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Keep Iowa Beautiful (KIB) has partnered with the East Central Intergovernmental Association (ECIA) and the Grant Wood Mississippi River Region (GWMRR), which includes Dubuque, Jackson and Jones counties, in the successful Hometown Pride program. The 13 communities of Anamosa, Asbury, Bellevue, Cascade, Dubuque, Dyersville, Farley, Maquoketa, Monticello, Peosta, Preston, Stone City and Sabula are active participants in this region.

The Hometown Pride program requires a five-year commitment to enhancing 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.

David Heiar has been selected to serve as the Community Coach for the GWMRR counties. Dave has over 35 years’ experience in City government in three Eastern Iowa cities which includes Bellevue, Manchester, and Dubuque. He joined the Jackson County Economic Alliance in July of 2013. His background includes downtown redevelopment, community development, rural, and urban economic development including workforce development, existing industry services, business attraction, and new business development. Heiar is a Jackson County native.

The GWMRR, now referred to as the Grant Wood Loop, was initially establish in 2014 as the State of Iowa’s Parks to People pilot region. By partnering with KIB, the communities in this region have an opportunity to build upon and grow the momentum of this program which aligns with the goals of Hometown Pride.

“Our partnership with KIB adds a twist to their standard approach. Our region will have a coaching staff, which will include assistant coaches and other key partners. We have made great strides in developing short and long term plans and it is our intent to utilize this new partnership to continue implementation and further refinement of these community and regional plans,” said Heiar. Dusty Embree, the Jones County Economic Development Director, will serve as an assistant coach to Jones County Communities and selected ECIA staff will serve in this capacity in Dubuque County communities. Heiar will serve as the head coach for all three counties.

“Keep Iowa Beautiful is excited to partner with the Grant Wood Mississippi River Region,” added Gerry Schnepf, Executive Director of KIB. “As a result,13 communities and three counties in the region will increase their cultural and economic vitality. Additionally, the great work that the three counties have recently completed in tying together recreation and cultural opportunities for the region through the “Parks to People” program will be achieved. An amazing and almost unparalleled partnership supported by a wide and diverse group of organizations.”

KIB’s other Hometown Pride programs are in Fremont, Jasper, Louisa, Pocahontas and Sac Counties and three Des Moines Capitol neighborhoods. This includes 49 communities. 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.
About Keep Iowa Beautiful

Keep Iowa Beautiful was established in 2000 by Governor Robert D. Ray and Donald F. Lamberti becoming the 23rd State Affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. KIB is a 501c3 charitable organization working with Iowa citizens, neighborhoods and communities in improving the economic vitality and cultural health of Iowa. KIB is helping build stronger communities to develop sustainable futures. Please check out our web page at

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There are countless ways to enjoy yourself as a visitor to Maquoketa. Besides the breathtaking beauty of Maquoketa's mysterious caves, unique land formations and winding waterways, Maquoketa boasts an abundance of area attractions sure to delight any tourist.

Photos throughout the JCEA Website are courtesy of David Namanny, Bellevue Herald Leader, The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, The Maquoketa Chamber of Commerce, and Patti Hoffman, who represents Preston Growth and Development and The Preston Times.