Warren County Strong!

We invite you take part in our effort to celebrate the communities and organizations of Warren County!

With all the worrisome news out there right now, we’d like to spread a bit of joy and show the strength of our communities by posting banners that feature the great towns and organizations in Warren County. All are invited to submit a proposal for a banner with a picture or artwork of something in our County that you want to celebrate: that could be a local landmark, festival, organization, park, a piece of history, etc. Banners will be hung on the Indianola square, on the fencing surrounding the Warren County Justice Center construction site. Banners will be printed on mesh banner material that allows wind to flow through, at a size of 48” high x 96” wide (4’x8’).

Here’s what you need to do to participate:

  1. Find a sponsor to cover the $75 cost of printing a banner (the sponsor can add their logo to the banner – a great publicity opportunity!)
  2. Fill out this short online form describing your idea for the banner:
    OR Click here for a printable proposal form

Indianola Hometown Pride will review the proposal, and if it fits the theme of the display, we will follow up with details about printing and timeline.

Refer to the photos on our facebook page for examples of banners that have already been approved and hung on the fence. 

Click here to read our full policy regarding approval, printing and hanging of the banners.

Thank you in advance for showing your pride in Warren County!

Please note: While it is our hope and intention that this display will last for this season and the next, we we can not make any guarantees for how long the banners will last or how long they will be displayed. The contractor has agreed to allow us to display on the fencing throughout the construction phase, and the banner material is meant for long-term outdoor use, but unknown factors such as weather, vandalism, accidental damage, or unexpected construction changes could impact the longevity of the banner display. 

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What is Hometown Pride?

Warren County Hometown Pride brings neighbors together to build a sense of community, create and improve public amenities, and celebrate what makes our hometowns great.

7 participating towns in Warren County have a Hometown Pride team of local volunteers who work together to identify and complete projects that will improve the quality of life in their town and boost community pride.

Here are a few examples of projects that our Hometown Pride teams are working on: building a new playground, planning a music festival, coordinating a city-wide clean-up, installing town entrance signs and wayfinding signs, building a Veteran’s memorial, painting murals, delivering welcome gifts to new residents, promoting tourism, and a lot more. Click below for a full list of our work:

Participating communities in Warren County are: Carlisle, Cumming, Hartford, Indianola, Milo, New Virginia, and Norwalk. Warren County Hometown Pride is part of a state-wide network of Hometown Pride programs across Iowa.

Contact us to learn how to join your local Hometown Pride team or visit our About page to learn more.

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Indianola Awarded “Iowa Great Places” Designation

The City of Indianola has been awarded the “Iowa Great Places” designation by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs! View the press release here.

Iowa Great Places is a competitive program, based on a rigorous application process, that recognizes Iowa communities that “cultivate the unique and authentic qualities of their local places.” The designation allows Indianola to apply for Iowa Great Places funding (average award $204,000), and provides professional training, technical assistance, and access to a state-wide network of leaders from other “great places.”

The theme of Indianola’s application was “Destination Indianola.” It focused on 4 elements of what makes Indianola great, along with our collective vision for the future of these assets in our community:

  • Arts and Culture: Indianola is home to arts and culture anchors like the National Balloon Classic, Des Moines Metro Opera, and local performing arts organizations like Carousel Theatre. Our application included plans to build on this by adding public art, establishing an art center/gallery, marketing our year-round attractions, updating our community branding and more.
  • Education: We are home to Simpson College and an exemplary K-12 education system. The application included a vision for improving the campus-to-community connection with an “art corridor” between campus in the Square.
  • Great Outdoors: Indianola has 14 parks, 8 miles of trail and nearby regional outdoor attractions like Lake Ahquabi, Summerset trail and the Annett Nature Center. The application highlighted early plans for a new pavilion in Buxton Park, to provide a new performance and gathering space.
  • “Small Town” Way of Life: Residents love the small town feel of Indianola. The IGP application showcased our ambitious plans for streetscape improvements on the Square, which is the geographic “heart” of our small town way of life.

Indianola Hometown Pride was proud to lead the application process, and we are grateful for the many individuals and organizations who helped along the way. A big thank you to all those who contributed to the Vision Plan and application, and prepared for the site visit, including:

