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Since its inception, the Iowa West Foundation's grant program has awarded more than $300 million to improve the quality of life in our region. These stories highlight some of these grants and show the impact they make on our community.

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2015 Annual Report

In preparing for this year’s annual report,it became clear that there were a number of major projects started in 2015 that are still in the works (at the Mid-America Center, the Riverfront, and West Broadway to name a few). Because the work on these trans…
In preparing for this year’s annual report, it became clear that there were a number of major projects started in 2015 that are still in the works (at the Mid-America Center, …
http://iowawestfoundation.org/blogs/leadership-notes/2015-annual-report/

Election Key to Progress in CB

In the past, residents have not turned out in large numbers for the city elections. If you enjoy the nice parks, the library, the bike/walking trails, the arts and culture activities and museums, and the swimming pools, we would encourage you to become a…
For more than 20 years, the Iowa West Foundation has worked with the City of Council Bluffs to bring about transformational revitalization projects to our community. One need not …
http://iowawestfoundation.org/blogs/leadership-notes/election-key-progress-cb/

Westwood Park Sign's Long, Low Presence Received Overwhelming Support from Neighbors

After changing locations from a secluded space on the banks of the Missouri River to its current location on 35th Street, Westwood Park has become a place to picnic in the summer. The new, eye-catching signage calls attention to all that Westwood Park has…
“Art in the Park” is an Iowa West Foundation initiative to replace weathered park identification signs at five community parks. The project is being coordinated by the…
http://iowawestfoundation.org/blogs/grants-work/westwood-parks-long-low-presence-received-overwhelming-suppo/

Cochran Park Installation Goes Beyond Simple Signage

The new signage is a series of separate panels that spell out "COCHRAN.” Additionally, the aluminum panels fold out at their bases to become benches for sitting and conversing.
“Art in the Park” is an Iowa West Foundation initiative to replace weathered park identification signs at five community parks. The project is being coordinated by t…
http://iowawestfoundation.org/blogs/grants-work/cochran-park-installation-goes-beyond-simple-signage/

2014: Year in Review

The year 2014 was another historic year for the Foundation. We awarded $20 million in grants and initiatives to more than 69 nonprofits and government entities. Please take a few moments to read more about these impactful programs and projects in the 2014…
 In 2014, the Iowa West Foundation awarded just over $20 million in grants and initiatives to more than 69 nonprofits and government entities. These programs and projects …
http://iowawestfoundation.org/blogs/leadership-notes/2014-year-review/

Housing Strategy and Priority Projects

In preparation for creating a new strategic plan in 2013, the Iowa West Foundation engaged in a series of listening sessions in the community. Housing emerged as a major theme of these discussions. The final report from these sessions states: Housing was …
In preparation for creating a new strategic plan in 2013, the Iowa West Foundation engaged in a series of listening sessions in the community. Housing emerged as a major theme …
http://iowawestfoundation.org/blogs/leadership-notes/housing-strategy-and-priority-projects/

Big Lake Park Sign Marries Art and Nature

In the early 20th century, this spring-fed lake became a popular tourist attraction due to the belief that the springs contained medicinal qualities. People would travel there on Sundays to bathe in the water. Nowadays, residents are still flocking to Big…
“Art in the Park” is an Iowa West Foundation initiative to replace weathered park identification signs at five community parks. The project is being coordinated by t…
http://iowawestfoundation.org/blogs/grants-work/big-lake-park-sign-marries-art-and-nature/

What is Placemaking?

In 2014, the Iowa West Foundation shifted the name of one of our focus areas from Community Development to “Placemaking,” to be more reflective of our vision: making Council Bluffs and the southwest Iowa region a desirable place for families to live and w…
The American Planning Association recently named Bayliss Park in Council Bluffs one of its 10 national “Great Places in America” for 2014. It’s a high honor, but it begs the ques…
http://iowawestfoundation.org/blogs/leadership-notes/what-placemaking/

Kirn Park's New Tile Signs Fit with the Turn of the Century Neighborhood

This secluded park located just east of the corner of Clark and 5th Avenue was once the home for the athletic field of Abraham Lincoln High School, Council Bluffs’ first high school. Named after the principal in the 1930s and 1940s, A.W. Kirn, the hilltop…
“Art in the Park” is an Iowa West Foundation initiative to replace weathered park identification signs at six community parks. The project is being coordinated by the C…
http://iowawestfoundation.org/blogs/grants-work/kirn-parks-new-tile-signs-fit-turn-century-neighborhood/

