The Innovative Leadership category 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. Other valued leadership qualities include the positive impact on future generations and inspiring other communities to mirror their efforts with a replicable model.
Our Innovative Leadership Award recipient is the City of Clive. Clive has invested substantial resources in a number of innovative strategies, including completion of a Comprehensive Plan update that is grounded in the 10 Iowa Smart Planning Principles. This plan lays the groundwork for the transition from a growth community to a sustainable, fully developed community through long-range planning of the City’s infrastructure, existing neighborhood assets and quality of life amenities. This includes the development of water and pavement utility system assessments and housing condition/attainability reports, engaging residents throughout the decision-making process.
Clive has acquired in floodplain property to ensure that appropriate stream buffers are preserved prior to development. Additionally, the City has recently acquired approximately 15-acres of floodplain in an older part of town in order to expand the connectivity of the Greenbelt into an underserved area. Over time, the City has identified approximately 30 additional acres of additional floodplain property to acquire to further promote healthy floodplain management and neighborhood connectivity.
After a nearly 2-year inclusive public process, the City completed a comprehensive Greenbelt Master Plan, and over half of the total dollars in environmental enhancements go to the floodplain. To date, the Greenbelt Master Plan work includes completed multiple bio-engineered streambank stabilization projects which seek to minimize the use of hard armor riprap and aid in the reconnection of the creek with its floodplain. It has hosted technical training and educational events to advance adoption of these practices. The City recently completed two reconstructed oxbow wetlands to increase flood storage capacity and expand ecological diversity. Goats and sheep have been used to demonstrate the effectiveness of grazing animals as a vegetation management alternative within the Greenbelt.
The City has provided strong leadership within the Walnut Creek WMA and its efforts in the creation of a comprehensive Watershed Master Plan. The Clive City Council was the first to formally adopt the Watershed Master Plan. Additionally, the City has been actively engaged in expanding partnerships/funding to further both rural and urban strategies for flood loss avoidance within the entirety of the watershed.
Clive was the first community to adopt updated Stormwater Management regulations, which require that all public and private development projects mitigate impacts on both water quality and quantity.