Pocahontas recognized by Keep Iowa Beautiful

POCAHONTAS – The Pocahontas County Economic Development Corporation will be honored by Gov. Terry Branstad Wednesday for its efforts to bring the communities of the county together to make it a better place.

The Economic Development Corporation is receiving the recognition for its Hometown Pride project, a collaborative effort between the nine Pocahontas County communities and Keep Iowa Beautiful to have a visioning plan in place for each town.

“We are really happy about the project we have been working on,” said Tom Grau, Pocahontas County Economic Development director. “All nine of Pocahontas County’s communities have been working with a community coach to come up with a visioning plan for each town.”

As part of the project, which began last May, each town has designated a group of individuals who will help better the community, and each community has one representative on the countywide committee.

“It’s really been fun,” said Grau. “The communities are active already. Lots of times these kinds of strategic plans get written and don’t get done. With a community coach they are working as a team and have expertise from the outside to keep them going.”

Many of the communities have also put their plans into action, Grau said. Currently, the city of Palmer is in the process of getting new playground equipment for its park, Fonda is planning to add campsites to its park, the community of Rolfe is working to improve the town’s recreation center and further its use, Pocahontas is working to beautify the area surrounding the Pocahontas statue, Laurens is hoping to make improvements to its swimming pool and Varina is working on its park.

“All of the communities are excited to accomplish their plans,” said Grau.

Pocahontas County has also become a model for other communities.

“We recently got a call from southwest Iowa to get information from us,” he said.

Representatives from the Hometown Pride committee will be traveling to Des Moines Wednesday where they will be presented the Organization Award of Excellence from Branstad at the State Capitol at 2:30 p.m.