Monday October 1st
- City Council meets tonight at 6 pm
- The City brush/tree disposal pile is currently closed for burning
- City Hall will be closed from 12-1 today
Monday October 1st
‼️Attention‼️The temporary Badger Creek Park drop off location for tree debris is closed and the regular size restrictions for the City burn pile are back in place. Thank you!
Yesterday we were hit pretty hard with bad weather but we are a CITY UNITED and we will get through this! Mayor Whiteing has formulated a plan to get things in order and help our citizens as quickly as possible. Normally the City is not responsible for trees, limbs or tree debris located on private property but with the extent of the storm damage, we are trying to assist residents as much as possible. More severe situations will take top priority so we ask everyone be patient. The city burn pile was opened first thing this morning. Size restrictions on limbs are currently lifted so all sizes may be disposed of at this time. A second, emergency drop off location for limbs has been designated in Zobel’s Addition at the Badger Creek Park cement parking area. If you have any questions or concerns please contact City Hall at 712-364-2428. Our City Crew is working diligently to get things cleaned up as quickly as possible but if you are able, lend a hand to your neighbor. A helping hand goes a long way. #cityunited #idagrove #livingforwardgivingback #smalltownlove#helpyourneighbor
Here at the City of Ida Grove we strive to provide our community with quality service and amenities. Please let us know your thoughts and opinions on our outdoor pool by taking part in a brief, anonymous survey found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MCM62XJ . We want to provide the best experience possible to all of our pool-goers so your input is much appreciated. Thank you for your time.
The Ida Grove Library is set to host the University of Iowa’s Mobile Museum on Monday, September 24th from 10:30am – 4pm. The Mobile Museum will feature three physical exhibits for visitors to enjoy. The three featured exhibits are:
Discover, Develop, Deploy
This exhibit highlights work on nutrition, hearing loss, and supporting healthy families. From printing devices that help the hearing-impaired to creating eyeglasses and beyond, this partnership shows that translational science is only limited by your imagination!
A Matter of Scales: Pangolins in Peril
Pangolins are amazing scale-covered mammals from Africa and Asia. Unfortunately they are critically endangered because of illegal hunting and trade. Pangolins aren’t the only animals in trouble. There are more than 25 endangered species right here in Iowa. Learn about some of the simple steps everyone can take to help.
Wild Iowa: Awareness, Appreciation, and Action
Wild Iowa highlights UI Recreational Services’ outdoors programs including the Iowa Raptor Project, School of the Wild, and Wildlife Camps. Iowa is arguably one of the least “wild” states due to the loss of native habitats, but the UI’s outdoors programs work to awaken Iowans to the importance of our native habitats through research, educational programs, and the savanna restoration project.
The Mobile Museum also includes two interactive digital touchscreens let visitors learn about research and creative activity happening in a variety of UI units.
Make sure to stop by to see what’s happening at the University of Iowa and some of the great projects they have going on!
Due to the potential rainy weather for Saturday, the Heritage Days Committee has decided to move the inflatables indoors to the Elementary School gym for both Friday and Saturday.
Heritage Days 2018 kicks of Thursday!!
This report contains important information regarding the water quality in our water system. The source of our water is groundwater. For questions regarding this information or how you can get involved in decisions regarding the water system, please contact IDA GROVE WATER UTILITY at 712-364-2989. Decisions regarding the water system are made at the city council meetings held on the first and third Monday of each month at 6:00pm at 403 Third Street and are open to the public. 2017 WATER QUALITY REPORT FOR IDA GROVE WATER UTILITY
At just five years old, little Mia Mason is already accomplishing big things. Mia, the daughter of Tony and Renee Mason, recently held her very own lemonade stand during the Ida Grove City Wide Garage Sale weekend in an effort to raise money for the Ida Grove King Theater Project. Mia operated her stand Friday afternoon and evening, and again Saturday. Her stand, featuring both lemonade and cookies, brought in approximately $300 which the preschooler happily handed over for the renovation project efforts. (pictured here: Mayor Devlun Whiteing, Mia Mason and Theater Board member Doug Clough)
Beginning Monday, May 21st, contractors will begin installing conduit and fiber optic cable to service the Verizon Cell tower.
The city maintenance crew will be performing testing on the civil sirens throughout the day on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. The sirens could sound for a few minutes each time, so please do not be alarmed. This is only a test.
