Focus Area: PLACEMAKING

Where Families Want to Live

What makes a community a place where families want to live and business want to locate? Recreation opportunities. Affordable housing. Signature events. Quality streetscape. These are just a few of the examples of our placemaking grants at work.

Arts & Culture City County Housing Recreation
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The Iowa West Foundation's investment into the CITIES program has provided critical infrastructure and a new sense of pride in many of our communities in Pottawattamie County. The CITIES program has especially made an impact in our rural communities such as the City of Hancock where the new wastewater treatment system was constructed that would have otherwise been impossible to afford on their own. Carson and Macedonia have also benefited from investments of the Iowa West Foundation through a program to improve the main street corridors.

A project near and dear to my heart was the Dream Playground Re-imagined, in which the Iowa West Foundation committed a substantial gift that carried project through completion. These partnerships are crucial to the success of our County and we look forward to exploring more opportunities in the future.

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Justin Schultz
Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors

Pottawattamie Arts, Culture & Entertainment

A $27 million Arts & Culture Center? In Council Bluffs? That’s right. In 2018, the Foundation awarded $1.4 million of its $9 million pledge to help make this a reality. With a mission to showcase Council Bluffs’ history, provide high-quality performance space, and strengthen arts education offerings, PACE will be transformational for Pottawattamie County. The Hoff Family Arts & Culture Center opens in 2020.

City of Council Bluffs

Just as the City of Council Bluffs has been the top recipient of Iowa West Foundation funding throughout our tenure, so was the case for 2018. Last year, $3 million in Foundation funds supported City of Council Bluffs planning and construction of a trail along the First Avenue corridor ($200,000) All-America City signage ($25,000) Bayliss Park holiday lighting ($25,000) and the reconstruction of West Broadway ($2,000,000, of a $9 million commitment).

CITIES Program

A big deal for small towns. The CITIES program assists 12 rural Pottawattamie County communities with grants for infrastructure improvements, housing, recreation and beautification. In 2018, $474,125 went to the communities of Carson to complete facade improvements and Hancock to improve its municipal wastewater system.

Walnut Grove Housing

Attractive, affordable housing continues to be a focus for the Foundation. In 2018, in partnership with Neighborworks Home Solutions and Iowa Western Community College, the Foundation granted $262,000 to build homes in the Walnut Grove neighborhood. Click the link below to watch a 2-minute video of this grant in action.

Walnut Grove Housing Video

DREAM Playground

Recreation is an essential ingredient to the recipe that determines where families want to live. In 2018, the Iowa West Foundation funded $160,000 to make the Dream Playground a reality.