Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation - Gunderson Nature Trail Park

Lisa Hein, Senior Director for Conservative Programs with Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, says this grant helped complete phase one of building the infrastructure for Gunderson Nature Trail Park. Phase one included a 1/3 mile loop trail, native prairie and tree plantings, and interpretive panels. Hein adds that the completion of phase one has helped phase two begin, which included trail extension, wetland overlook, and benches.

"Gunderson Nature Park has daily visits from neighbors and residents of Eldora. The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation has hosted two events in partnership with the Eldora Elementary School and Hardin County Conservation. The Park has provided a venue to weave outdoor education and art together with young students and the local art teacher. Also, the Hardin County Naturalist has discovered a new site to bring students for a variety of environmental education activities in this part of the county," says Hein, regarding how the project has impacted the way the public interacts with the park. "The primary visionaries for this project, Bob and Mary Lou Gunderson, wanted to create a place for people to enjoy nature...we have seen 3rd graders catch pollywogs, high school students help elementary school kids creating chalk art, a mom and her kids release butterflies, and senior citizens out walking with their neighbors and grandkids.

We are extremely grateful to the Barlow Family Foundation for helping us complete the vision to provide a scenic and enjoyable nature park so that all people can have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of nature and the outdoors."

Friends of the Robert W. Barlow Memorial Library - 3-D Printer

3-D printer

3-D animals and toys

A 3-D printer was purchased for the Robert W. Barlow Memorial Library with this grant. About the printer, Library Director, Erin Andrews, says, "Our 3-D printer purchase allowed the Barlow Library to highlight a new and emerging technology that many people in the community had never been exposed to. Though our printer is on a small scale, it gives a glimpse of the possibilities of 3-D printing for everyday uses. Any time we can expose people to new ideas, we feel we have contributed to our community."

As far as how the printer has changed the way the public interacts with the library, Andrews explains, "We have our 3-D printer in a public space for all to watch. The printer gets the attention of patrons, from little ones up to our senior citizens. The printer generates questions every time it is in use. We welcome the opportunity to explain how the printer works and what materials are used to make the printable objects."

With the printer, they have printed 3-D animals and toys as well as provided an ... "an innovative tool for the community."

St. Matthew's By-The-Bridge Episcopal Church - Summer Organ Recital

This grant was used to put on a Summer Organ Recital in Iowa Falls, Iowa, in 2017. Attendance increased by 32 people compared to the previous year, reported James Hammann, Musician and Series Coordinator. They were also able to host their first international artist, said Hammann. Renato Negri, Italian organist, opened the concert series. 

Iowa Falls Historical Society - Raise the Roof

The grant given to Iowa Falls Historical Society was used in their Raise the Roof project in which they updated the roof of the Dow House. Board of Directors' member Peggy Liekweg, says they're not sure when the first roof was installed. After the assistance of Hadwiger Roofing, the new roof was installed with a new crown, gutters, and downspouts. "Dow House belongs to Iowa Falls," Liekweg says, "it is ours, yours, and mine. Of all the words of appreciation that can be assembled, the simple ones we teach our children are still most suitable. To each donor and grantor, we say, 'Thank you!'

Hardin County Sheriff's Office - Ogon the K-9

Ogon, the K-9

The Hardin County Sheriff's Office added Ogon, pictured above, to the team after receiving their grant. Regarding how Ogon has changed the public's lives, Sheriff Dave McDaniel says, "It has most certainly given us the ability to provide a better service to the citizens of Hardin County.  The K-9 has aided in the apprehension of fleeing individuals, as well as several drug/narcotic arrests.  It is another of many tools needed to provide the safest community possible."

McDaniel goes on to say, "We know that having a K-9 is a great asset from a law enforcement standpoint.  We also see the benefit from the support of the public.  A lot of citizens were involved in achieving the goal of implementing the K-9 program. We are often asked about Ogon, and the successes he’s having, and we believe people have a real sense of ownership with him. We have a K-9 program because of the citizens of Hardin County."

Ackley Public Library - Community Photo Contest

Ackley Public Library used their grant to print 16x20" winning photographs submitted to their Community Photo Contest that people ages 8 and above around the community competed in. Director, Retha Starek, said this contribution took part in "making the community a little larger..." Those who were chosen as winners had their photos displayed in the newly renovated Community Room at the library.