  • Scott Arens, Des Moines Metropolitan Opera
  • Steve Armstrong, Indianola Hometown Pride
  • Doug Bylund, Director of Indianola Parks & Recreation Department
  • Shirley Clark, Indianola Kiwanis Club
  • Lorin Ditzler, Warren County Hometown Pride
  • Charlie Dissell, Community and Economic Development Director for City of Indianola
  • Amy Duncan, Editor of Indianola Independent Advocate
  • Brenda Easter, Director of Indianola Chamber of Commerce
  • Michael Egel, Des Moines Metro Opera
  • Jim and Rita Fromm, Local Balloonists
  • Rachel Gocken, Director of Warren County Economic Development
  • Leslie Held, Local Business Owner
  • Heather Hulen, Indianola City Council / Executive Director of Indianola YMCA
  • Emmett Konrad, Indianola Hometown Pride
  • Bob Lane, Simpson College
  • Heidi Levine, Simpson College
  • Taylor Litchkey, Indianola Community Youth Foundation
  • Tim McMillin, Des Moines Metro Opera
  • Elodie Opstad, Community Volunteer and Historian
  • Jennifer Pfeifer-Malaney, Local Business Owner
  • Terry Pauling, Indianola Rotary Club
  • Clark Ridlen, Indianola Hometown Pride
  • Emily Roush, Warren County Philanthropic Partnership
  • Art Sathoff, Superintendent of Indianola Community School District
  • Staci Scheurenbrand, National Balloon Classic
  • Jessica Schneider, Indianola Hometown Pride
  • Mayor Kelly Shaw, City of Indianola
  • Andrew Swadner, KNIA KRLS Radio
  • Monica Thompson, Indianola Hometown Pride
  • Brianna Vaughn, Camp Fire Indianola, Amicus Indianola
  • Ryan Waller, City Manager of City of Indianola
  • Josh Weitzel, Indianola Hometown Pride
  • Sue Wilson, Director of Helping Hand of Warren County
  • Members of the Warren County Historical Society
  • And the entire Indianola City Council, for initiating the application process and approving the Vision Plan

Thank you!



Carlisle Art Trail Completed!

A colorful path of artwork now leads the way from the Summerset Trail to downtown Carlisle!

Carlisle Hometown Pride and the Carlisle Chamber of Commerce commissioned artist Kathleen Roling of Des Moines to paint 1/3 mile of trail and sidewalk. The project was envisioned as a way to encourage Summerset trail users to visit downtown Carlisle.

The artwork starts at the Summerset Trail trailhead parking lot (Hwy 5 and 165th Place), follows the trail across the highway to the wide sidewalk on the west side of 1st, and ends in downtown Carlisle, at the corner of 1st St and School St.

This project was funded by a 2019 tourism grant from Warren County. Thank you to the County!


4th of July Festivities in Warren County: Complete List!

Here’s all the information on where and how to celebrate the 4th of July in Warren County (and nearby), including fireworks shows, events, and rules about setting off your own fireworks. Whatever you decide to do, we hope you have a safe and happy 4th!

Fireworks Shows!


While there are no official 4th of July parades/festivals still scheduled in Warren County, there are still a few events happening in the area. (Remember to practice safe social distancing habits and/or wear a mask when attending!)

City Fireworks Policies – Make it a DIY 4th of July!

Each city has its own rules about fireworks. Check below for yours. If your town is not listed, contact City Hall for more information.

  • Norwalk full policy. Summary: Consumer fireworks can only be shot off June 29th through July 8th between 4:00PM – 10:00PM.
  • Carlisle full policy. Summary: Allows consumer fireworks to be used on private property from June 30 to July 8 between the hours of noon and 11:00 PM.
  • Indianola full policy (chapter 41, page 211). Summary: Allows consumer fireworks on July 3rd from 9 am-10pm; July 4th from 9am-11pm; July 5th from 9am-10pm.
  • Hartford full policy. Summary: A person shall not use or explode consumer fireworks at times other than between the hours of 6:00 P.M. and 10:00 P.M.
  • Cumming full policy. Summary: No person shall use, explode, or discharge any consumer fireworks on days other than July 3 through July 5, inclusive, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
  • Milo. Summary: 1) Consumer fireworks can be used on private property from 9AM to 10PM from June 1 through July 8. 2) Consumer fireworks can be used between 9AM and 11PM on July 4th and the Saturdays and Sundays immediately preceding and following July 4. 3) Display fireworks are only allowed by obtaining a permit. For the complete ordinance, stop by City Hall to obtain a copy or search online for Iowa Code 727.2


Muralists wanted!

Seeking artists to complete two murals: one in Hartford, Iowa and one in New Virginia, Iowa. Artists are invited to submit a proposal/bid for one or both murals by June 25 at midnight.

Please review the details below for how to submit.

Call for Artists – New Virginia mural_2020_June

Call for Artists – Hartford downtown mural_2020

Note: If submitting bids for both projects, please submit each bid separately, as they will be reviewed and selected independently.


Indianola Organization Directory Completed!

In an effort to support our local organizations and promote volunteerism, Indianola Hometown Pride has compiled an online directory of the non-profit organizations and clubs in Indianola. There are more than 70 organizations in our community – that’s about 1 for every 200 people!

Click here to see the directory.

Residents in the Indianola area are encouraged to browse the directory to find an organization where they’d like to volunteer or offer support.

We know that things in our community are always changing, so we welcome your suggestions for additions or corrections to the directory! Click here to contact us.

County Veterans Memorial and Carlisle Playground Complete!

Hometown Pride and its partners unveiled two newly-constructed community amenities this summer, representing over $70,000 of investment into our local quality of life. The Warren County Veterans’ Memorial was dedicated in August at Warrior Run Golf Course in Norwalk, and a new playground was installed in Carlisle’s South Lindhardt Park in July.


