Hometown Pride

Keep Iowa Beautiful works to improve the appearance and pride of Iowa's communities to build stronger communities both culturally and economically. This effort includes facilities, roadways, homes, signage and community entryways. Improving communities requires a holistic approach to treat the problem not simply the symptoms of the problem.

Hometown Pride


View this video on how the Hometown Pride program is helping Iowa communities!

Read Our 2015/2016 Hometown Pride Report

 Hometown Pride 2015 2016 Report Hometown Pride 2015 2016 Report (2062 KB) .

Hometown Pride programs offer leadership training, youth service learning and educational components and a tool box of solutions for the community development. This effort is designed, and is proving, that it can enhance community cultural and economic vitality – strengthening the community and increasing its chance for not simply survival but growth with increased pride.

The Hometown Pride program was designed to assist and improve communities. The program walks alongside qualifying Iowa communities to provide five years of long-term technical and professional coaching assistance. The goal is to deliver a sense of stability and empowerment so that communities can implement sustainable plans and programs.

What's included?

  • Assisting rural Iowa communities – normally county seat size and smaller
  • Providing long term professional assistance / community coaching
  • Furnishing a toolkit of programs that can help the community
  • Increasing the effectiveness of local tools / programs
  • Involving youth through service learning
  • Partnering for success
  • Building stronger more vibrant communities
  • Supporting and growing investments in the local community foundation.
  • Empowering local citizens and providing needed skill training.
  • Stimulating additional efforts from the residents.

How to implement a Hometown Pride program

Hometown Pride is a program of Keep Iowa Beautiful developed to meet the acute need of many communities for assistance in the implementation of community plans and visions.

City clerks and managers tend to be heavily loaded with daily demands and needs of the residents and in reporting to various government entities. As a result, they often lack the time and in many cases the skills necessary for implementing plan elements through grant requests and outside sources of assistance.

  • Invite a community leaders to meet together from a set of communities that have a common interest to work together i.e. within a county, tied to a common issue such as beautification, or a natural resource ie. trail, river or roadway.

  • Contact KIB and arrange for a presentation to community group by KIB on Hometown Pride program.

  • Obtain a consensus of all communities included to embrace and support the concept. 

  • Develop a data base of contact information of the communities / leaders involved in the program.  

  • Establish a steering committee of five to nine members, select officers and develop a formal recording process for the committee meetings.  It should include representatives of some of the communities (not all need to be on the steering committee), the county supervisors, the economic development group, the local community foundation, etc. (some individuals may wear multiple hats).

  • Build a positive and strong ongoing relationship with the media.

  • Formalize the steering committee by electing officers. Establish a meeting schedule, meeting process and method for recording of minutes. 

 Next steps

An agreement will be written by KIB for your review. Once it is signed by the participating communities, the county and the economic development group, your community will determine how the funding commitment (25% or $20,000 per year) will be accomplished. The leaders will identify funding sources. (A contribution of $60,000 is made by KIB when a Hometown Pride agreement is signed.)

Each city council will need to appoint a separate local Hometown Pride Committee of five to eight individuals.  Monthly committee meetings of each community committee will be required along with the establishment of formal officers, procedures and recording of minutes. 

  • A steering committee will work with KIB to develop a recruitment plan for a Community Coach (some expenses can be covered by KIB). The plan should include promotion, marketing, advertising, candidate submission requirements and the development of  a schedule which includes a final interview process. 

  • Community Coach candidate application resumes should be reviewed with KIB before making a selection. 

  • Recommend the selected Community Coach Candidate to KIB to formalize the consulting contract. 

  • Training program for the Community Coach established by KIB.

  • Community Coach works with the steering committee in the establishment of a work plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Hometown Pride Program?

To help rural Iowa communities restore pride by improving their local image and appearance resulting in enhanced economic and cultural vitality of the community.  

Where is the project currently underway?

  • Pocahontas County in northwest Iowa, with nine communities of various sizes, was the first to be enrolled in Hometown Pride. It has served as an active pilot program since summer 2012.

  • Fremont County in southwest Iowa started its Hometown Pride program in fall 2013.

  • Louisa County in eastern Iowa was added to the program in 2014.

  • Jasper County in eastern Iowa was added to the program in 2014.

  • Sac County in northwest Iowa was added to the program in 2015.

  • Other counties/communities/regions are being considered for future Hometown Pride programs.

What does the Community Coach do?

Community coaches work with local leaders to make certain that local community plans and initiatives get developed, funded, implemented and completed. The Coach provides support and assistance, customizes innovative resources, and utilizes development tools to the benefit of each local community.

What is currently in the Toolbox of Resources?

  • First Impressions Exchange Program Assessment Guidelines

  • Rural Beautification Plan Guidelines\

  • Additional opportunities developed locally can include grant writing, leadership development, etc.

  • Identification of Grants Available to Help Fund Community Projects

What is the cost of the Hometown Pride program?

Cost is $80,000 annually per county. KIB, with support from private donors and the State of Iowa, covers $60,000 (75%) of that amount, while local partners such as the county board of supervisors, county economic group and local communities provide the remaining $20,000 (25%). When this $20,000 amount is shared by several communities, each local entity’s portion is typically only a few hundred dollars annually. 

How can we get more details? 

For complete details about the program, please contact KIB. Our staff will be happy to meet with your county economic development group, board of supervisors, community foundation or other responsible groups or individuals to discuss the program and provide complete details on how to apply,


Gerry Schnepf, Director
Keep Iowa Beautiful
300 E. Locust Street, Suite 100
Des Moines, IA 50309
Phone: 515-323-6507
Fax: 515-244-9477

Margo Underwood – Lead Community Coach
Hometown Pride - Pocahontas County

Doug Friedli - Community Coach
Hometown Pride - Fremont County

Doug Elam - Community Coach
Hometown Pride - Louisa County

Beth Hicks - Community Coach
Hometown Pride - Des Moines Capitol Neighborhoods

Jeff Davidson - Community Coach
Hometown Pride - Jasper County

Kathy Evert Community Coach  
Hometown Pride - Sac County

Hometown Pride Community Coach Job Description Hometown Pride Community Coach Job Description (974 KB)

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