What is Hometown Pride?

Hometown Pride is a program that brings community members together to enhance their hometowns.

Participating cities and towns form a Hometown Pride team of local residents that works together to build a base of volunteers, accomplish projects that make a difference in their hometown, and boost community pride.

Each Hometown Pride team decides what projects they want to do in their community. In the past, teams have done things like: build new playgrounds and trails, rehabilitate old homes and buildings, and beautify streets with art and landscaping.

7 communities in Warren County are participating in Hometown Pride so far: Carlisle, Cumming, Hartford, Indianola, Milo, New Virginia, and Norwalk. If you live in one of these towns, or in rural Warren County, contact us to learn how to join your local team. If your town isn’t listed yet, ask us about how new communities can join!

Visit our About page to learn more.

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Help Shape the Future of Norwalk!

Do you care about Norwalk and want to help make sure it keeps getting even better? Our community is changing quickly, and the new Norwalk Hometown Pride program wants to bring our residents together to figure out what we can do to improve our town and boost community pride!

We’re forming a team of people who live in Norwalk and the surrounding area who will help decide what’s next for Norwalk, and then help make it happen.

Our first meeting will be on January 8 at 5:30 pm at the Norwalk Library (1051 North Ave). All individuals who want to learn more about the program, and/or want to volunteer, are welcome to attend.

What will our group do exactly? Hometown Pride teams in other towns have undertaken projects as diverse as installing a new playground, rehabilitating old homes and buildings, beautifying the streets with public art, and landscaping streets and public places. Once formed, the Norwalk Hometown Pride team will determine our specific goals – there is no limit to what we can accomplish when we come together!

There are two ways to be part of Norwalk Hometown Pride:

  1. Join the committee. We will meet once a month to set our goals and mobilize volunteers to implement them.
  2. Sign up for our volunteer roster to help as-needed. Volunteer needs may include painting, fundraising, landscaping, event planning, publicity and more.

Please contact us to volunteer or to learn more.

Norwalk Hometown Pride is a part of a county-wide initiative, Warren County Hometown Pride, that includes 7 communities. It is supported by the City of Norwalk. Hometown Pride is a also a state-wide program: read “What is Hometown Pride” to learn about the Hometown Pride program across Iowa.

Volunteers wanted for Carlisle Hometown Pride!

Carlisle is a great place to call home, and the new Carlisle Hometown Pride program wants to make it even better!

Join the Carlisle Hometown Pride team and you can help decide what we can do to improve Carlisle, and then help make it happen.

Past Hometown Pride teams in other towns have undertaken projects as diverse as installing a new playground, rehabilitating old homes and buildings, beautifying the streets with public art and landscaping, and attracting new businesses to town. Now it’s your turn to decide what Hometown Pride does in Carlisle – there is no limit to what we can accomplish when we come together!

Review the Carlisle Hometown Pride flyer for more information on the program and how to volunteer. You can also contact us and read our “What is Hometown Pride” overview to learn more.

Join Indianola Hometown Pride!

Fill out our volunteer interest form! (due February 9)

Do you want to make a difference in the future of Indianola? The Warren County Hometown Pride program is looking for volunteers to be part of the Indianola Hometown Pride team. As a team member, you’ll help identify what we can do to make Indianola a better place to call home, and then help make it happen!

Indianola Hometown Pride will hold a meeting for all interested individuals on Thursday, February 8 at 5:30 pm (Location TBD).

What will Hometown Pride do? It’s up to you! Past Hometown Pride teams in other towns have undertaken projects as diverse as installing a new playground, rehabilitating old homes and buildings, beautifying the streets with public art and landscaping, and attracting new businesses to town. The Indianola Hometown Pride committee (made up of residents like you) will decide what projects we undertake, and will partner with existing organizations to make sure we are adding to on-going community efforts, not duplicating them. There is no limit to what we can accomplish when we come together!

Please review the Indianola Hometown Pride volunteer form for information on available volunteer roles and how to join the committee or volunteer team! Individuals interested in joining the committee must fill out and submit the volunteer form no later than February 9, 2018. For more information, contact us or read our “What is Hometown Pride” overview.

 

Milo Kick-Off Meeting

More than a dozen people met in Milo on November 13 to discuss Hometown Pride, and share their ideas for the future of their town! Residents talked about Milo’s strengths, and its opportunities for change. The results of the discussion are summarized below.

All residents of Milo and the surrounding area are invited to join the Hometown Pride volunteer team. Contact us to learn how.

