Howard County Economic Development will be partnering with the Iowa State University Community Design Lab (CDL) on their research involving the creation of an agricultural urbanism toolkit for Iowa communities.
The Agricultural Urbanism Toolkit is being developed to support communities in their efforts to design and develop local food production as a grant through the Leopold Center of Sustainable Agriculture. CDL is working with 3 communities this year of different scales and different priorities. Cresco’s participation will help CDL create this tool that will be used in communities locally, regionally, and nationally to improve local and regional food system design. This project can increase our access to healthy food and revitalize our town with agricultural urbanism components.
Cresco was nominated by Teresa Wiemerslage, Regional Program Coordinator with ISU Extension and Outreach and the NE Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative.
Organizers will be forming a steering committee and would like to have partners associated with different roles in the community as a part of this partnership to create a strong, vibrant team and ensure participation and success of the program. If increasing access to fresh food is important to you and you are interested in participating in this partnership, please consider joining our steering committee, as an individual or as a leader of your organization, to improve our community’s growth in local and regional food accessibility.
Steering committee members will be asked to participate in quarterly meetings and public presentations. The first quarterly steering committee meeting will be in early spring. Public presentations will engage community members for feedback and discussion on developing the best plan for agricultural urbanism in the community. This process will involve systems thinking, and will develop multiple scenarios for enhanced community design which may include school gardens, farmers markets, edible landscaping, community gardens, food hubs, etc.
At the completion of the first year, each community will receive conceptual designs that have been created by CDL detailing connections to community assets and future growth and development in our local food system. The designs will be multi-faceted, bringing together an array of components within the community: education, recreation, health, food and others. A second year of partnership has the opportunity to lead to implementation and strategizing of funding opportunities.
For more information on the process or to be on the steering committee, contact Howard County Economic Development at 563-547-3434.