the team to take action, especially around water crossings and on property owned by landowners who have resisted Dakota Access’ efforts to condemn their land.

We want to create a team of people across Iowa and South Dakota that can help defend our land and water.

If you’re willing to be a pipeline monitor, follow the link below and fill in your contact information. We’ll send you the call-in information for the training call and handbook.

To sign up as a monitor,  follow this link: Pipeline Monitors

 

**UPDATE April 12, 2016

The only thing preventing Dakota Access from beginning construction on the Bakken Pipeline is the Army Corps of Engineers permit.
With your help, we can make sure the Army Corps of Engineers denies the permit.

Take two simple actions!

  1. Sign our petition to tell the Army Corps to conduct a full environmental impact statement and to deny the permit! Just click here to sign the petition.
  2. Email Brent Cossette and Col. John Henderson at the Army Corps of Engineers and tell them a FULL and complete environmental impact statement is non-negotiable!
For talking points for your email, click here.

Currently the Army Corps of Engineers is only evaluating the project in a piecemeal fashion, rather than looking at the entire project.

This hazardous and unjust pipeline cannot be evaluated piece by piece. It is impossible for the Army Corps to grasp the true consequence and nature of this toxic project if they look at it through a narrowed lens.

Stay tuned for next steps.

Stopping the Bakken Pipeline

“Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things.” Russell Baker

Join us Wednesday, December 16 for  the Iowa DNR’s public hearing on the proposed Bakken Pipeline.

Dakota Access, the company seeking approval to build the Bakken Pipeline, must obtain a permit from Iowa Department of Natural Resources to build its pipeline across Iowa’s public lands.

As part of its consideration of this permit, the DNR is holding a public hearing this Wednesday, Dec. 16, in Des Moines, in the auditorium of the Wallace State Office Building, 502 E. Ninth St., in Des Moines, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. 

That means we need a lot of you there to make sure the Iowa DNR hears us load and clear – “NO BAKKEN PIPELINE IN IOWA!”

Talking points  include:
  • The Threat to Iowa’s Soil and water. The proposed Bakken pipeline would represent an on going threat to Iowa’s precious natural resources, as countless crude oil pipeline accidents have proven. Just this January, the Bridger Pipeline poured between 40,000 and 50,000 gallons of Bakken crude into the pristine Yellowstone River.  In Iowa, the Bakken pipeline would run beneath virtually every major waterway in the state, including the Big Sioux, Des Moines, and Mississppi rivers.
  • The Threat to Iowa’s Economy. Current Iowa law would require Dakota access to provide a surety bond of just $250,000 to cover potential damages. In reality, that is just a drop in the bucket for actual clean up costs and would leave Iowa tax payers holding the bill.  Cleanup costs for just one  spill, that pumped one million gallons of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, have already cost over one BILLION dollars. And there is more clean up still to do. Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of Dakota Access, wrote, “We may incur substantial environmental costs and liabilities because of the underlying risk inherent to our operations.”
  • The Assault on Landowner Rights Through Eminent Domain Abuse. Dakota Access has formally asked the three-member Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) to grant the company the power of eminent domain, which would give the company the power to force Iowa landowners to provide easements against their will. This would be an egregious abuse of eminent domain, which, by law, only can be granted when there is significant “public convenience and necessity.” However, all three members of the IUB have been appointed by Governor Branstad, whose re-election campaign received support from former Texas governor Rick Perry, now an Energy Transfer Partners’ board member.
  • The Threat to the World’s Climate. Every established scientific organization in the world has affirmed that the earth’s climate is rapidly changing and that human use of fossil fuels is the primary cause. According the former NASA climatologist, James Hansen, who was the first to address Congress on climate change nearly 30 years ago, 80% of fossil fuel reserves already discovered must remain in the ground if we are to avoid cataclysmic climate change.The Bakken pipeline would do just the opposite, facilitating the daily extraction of an additional 570,000 barrels of climate changing crude oil.

 

Let us know you’re coming!  Please RSVP by clicking here. 

—————————————————————————

Sample Talking Points for the IUB hearing Nov 12, 2015:

The following basic talking points are here for your reference – but do share you story and thoughts regarding the proposed Bakken Pipeline in any way you see fit!