Milo’s Strengths

  • Strong Lion’s Club
  • Churches
  • 4th of July and County Christmas events
  • Library
  • Parks
  • Little League/Lil Warhawks
  • Walking and biking path
  • Community Center
  • Fire department / EMS
  • Bandstand
  • North and West entrances to town
  • Diverse businesses: Restaurant, Locker, Vet, etc.
  • FFA
  • Mud Run event
  • Positive attitude
  • City employees
  • PEOPLE!

Milo kickoff

Milo’s Opportunities

  • Library expansion
  • Casey’s expansion
  • Need to promote ourselves more: “Cheer squad”
  • Use space above the community center
  • New businesses needed
  • Memorial rock improvements
  • Community branding (signature flower?)
  • Add overnight accommodations
  • Rural cemetery signage, map and beautification
  • City website
  • More youth involvement
  • Monthly community kids day
  • Electronic community entrance sign
  • Create welcome program for new residents

Milo kickoff 2

Join the Hometown Pride Volunteer Team!

Do you want to make a difference in the future of your community? Communities in the Warren County Hometown Pride program will soon be appointing committee members and recruiting volunteers. As part of the Hometown Pride volunteer team, you’ll help identify what we can do to make your town a better place to call home, and then help make it happen!

Past Hometown Pride teams in other towns have undertaken projects as diverse as installing a new playground, rehabilitating old homes and buildings, beautifying the streets with public art and landscaping, and attracting new businesses to town. But what Hometown Pride does in your town is up to the community to decide.

Community leaders will be appointing Hometown Pride committee members in each community. Beyond the committee, most communities will have a need for additional volunteers to do things like participating in “work days,” fundraising, or simply being a community “cheerleader.”

If you live in Carlisle, Cumming, Hartford, Indianola, Milo, New Virginia, or Norwalk and are interested in being considered for the committee or volunteering for another role, please contact the Community Coach, Lorin Ditzler, to learn more.

 

Warren County Joins Hometown Pride

Keep Iowa Beautiful (KIB) has partnered with the mayors of Warren County, Warren County Board of Supervisors and Warren County Economic Development Corporation in the successful five-year Hometown Pride program. Communities participating in the program include: Carlisle, Cumming, Hartford, Indianola, Milo, New Virginia, and Norwalk.

The Hometown Pride program enhances the economic and cultural vitality of communities by supporting, facilitating and furthering the implementation of community and county plans in a coordinated strategy with the assistance of a community coach.

Lorin Ditzler has been selected by the local steering committee to serve as the Community Coach for Warren County.   Lorin brings over a decade of experience in community development and a passion for small-town Iowa to her role as the Warren County Hometown Pride Community Coach. She previously worked as a city planning consultant for communities throughout the Midwest, and supported small businesses working and volunteering for multiple Chambers of Commerce. She holds an MS in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa and a BA in English from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. She is an AICP certified city planner and a trained facilitator.

L Ditzler Headshot 2017 [original, landscape]

“The communities of Warren County are coming together to take the next step in building the future of their hometowns,” said Ditzler.  “I’m excited to learn more about the hopes and goals of Warren County residents, and to help put those goals into action.”

“We are pleased to partner with Keep Iowa Beautiful to help our communities grow and thrive.” said Rachel Gocken, Executive Director of Warren County Economic Development. “Lorin’s expertise will be invaluable for creating an even stronger sense of pride, and we are eager to see the positive impacts this program will have in our county over the next five years.”

“Keep Iowa Beautiful is excited to partner with the county, the mayors and the economic development group,” added Gerry Schnepf, Executive Director of KIB.  “As a result, 10 communities will have the potential to increase their cultural and economic vitality improving them as great places to live, work and raise a family.”

The Warren County Hometown Pride steering committee, made up of representatives of  the participating communities, will be recruiting community members to help direct the Hometown Pride program efforts in each town. Individuals in Warren County who are interested in contributing to the future success of their hometown should contact the Community Coach, Lorin Ditzler at Lorin@warrencountyhometown.com or 515-442-0723 about how to get involved in the Hometown Pride program.

KIB’s other Hometown Pride programs are in Clinton, Dubuque, Fremont, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Louisa, Pocahontas and Sac Counties and three Des Moines Capitol neighborhoods.  This includes 68 communities and 3 neighborhoods.  Hometown Pride is funded by Keep Iowa Beautiful, through support from private donors, a grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the counties and communities.  KIB is building strong communities with sustainable futures.

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