A Strong Start to 2014

Iowa West Foundation has completed its first two grant rounds since announcing a new strategic plan focusing on education, economic development and place-making in Council Bluffs and surrounding communities.
Iowa West Foundation has completed its first two grant rounds since announcing a new strategic plan focusing on education, economic development and place-making in Council Bluffs …
http://iowawestfoundation.org/blogs/leadership-notes/strong-start-2014/

“The Boy” at Roberts Park: From line drawing to bigger than life

The land on which Roberts Park sits today was gifted to the city of Council Bluffs by the founder and owner of Robert’s Dairy, J. Gordon Roberts in 1955. Less than a mile from the Missouri River on the city’s northwest side, it’s the city park everyone is…
“Art in the Park” is an Iowa West Foundation initiative to replace weathered park identification signs at five community parks. The project is being coordinated by …
http://iowawestfoundation.org/blogs/grants-work/boy-roberts-park-line-drawing-bigger-life/

Celebrating Council Bluffs with Loessfest 2014

Loessfest is an annual celebration of our landscape and our community. Loessfest 2014 follows a successful 2013 inaugural year, when an estimated 30,000 individuals attended the events, including the grand opening Beach Boys concert.
  The City of Council Bluffs, in partnership with the Iowa West Foundation, will return to Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park for the second year with Loessfest 2014 &n…
http://iowawestfoundation.org/blogs/grants-work/loessfest-2014/

Our Strategic Plan Brings New Energy to Iowa West’s Ongoing Work

On behalf of the Iowa West board members, we would like to thank you for the tremendous input provided to us during the past year. Your comments, suggestions, and concerns were central to the formation of our new strategic plan.
On behalf of the Iowa West board members, we would like to thank you for the tremendous input provided to us during the past year. Your comments, suggestions, and concerns wer…
http://iowawestfoundation.org/blogs/leadership-notes/our-strategic-plan-brings-new-energy-iowa-wests-ongoing-work/

Preserving History is Important to Our Community’s Future

Historic preservation is more than simply saving and restoring old buildings and sites of historic importance. Preservation enriches the community by maintaining tangible connections to our past, as well as promoting economic development through tourism a…
Historic preservation is more than simply saving and restoring old buildings and sites of historic importance. Preservation enriches the community by maintaining tangible connecti…
http://iowawestfoundation.org/blogs/grants-work/preserving-history-important-our-communitys-future/

Parks Offer More Than Just Fun and Games

City parks are gathering places for families, neighbors and visitors. Local and national studies on parks have shown that they can improve physical and psychological health, revitalize communities, and make cities and neighborhoods more attractive places…
City parks are gathering places for families, neighbors and visitors. Local and national studies on parks have shown that they can improve physical and psychological health, re…
http://iowawestfoundation.org/blogs/grants-work/parks-offer-more-just-fun-and-games/

Creating A Sense of Place with Public Art

This month Iowa West Public Art has been featured in Sculpture, an international, monthly magazine dedicated to all forms of contemporary sculpture.
By Pete Tulipana This month Iowa West Public Art has been featured in Sculpture, an international, monthly magazine dedicated to all forms of contemporary sculpture. The articl…
http://iowawestfoundation.org/blogs/leadership-notes/creating-sense-place-public-art/

Loessfest: A Celebration of Council Bluffs

The Iowa West Foundation, in partnership with the City of Council Bluffs, kicked off the summer season with Loessfest: three weeks of exciting concerts and community events at the new River’s Edge Park.
Loessfest, May 27–June 8 at River's Edge Park The Iowa West Foundation, in partnership with the City of Council Bluffs, will kick-off the summer season with Loessfest: t…
http://iowawestfoundation.org/blogs/grants-work/loessfest/

Serving Citizens Through Local Philanthropy

In 2007, a Transfer of Wealth Study funded by Iowa West Foundation explored 
the availability of charitable donations in the Pottawattamie County area.
In 2007, a Transfer of Wealth Study funded by Iowa West Foundation explored the availability of charitable donations in the Pottawattamie County area. The study found that a c…
http://iowawestfoundation.org/blogs/grants-work/serving-citizens-through-local-philanthropy/

OUR VISION is a community where families choose to
live, and businesses choose to locate, because of its
quality of life and standard of living.

Iowa West Foundation    |    25 Main Place, Suite 550    |    Council Bluffs, Iowa    |    712-309-3000