Excitement abounds!! City crew rescues a large snapping turtle within city limits today. Take a look at this monster sized snapper!
The City of Ida Grove would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the Ida County Community Betterment Foundation for the $4,000 grant we received! This money will go towards helping the city to purchase new LED Christmas lights to hang on the utility poles in the downtown area and along Moorehead Avenue.
Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based senior nutrition programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger – this program is available right here in Ida Grove, IA!
Ever wondered how to make sure your loved ones are eating a nutritious meal but still letting them keep their independence by living at home? Please see the attached documents with information on the Meals on Wheels program.
If you have any questions, you may access the website located on the documents or call City Hall at 712-364-2428.
The Princess Theatre was Built in 1914 for silent films. In 1917, the theater was bought by Frank King and brought into the sound era in 1921. In 1940, Milton Mansfield bought the theater, adding a marquee. In 1954, Bob Fridley bought the theater, adding an indoor wall waterfall, floating stair case, and changed the seating arrangement. In 1982, Fred Saunders bought the theater, issuing in the VCR tape rental era. In 2010, the building fell into disrepair and the analog equipment was no longer relevant. The City of Ida Grove acquired it in 2015, selling it to the Ida Grove Foundation for a period of reconstruction. The Ida Grove Foundation Board is currently reconstructing the inside with private donations, community fundraising, and grants. The Foundation has raised $400,000 and seeks to raise an additional $150,000; they have begun reconstruction and hope to be showing movies by the end of summer 2018.
The theater will primarily show movies; however, there will be a motorized screen which will allow them to utilize a large enough stage for public speakers and one-act plays.
Want to donate?
To contribute to our count’s King Theatre renovation, please contact Ida Grove City Hall at 712.364.2428. You may also contact Ida Grove Foundation’s President Douglas Clough at [email protected]
See our progress at our Facebook page:
Ida Grove Foundation Board [formerly King Theatre Renovation Board]:
President, Douglas Clough
Vice President, Ryan Goodman
Treasurer, Cheryl Gosch
Secretary, Beth Wolterman
YOU ARE INVITED!
The City of Ida Grove is pleased to announce that we are in the process of developing a collaborative Source Water Protection effort between our city officials, community members, and members of our rural community. We would like to welcome you to a meeting regarding Source Water, our current protection efforts and how we can move forward together in developing a long term plan for keeping our drinking water clean!
PLEASE JOIN US!
April 24, 2018
Ida Grove Community Rec Center
YOUR PARTICIPATION IS GREATLY VALUED!
For more information, contact Bridget Durst:
Please see the attached City Council Agenda for tonight’s meeting
Summer is fast approaching, and with Summer, comes green grass! Please read the following excerpt from the City of Ida Grove’s ordinance book regarding mowing regulations:
The City of Ida Grove reminds residents of the requirements for mowing of their properties within the city limits under ordinance 3-6.0101, 3-6.0103, 3-6.0104. It is unlawful for owners of each lot and parcel of ground within the city limits to fail, refuse, or neglect to cut or destroy all weeds, vines, brush or other growth and debris. Property owners are reminded that any vegetation which reaches a height of more than 12 inches is required to be mowed. Any property not mowed after the vegetation reaches 12 inches in height, may be mowed by the City or their agents, and a charge of $75.00 per hour plus a surcharge of $100.00 will be charged to the property owner. Publication of this notice will serve as notice to property owners.
Thank you for your cooperation to keep Ida Grove a place to be proud of!
With April 1st right around the corner, the City reminds residents of their responsibility to follow the burning regulations set in place for the safety and also convenience of our citizens.
Hours and dates of burning: No person will be allowed to burn nearer than 10 feet of any building, or on any street or sidewalk at any time. Burning is only permitted between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. from April 1st to November 30th of each year. Yard waste is the only material that is allowed to be burnt. It shall be illegal for any person to burn or allow open burning on the premises except during the times and during the dates stated in this paragraph.
The City of Ida Grove is updating their comprehensive plan and would love to hear from YOU! Join your fellow citizens on April 23, 2018 at the Ida Grove Rec Center at 5:00 p.m. for a presentation to review the draft plan regarding future plans for housing, economic development, transportation, parks, and community facilities and services.
Click the links below to see the flyer and review the draft plan.