The new playground in Carlisle was first conceived by Carlisle Hometown Pride in spring of 2018. Over the next year, Hometown Pride raised more than $30,000 to install a full playground with slides, a swing, and climbing areas. The first piece of the playground, a saucer swing, was installed in December 2018, and the rest was installed in July 2019. Contributors include:

  • Carlisle Hometown Pride, which led the planning and provided around $4,000 from fundraisers (t-shirt sales, block party, etc.)
  • Warren County Philanthropic Partnership (~$9,000 over 2 years)
  • Hubbell Realty Company ($10,000)
  • Carlisle Little League and Carlisle Girls Softball Association ($4,000)
  • Carlisle Friends of the Parks committee ($4,000)
  • $200 each from Greater Carlisle Community Foundation and Carlisle Chamber of Commerce Grant
  • The City of Carlisle has agreed to provide on-going maintenance for the playground.

Veterans’ Memorial

The Veterans’ Memorial is the result of about a year of work by dozens of supporting organizations and individuals from around the region. It started with the arrival of the Freedom Rock, which prompted planning to create a memorial around the rock which would honor Veterans from all branches of the armed forces. Planning and fund-raising efforts were spear-headed by Norwalk Hometown Pride, Norwalk Rotary, and Warrior Run Golf Course. Financial and in-kind contributors include:

Congratulations to all the volunteers who worked incredibly hard to make these two projects happen!!!

Photo Aug 22, 9 28 35 AM.jpg

Music Fest attracts 2,000, raises $17,000!

The 2nd annual Norwalk Music Fest, hosted by Norwalk Hometown Pride, was a great success! The 12-hour festival at Warrior Run Golf Course showcased 14 Norwalk-based bands and attracted 2,000 people. Admission was free, yet the event raised an impressive $17,000 through a combination of sponsorships and sales at the event (raffle tickets, merchandise, etc). Proceeds will support future Norwalk Hometown Pride projects. The event also featured food and drink, kids games, and local vendors.

Many individuals and organizations contributed to the success of this event, including Norwalk Hometown Pride and its Music Fest committee, the City of Norwalk, the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, Warrior Run Golf Course, City State Bank, Dilligent Development, Michael Foods, and more than a dozen other sponsors. Click here for more information about Music Fest.

$90,000 raised for our communities

Hometown Pride projects in Warren County have received more than $90,000 in grants and other large contributions so far this year. The projects include:

  • Warren County Veteran’s Memorial in Norwalk has raised approximately $43,000, including:
    • $10,000 – Warren County Philanthropic Partnership (WCPP) High Impact Grant
    • $8,000 raised by the Warren County Leadership Institute Class of 2019
    • $5,000 – City of Norwalk (pledged)
    • $5,000 – Warren County (pledged)
    • $1,500 – City of Cumming
    • $2,500 – Give Foundation
    • $2,500 – Burke Golf Academy
    • $500 – West Des Moines VFW
    • $8,000 – Golf Outing and Individual Contributors
    • This project is a partnership of Norwalk Hometown Pride, Warren County Hometown Pride, the Norwalk Rotary Club and Warrior Run Golf Course
  • New Playground at South Lindhardt Park in Carlisle has raised more than $23,000 due to the efforts of Carlisle Hometown Pride and our partners, including:
    • $5,000 grant from Warren County Philanthropic Partnership
    • $10,000 from Hubbell Realty Company
    • $4,000 from Carlisle Little League and Carlisle Girls Softball Association
    • $4,000 pledged from Carlisle Friends of the Parks committee
    • $200 grant from Greater Carlisle Community Foundation
    • $200 from Carlisle Chamber of Commerce Grant
  • Milo Hometown Pride secured $15,000 in grants to assist the City with the Centennial Park restroom renovation.
    • $5,000 grant from Warren County Philanthropic Partnership
    • $10,000 from Prairie Meadows Community Betterment Grant
  • $1,120 for mobile community gardens by Carlisle Hometown Pride, funded by a grant from the United Way of Central Iowa
  • $4,875 grant from Warren County Philanthropic Partnership for artistic bike racks in Norwalk, applied for by the City of Norwalk with support from Norwalk Hometown Pride
  • Free paint from Paint Iowa Beautiful grant for a mural in Norwalk, Main Street painting in Milo, and City Hall painting in Carlisle.
  • $225 for tourism banners from Warren County Tourism Grant, a partnership of City of Cumming, Cumming Hometown Pride and the Hometown Pride-led tourism committee
  • $2,500 for trail-to-downtown connection from Warren County Tourism Grant, partnership of Carlisle Chamber of Commerce and Carlisle Hometown Pride
  • $2,000 from 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count, to purchase the Wagon O’Fun: a wagon full of games and toys for all our Hometown Pride committees to use at their community events.

Did we miss anything? Let us know: Contact

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