DES MOINES – The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) say it is continuing to build and sustain a more culturally vibrant Iowa by awarding more than $1.3 million for projects in six communities designated Iowa Great Places. The DCA approved an Iowa Great Places Citizen Advisory Board recommendation to designate and award funding to five communities as Iowa’s newest Great Places: Sixth Avenue Corridor (Des Moines), Grinnell, Linn County, Manning and the Raccoon River Valley Trail (Waukee).
Iowa Great Places funding will advance the vision of Manning, to offer increased recreational, transportation, and social opportunities. Great Places support coincides with other major initiatives in Manning involving the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Drake University and the Iowa Restaurant Association. Manning’s proposal will reinforce its unique sense of place while encouraging creativity and highlighting its most historic attractions.
Plans call for bronze statues and sculptural elements to be placed throughout the community and the creation of a new park around the historic Milwaukee Trestle Bridge. Additionally, a Park/Hospital trail connector will improve pedestrian access from a regional hospital to the community’s historic Main Street, supporting the community’s economic development goals. All of the projects are supported by multiple local and regional vision plans and partnerships with Iowa State University and Trees Forever.
Dawn Rohe (Roy), with the City of Manning, said “The Manning community is very grateful for the Iowa Great Places designation and funding. Not only will it help fund three public art projects, two trail segments, and the new trestle park, it will help showcase some of the developments that make Manning one of the great places of Iowa.”
This year, the board reviewed applications from nearly a dozen Iowa communities requesting approximately $3 million. Common themes identified across the communities awarded funding include an emphasis on creating livable, walkable communities, revitalizing downtowns and urban neighborhoods, and capitalizing on outdoor recreational corridors.