The City of Ida Grove announces a Ward II Council vacancy effective immediately. City Council plans to hold a special council meeting Thursday, March 22 at noon. If anyone within Ward II is interested in filling this position, please contact City Hall at 364-2428 before Thursday. Ward II description is as follows:
Commencing at the intersection of the centerlines of Main Street and Fourth Street; thence South along the centerline of Main Street to the center of Seventh Street; thence West along the centerline of Seventh Street to the middle of the intersection of Seventh Street and Taylor Street; thence South along the centerline of Taylor Street extended to the centerline of Badger Creek; thence randomly South and East along the centerline of Badger Creek to the centerline of South Main Street; thence South along the centerline of South Main Street to the middle intersection of Center Lane and South Main Street; thence East along the centerline of Center Lane to the middle of the intersection of Center Lane and Park Lane; thence South along the centerline of Park Lane to the middle of the intersection of Park Lane and Zobel Lane; thence East along the centerline of Zobel Lane to the corporate limits.
Reminder: Get your cats and dogs licensed at City Hall during the ‘early-bird registration period’. Any owner of a dog or cat within city limits is required by city ordinance to license the animal yearly. In order to license your pet you MUST provide proof of a current rabies vaccination. The licensing fees are as follows:
January 1-February 28 $10 per pet if spayed or neutered, $15 per pet if not spayed or neutered
March 1-December 31 $20 per pet if spayed or neutered, $25 per pet if not spayed or neutered
READY, SET, GO!!! The City of Ida Grove is pleased to announce we are ready to begin automatic withdrawal of monthly utility bills. Stop into City Hall today and ask for a “withdrawal authorization” form to have your utility bill automatically withdrawn from your checking or savings account. Once you have completed your authorization form, the City of Ida Grove will withdrawal your utility bill on the 10th of every month. Please note, if the 10th falls on a weekend or holiday, your bill will be deducted on the last business day previous to the 10th.
The Ida Grove City Hall and City Council would like to extend our deepest gratitude to our local Law Enforcement, EMT’s, and Firefighters for the services they provide to our community. Thank you all for protecting and serving our community, keeping it safe, and THANK YOU for volunteering your time and caring hearts to our community. On behalf of the city, we appreciate each and every one of you.
The Ida Grove Comprehensive Plan Presentation will be held Monday April 23, 2018 at 5pm in the Ida Grove Rec Center. The meeting will begin at 5pm with a presentation from SIMPCO representative, Nicole Peterson. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend! Please come review the draft comprehensive plan!
The 2017-2018 Comprehensive Plan of the City of Ida Grove is intended to serve as an advisory document that outlines the city’s vision. The purpose of this comprehensive plan is to provide a current inventory of community resources and a thoughtful statement of the community’s vision and goals for the future. This comprehensive plan includes analysis of the following topics: Housing, Economic Development, Transportation, Community Facilities and Services, Land Use, and Natural Resources. The comprehensive plan document provides legal justification for community decisions and ensures that local policies are in step with those of state, regional, and federal planning best practices. The plan can inform grant applications and leverage funding for community projects. The plan process incorporated public participation and facilitates intergovernmental collaboration through review and consideration of neighboring jurisdictions policy and plans.
The Ida Grove Library has joined more than 1,000 libraries across the country to participate in the celestial event of the century, the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse. During this national event, the shadow of the moon will sweep across the United States in a narrow band from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean in a spectacle that hasn’t occurred in decades. In fact, the last total solar eclipse for the United States was nearly 40 years ago. The rest of the U.S. and North America will see a partial eclipse, with the Moon covering up only part of the Sun. It is aptly named the Great American Eclipse.
This will be a great opportunity for our community to celebrate science with fun, hands-on activities, culminating in the eclipse event on August 21, 2017.
On Monday August 21st, the library will host an Eclipse viewing party from 11am-1pm. During the viewing party, the library will be distributing solar viewing glasses along with information on safe eclipse viewing. The Grout Museum will be in attendance during the viewing with a special hands-on “Outreach to Space” exhibit for all ages, and there will be a live stream of the total eclipse from NASA. NASA’s live stream will include a wealth of images captured before, during, and after the eclipse by 11 spacecraft, at least three NASA aircraft, more than 50 high-altitude balloons, and the astronauts aboard the International Space Station – each offering a unique vantage point for the celestial event.
