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Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities

The Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities pursues a dual mission of enhancing the quality of life in Iowa while transforming teaching and learning at the university. Sustainable communities are those in which current generations can meet their social, economic, and environmental needs without compromising the ability of future generations to do so as well. 
Webster City was chosen from a competitive application process to be the IISC partner for the 2018-19 academic year. 
The IISC partnership provided the City of Webster City with an opportunity to engage the community to help us identify, plan, and promote a new vision for our future. We hope that the projects we completed with the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities program will continue to build a sense of collective identity and civic pride, and remove barriers to more residents choosing to work, live, and socialize in our community. We wish to provide a more connected and sustainable future by reinvigorating investment into the community through the wide range of projects that will serve the next generations who choose to call Webster City home.

Activating Webster City's Literacy History and Kendall Young Library

Kendall Young Library in Webster City contains unique art collections and archives that are accessible to library patrons. To increase awareness of these resources, students in Museums in a Digital World developed an interpretive plan that considered the needs of the community audience.

Boone Forks Regional Marketing Plan

Three years ago, Hamilton, Boone, and Webster Counties received funding from Iowa’s Parks Foundation to develop a master plan as a region focused on achieving economic, social and natural resources balance and improvements.

The Boone Forks Parks to People planning team involves collaborators from the state, county and local government, non- profit organizations and private sector economic leaders to build a robust regional approach for the future. 

Boone River Recreation Engineering and Design

The Boone River Water Trail is one of the premier outdoor recreational points of interest in Iowa. The stretch of river from Webster City city park to Briggs Woods is well known for its secluded natural vistas, wildlife spotting, exciting riffles, and good fishing.

Digital Archiving Kendall Young Library

Graduate students in the School of Library & Information Science provided a framework for digitizing thousands of archived local historical records that currently exist only as print documents in Webster City’s Kendall Young Library.

English to Spanish Translation

Webster City has a small population of first and second generation immigrants, particularly families originally from Laos and Latin American countries. 

As the City becomes more diverse and attracts residents from across the world, community leaders hope to ensure that new residents can smoothly transition into the community and easily access information about local services and the community.

Finding grants for All Cultures Equal

All Cultures Equal (ACE) is a Webster City based non-profit organization focused on bringing together and empowering diverse cultures in the community.  ACE provides a wide range of services, such as ESL programming, Immigration assistance, community meetings and events, translation services, and more.

Models for Community Impact Investing

Rural Iowa communities of all sizes face many, well-documented challenges:  aging residents and infrastructure, population decline, lack of affordable housing, the loss of manufacturing jobs, and the decline of Main Street that frequently follows. 

Amphitheater Engineering and Design

A local benefactor in the Webster City community would like to see and financially support the creation of an outdoor amphitheater at the bottom of Hospital Hill at Brewer Creek Park. Set in the natural valley alongside Brewer Creek and the Brewer Creek Trail, this location would be a perfect spot for outdoor concerts and gatherings.

Downtown Mural

The 12-panel mural celebrates Webster City’s past, present, and future with colorful paintings that each represent an important person or aspect of the community.

Downtown Strategic Plan

Business and community leaders are exploring new ways to revitalize the downtown, including public art and a “cooperative brewery”.  Furthermore, the community can expect to see a considerable increase in population due to a new large employer in the area.

Elks Club Engineering and Design

The Elks Club was built in 1906 and for years served as a hub for entertainment and social events.  For the past couple decades, however, it has been neglected in its use. It suffered water damage in the rear of the building (the roof was since replaced) and is mostly used for storage. Webster City hopes to turn this building into the community hub of yesteryear once again.

Film Profiles

Film students Izzy Schrock and Jade Peterson created film profiles of four Webster City residents who are making a difference in their community.

GIS Wayfinding

As part of the ICIGO student organization within the Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences, students examined wayfinding placement in Webster City, Iowa. They used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools to identify and recommend placement locations for signage within the city. 

Webster City Parks & Recreation Plan

For a town of its size, Webster City (pop. 7,877) offers a great deal of open space and outdoor recreational opportunities.  The community’s parks and recreation system includes eight quality parks, bicycle & walking trails, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and several access points to the popular Boone River. 

The significance of the river is evident in Webster City.  Providing opportunities for hiking, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, the river is one of the community’s most beloved amenities. 

Solar Art Sculpture

With funding support from the EPIC-N network and the JPB Foundation, following a grant application made by the Office of Outreach and Engagement, the City of Webster City has added a new public art piece in their downtown district. This public art piece incorporates dynamic elements powered by solar energy, as both an aesthetic and functional component of the installation with the intention of helping local businesses and residents better understand the potential for solar as a renewable energy source in Webster City. The sculpture was also designed to reflect Webster City’s history and identity.

Wetlands Engineering and Design

The City of Webster City has begun to address storm water runoff with the recent development of a wetland feature at Riverside Park, but sought further remediation possibilities.  Best management practice were explored and wetlands were designed to be constructed for water volume and quality control.

White Fox Creek Bridge Engineering and Design

Kendall Young Park is located in the north of the city. Webster City is home to the Boone River which meanders along the east side of the city. White Fox Creek, which runs through almost all of Kendall Young Park, feeds into the Boone River a few miles down from the spill way. The project consisted of developing a river crossing structure meant to facilitate vehicle and pedestrian traffic to the North Side of the park. The crossing structure was designed along with a parking lot and a path from the parking lot to the bridge.