Lake View leaders are anticipating the community will reap major benefits from its recent designation as an Iowa Great Place.
Mayor John Westergaard, City Administrator Scott Peterson and Lake View Hometown Pride members Brent Mueggenberg and Larry Hauser traveled to Perry recently to attend the 2019 Iowa Great Places annual meeting and accept the community’s recognition.
Lake View was named an Iowa Great Place this summer and will hold that designation for five years. The Iowa Great Places program is overseen by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.
Discussions at the meeting focused on economic growth through the arts and creative community development.
The Lake View representatives met with other Great Places leaders from across the state to discuss community development, public art, and parks and trail-way art. They also heard 2017 Iowa Artist Fellow Jennifer Drinkwater give a presentation about the ways art and culture can transform community development into creative placemaking and build social capital, bridge diverse local communities and drive economic development. Drinkwater is the community arts specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
The Iowa Great Places program recognizes and partners with communities that cultivate the unique and authentic qualities of their local places, such as neighborhoods, districts or regions, to make them great places to live and work. Iowa Great Places receive access to funding opportunities, professional-development training, technical-assistance opportunities, a network of vibrant communities and passionate leaders, and other state and local resources.
Lake View’s Hometown Pride group submitted the written application for Great Places designation.
“This is important to Lake View, first, because it brings notoriety to our community,” City Administrator Peterson said. “Tourism is very important to Lake View, and having this designation is another great aspect upon which to market. Second, being a Great Place opens up opportunities for additional grant funding. Historically, over the five years of the designation, a Great Place receives between $200,000 and $400,000 in grant funding for special projects.”
Mayor Westergaard commented, “While those of us who live here already know that Lake View is a great place to live and work, being designated as an Iowa Great Place by the state helps us in promoting our community to others. It also provides us with access to state resources and grants that can help with major improvement projects coming up in the future.”
In Lake View’s application, Peterson said, “We focused on the many community development goals Lake View has reached recently through physical projects and through engaging people in special events. We noted our downtown streetscape and revitalization, our trails, and our new Veterans Memorial. We also celebrated our history by acknowledging the restoration projects done to the Chief Black Hawk statue, a pioneer log cabin and a bike arch. Finally, we celebrated our improvements relating to outdoor recreation: our new destination playground known as Pier 25, our new splash pad, and the Black Hawk Lake restoration project.
“In addition to these physical amenities, Lake View hosts various events throughout the year for our residents and visitors. We have something happening on most weekends during the summer. Great community events like the Sip and Sample, Water Carnival, fishing contests, and special bike rides highlight the summer calendar. A very popular event is the Stone Pier Concert Series, which is held outdoors in the natural amphitheater before the town’s historic west stone pier and was recently named ‘Outstanding Event’ at the 2019 Iowa Tourism Awards.”
“Iowa is becoming a more culturally vibrant state with communities that have world-class arts, beautiful streetscapes and a blend of well-preserved historic properties and new buildings,” said Chris Kramer, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. “This program has been a big part of that success by investing in arts, media, culture and historic preservation as a way to boost quality of life, grow economic opportunities and make our communities more attractive to visitors and residents. We’re proud to partner with our Iowa Great Places and congratulate them on their success.”
More information on the Great Places program is available at iowaculture.gov or by calling 515-281-5111.