The Ida Grove Library will also offer a range of public programs during the week of August 14, 2017 to bring the excitement of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to children, teens and adults. Our schedule of events includes daily craft activities (while supplies last) as well as two special movie viewings. Scheduled activities the week of August 14th include:
Monday August 14th 1-2pm: Sun Catchers
Tuesday August 15th 1-2pm: Solar Art Prints
Wednesday August 16th 1-3pm: Eclipse Coloring
Thursday August 17th 1-2pm: Sundials
Thursday August 17th @ 5:30pm: Movie Night showing Apollo 13
Friday August 18th @10:30am: Children’s movie showing E.T. & a special solar s’mores making session after the movie
“We are excited that the Ida Grove Library will have the opportunity to participate in this national program,” said Angela Scales, library director. “We have received tremendous support from the Shopko Foundation to help our community prepare for and enjoy this amazing astronomy event. We think people of all ages and backgrounds will find the solar eclipse to be an experience they will remember the rest of their lives.” More information on the scheduled events and safe eclipse viewing can be found on the library’s website at www.idagrove.lib.ia.us.
Ida Grove Library is located at 100 East 2nd Street. All of the scheduled eclipse programs are free and open to the public during library hours. Solar viewing glasses will be available free of charge as well during the eclipse viewing event.
Ida Grove Library has joined the STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net) and its [email protected] My Library initiative, which is providing resources and STEM activities to libraries across the nation related to the eclipse. Partners include NASA, the American Library Association, and many other organizations. This project was made possible through support from the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Google, and the National Science Foundation.
AFTER PROM will be grilling hamburgers, pork burgers or hot dogs this Thursday, July 13th. Included is a bag of chips and a drink. Don’t have a garden? Head to the Ida Area Farmers’ Market and let our four produce vendors give you fresh produce (not shipped from miles away). Look for blueberries, carrots, green beans, melons, onions, peas, peppers, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet corn, squash, and tomatoes. Some will be ready!! And don’t forget home decor, jewelry, and more from Genevieve, fresh flowers from Faith, wine from the Sinnotts, and eggs from Lori. So enjoy an evening at the park with great food, friends, and products from the market. 4:30 to 6:30 PM on Thursday in downtown Ida Grove.
IT’S HERITAGE DAYS!! Start your celebration by visiting the Farmers’ Market on 2nd Street in downtown Ida Grove. We have four produce vendors, a fresh flower vendor, wine and wine tasting, an organic meat vendor, a baked goods vendor, and a vendor who sells brown, blue, green, and buff eggs! Rita Pierson will be available with her artisan chocolates.
And grilling to raise funds for the King Theater Renovation will feature beef ribeye sandwich meals for $5 and shirts for a $20 donation.
So get in on the action and join your friends and neighbors from 4:30 to 6:30 PM on Thursday.
WEEK TWO at the market Thursday 4:30pm to 6:30pm in downtown Ida Grove. Genevieve Voss will be in attendance with her home decor, jewelry, and much more. Also Rita Pierson (Cocoa Bellissimo) will be offering her artisan chocolates. Some of our produce vendors will be available as well as our new vendor, Cherri Sloan, who will be selling baked goods. Cherri has been baking for the Farmers’ Market in Jefferson for 5 years. Come and check her out!! And Faith will be in the park with fresh flowers. The Junior Competition Dancers will be grilling burgers, and offering chips, beans, pop or water, and desserts for $6 to raise money for their future competitions. So join the your friends and neighbors for the fun!
It’s starting again this upcoming Thursday, June 1st! Come to the Ida Area Farmers’ Market, located east of our downtown Main and 2nd Street intersection. Fresh produce Thursdays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. June 1 through September 28, 2017. It’s local, it’s fresh, it supports our community members. Vendors and their wares include Cherri Sloan, baked goods; Cocoa Bellissimo, artisan chocolates (part time); K & S Produce (Kenny Tietsort & Doug VanHouten), produce; Lakefront Gardens & Gifts (Genevieve Voss), home decor, jewelry, misc.; Faith Johnson, fresh flowers; Shettler’s Gardens, produce; Old Town Vineyard & Winery (John & Lenee Sinnott), wine & wine tasting; Thankful Harvest (Tom & Grace German), organic meat, produce, & baked goods; Quimby Street Creations (Gloria Sykes), knitted items (part time); Susan Spotts, produce; and Golden Horizons will be there the last Thursday of every month selling handmade crafts. Some of the produce available the first day will be asparagus and rhubarb. The Heritage Days Board will also be on hand to grill out as a fundraiser for our hometown celebration occurring the final week of June.