Eminent Domain and the Pipeline

  • Dakota Access wants to use eminent domain to force land owners to allow the pipeline to be built there.
  • No private, for profit corporation should have the ability to use eminent domain to take property from the rightful owners for their own personal gain, and for the sake of profits.
  • The Bakken pipeline has no public benefit for the state of Iowa. The oil and the profits will go out of state.

The effects on agriculture land have not been thoroughly investigated:

  • Iowa farmland and recreation areas will be damaged with the pipeline’s construction and when the pipeline leaks.
  • The oil flowing through the pipeline will generate heat that will affect freeze-thaw cycles, soil microbes, wildlife, and plants.
  • According to Dr. Tom Fenton from ISU, soil compaction may reduce yields for many years.
  • The Agriculture mitigation plan does not adequately protect and restore the 3 layers of soil – topsoil, subsoil, and parent material.  Mixing the layers will reduce soil fertility.

The pipeline provides little economic benefit to Iowa and to Iowans:

  • According to ISU economist Dave Swenson, this project would create far fewer jobs are expected than Dakota Access is promoting – less than 12 permanent full-time jobs.
  • There is no guarantee that most of the jobs will be going to Iowans.
  • We’re not against jobs. Jobs should move us into the 21st century and away from oil.
  • There is no guarantee that this oil will be used in the United States since Obama lifted the ban on exporting crude oil.
  • This is not a question of pipe versus rail. All business predictions suggest the industry will continue to transport oil through both pipe AND rail in order to quickly move their products.

Pipelines leak:

  • The state’s indemnity fund for cleaning up a spill is only $250,000 – barely enough to clean up the most minor spill. Recent oil spills have cost far more in clean-up:  $70 million (2013 Mayflower, AL), $1.2 billion (2010 Kalamazoo, MI)
  • This isn’t about bad welding or poor workmanship.  It is about a corrosive, volatile substance that can destroy acres of farmland, waterways and wildlife habitat when it leaks.
  • Oil and water do not mix – creating dangers to wildlife, recreation areas, and drinking water.

This pipeline will exacerbate climate change:

  • We already have the technology we need to invest in wind & solar, moving beyond Big Oil
  • We should invest in renewable energy–creating jobs without the environmental risk to future generations

The IUB needs to require Dakota Access to perform an environmental impact study:

  • Dakota Access hasn’t done adequate environmental studies and is not required to do so.
  • The IUB has denied requests to have an environmental impact statement prepared.  Dakota Access needs to be forced to do that study before they are given a permit.
  • It is doubtful that construction crews will be able to identify and detect threatened and endangered species and not destroy them.  That is why studies need to be done.
  • It is doubtful that construction crews will be able to identify and detect archaeological artifacts and not destroy them.  That is why studies need to be done.
  • Most of the major rivers in Iowa will be crossed  including the Missouri, Mississippi, North Raccoon, South Skunk; additionally, the Jordan Aquifer would be crossed, the water source for 300,000 Iowans.
  • The IUB is counting on DNR to take into consideration the risks to the natural areas.  However DNR is only looking at sovereign lands – 3 rivers and 1 wildlife area.  The IUB needs to ensure that lands not evaluated by the DNR are examined.
  • The IUB is counting on Army Corps to evaluate impacts on the waterways of the state.  However the Corps is only looking at 17 isolated sites. The IUB should mandate impacts to waterways are evaluated.
  • The IUB can’t rely on the DNR, Corps, Archaeologists to deal with environmental impacts because they have limited jurisdiction.  The IUB needs to step up to the plate and require an environmental impact study where the other agencies do not have jurisdiction.

More About the Pipeline

A Texas company is proposing a 343-mile underground pipeline to cut diagonally across 17 Iowa counties on its path from North Dakota to Illinois. Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners has proposed the pipeline will span four states for a total length of 1,134 miles carrying 570,000 barrels of crude oil each day from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Patoka, IL where the crude will be redistributed across the U.S.

Energy Transfer Partners has asked the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) for permission to build the underground pipeline in Iowa. Board approval would give the company access to eminent domain powers which would force landowners to sell their property if a sale agreement is not reached. A group opposing the project asked Governor Branstad to block the proposal; a request the Governor declined.

Economic development projects should be analyzed on what we have to lose in the long run as well as short-term, one time gains. One has to ask, who stands to benefit most from this pipeline? Not Iowans.

The Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition’s site for a wealth of resources on the issue. The coalition has also set up Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep the public informed of the very latest.

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

 

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.