The City of Ida Grove would like to thank the members of the OABCIG Future Farmers of America (FFA) for taking the time to beautify the downtown area of Ida Grove. The group, under the tutelage of Dan Remer, Shelley Malcom and Byron Peters, planted flowers in the pots along 2nd and Main Streets. The City of Ida Grove would also like to thank the Chamber of Commerce for their generous donation of time and materials to this wonderful project. If you know of or see a member of the FFA, please thank them for a job well done. Thanks to everyone involved!
Longlines has notified Ida Grove City Hall that cable service will be disrupted beginning at 12:01 AM on May 3rd. It will be a 3 hour routine update that will be completed within the three hour period and service should be restored by 3:00 a.m.
Gregor Ernst has been appointed by the city council to fill the Ward I seat vacated by Jeff Buehler. The appointment – which runs through the end of 2017 – occurred at the city’s regular meeting on April 17th.
Ernst has been an Ida Grove resident for four years with his wife Jess. The couple has two daughters, Avery and Brynn. “My grandparents moved here in 1943, and my father was raised here, so I spent many summers in Ida Grove,” said Ernst.
Ernst serves as Vice President, Product Development for Peerless Network, a nationwide provider of telecommunications services. “I have nearly 20 years of management experience in a high pressure industry,” stated Ernst. “While I have a technology background, I’m passionate about the continued revitalization and beautification of our city.” He has a BA in German/International Business from the University of Iowa and an MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management.
Ernst has also served as organizer of the Ida Grove Kiwanis Soccer program for the past two years. He also currently coaches three youth soccer teams.
“I’m proud of the sustainability of Ida Grove and want to help foster an environment where our industries and population can grow. This is our home and we should be proud of it.”
Marc Dennison of Waunakee, WI, has accepted the position of Ida Grove City Administrator. Dennison will start no later than May 1st. The City Council approved a $65,000/year salary, 3 weeks a year in vacation and $3,000 in net moving expenses. Dennison has previously been Economic Development Director and Village Administrator in two Villages in Wisconsin. He has Bachelor degrees in Political Science and Public Administration and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. City Councilmen Scott Tomlinson and Doug Clough abstained from the vote. Councilman Clough was a candidate for the position who withdrew from consideration last week. Clough commented that it would be in the best interest of the City if he remain with Midwest Industries and stay on the Council and work with an experienced City Administrator. The City Council would like to thank the members of the Ida Grove public who took part in the meet and greet of the candidates and provided public feedback. Citizens are encouraged to introduce themselves to Dennison and make him feel welcome in Ida Grove.
This Saturday, March 25th, citizens have the opportunity to meet our five finalists for Ida Grove City Administrator. This event will be held at Ida Grove City Hall from 1 pm to 4 pm. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions of the five candidates and to provide feedback to the council’s personnel subcommittee on the merits of each.
The personnel subcommittee includes Mayor Devlun Whiteing, Ward 1 representative Jeff Buehler, and At-large representative Ryan Goodman. Ward 1 councilman Doug Clough and Ward 3 councilman Scott Tomlinson have abstained from all personnel committee involvement and their right to vote on this hiring.
Here is a brief overview of each of the finalists:
Marc Dennison – Marc was born, raised and currently lives in Wisconsin. Marc is a small town, community driven person. He has a BS and a MA in Public Administration. He started his municipal career as an Economic Development Director, working with attaining funding and TIF districts to drive economic development. He has served as a Village Administrator for two different municipalities in Wisconsin, one half the size of Ida Grove and one almost the same size. He understands the dynamics of a small, Midwestern Community and how to get projects moving with the funding constraints that they have.
Kandice Tomlinson – Kandice has been the Ida County Program and Outreach Coordinator for the ISU Extension office since 2013. She provides programming at the extension and externally for various organizations, all within the framework of a county-funded budget. One of the main responsibilities of her current role is public outreach and interaction, with her clients ranging from children to adults. She has experience with fundraising through various community organizations and is a member of several community Boards and a member of several more community organizations. Kandice is from the area and moved away, moving back to make Ida Grove her home with her husband Scott.
Gerald Smith- Gerald comes to us from Kansas City, MO. He is a seasoned municipal professional with a Masters in Public Administration from Northern Illinois University who started his career as an Assistant Village Manager in Deerfield, IL. Over the years he has been a Village Administrator, a Municipal Management Consultant, an Assistant City Manager, a Director of General Services and a City Manager. He has worked with communities from 15,000 in population to 450,000 and understands finance and budgeting, city management, community service and strategic visioning and planning.
Doug Clough – Doug is currently the City Councilman for Ward 2 in Ida Grove and Customer Service Manager at Midwest Industries, Inc. Doug is a public facing, customer service driven person who strives to create success and, in the event of a problem, equitable solutions. These skills have played an integral part in the success of his 20-year career at Midwest Industries, eight-year stint as an English teacher in Ida Grove, and as a six-year council member. Doug came to Ida Grove 28 years ago and has made Ida Grove his home and eventual retirement community. He understands the issues that the city currently faces and has a strength in pulling people together to get things done. Doug lives in Ida Grove with his wife Mary; the couple have five children, two currently attending OABCIG High School.
Tracy Luke – Tracy has been the Civil Deputy at the Ida County Sheriff’s office since 2006. She has experience working with the public (often in difficult circumstances), working with tight budget constraints with unexpected funding challenges and being part of a collaborative environment where things need to be dealt with in a timely fashion and often under pressure. Tracy and her husband Charlie chose Ida Grove as their home 20 years ago when Charlie joined the Iowa State Patrol.
Our Ida Grove City Council will hold a special meeting Thursday, March 2nd, at 5:15 pm to discuss the anticipated vacancy of the seat representing Ward I. Jeff Buehler, who currently holds the Ward I spot, is moving outside the city limits. The appointment will run through the end of the 2017 calendar year with this seat up for general election this November.
At our January 16th City Council meeting, our council approved the appointment of Devlun Whiteing as interim mayor. This appointment will run through the end of 2017 with a regular election this upcoming November. Council member Doug Clough (Ward II) stated, “Devlun brings a wealth of experience at a time when we need it. He has been our town’s fire chief and has worked with our council on budget and equipment issues.
Saturday, December 3rd & Sunday, December 4th 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Come join us at the Ida County Moorehead House Museum for our Christmas Open House. See and hear the “Christmas Memories” while enjoying tours of the museum and refreshments.
Kick off your holiday shopping in Ida Grove Sunday, November 20th from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm!
The following stores will be open for shopping that day:
Old Town Winery
Flowers and More
Rentals, Treasures and More
Dose Garage Sale
The local Thrivent office (located in “The Mall”) is offering child ID kits as well as child care for shoppers (number of children limited).
Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be in town and will be available for pictures by Knop Photography in the Thrivent office.
Ida Grove Chamber will also be downtown selling discounted Chamber Bucks at Remer Realty from 1:00 – 3:00. (See chamber website for more details www.idagrovechamber.org)
Come out and support our local small businesses!
Bring your families and meet at Godbersen park for a small costume contest and parade. After the parade a treat bag filled with goodies from Ida Grove businesses and glow necklaces will be available to make our kids more visible while out after dark. After the parade, trick or treating will begin and last until 8:00 PM.If you will be handing out candy from your home please remember to turn on an outdoor light.
TRACES will bring its mobile exhibit “At Home in the Heartland: Forgotten Stories of How Iowans Got to be ‘Us’” to the Ida Grove Library on Sunday, October 2nd 2016. It is housed in a retrofitted school bus, the “BUS-eum.”
TRACES Center for History and Culture doesn’t have all the answers, but it does have many questions needed to help find them. From queries like: Who are “we” as Iowans and as a nation? How’d we get to be the way we are? How have we changed over time—or not—and how might we change in the future?
The Iowa that existed as little as 35 years ago is gone. Sweeping, long-term changes in the region’s agriculture, economy, technology, politics and its ethnic, age or other demographics have altered the ways we live. In the process we have lost old treasures even as we have gained new possibilities. All this can be examined, together.
The exhibit curator holds that “While the failure to transfer practical information hobbles young people’s later job skills and economic performance, the failure to transfer cultural information erodes their social skills. Cultural competency understands how we became who we are, how we changed over time—or not—and how humans change at all. It informs us how we behave as individuals, how we live together and how we govern ourselves.”
Between now and Election Day, TRACES will take its exhibit to all 99 Iowa counties on three different tours, showing at diverse venues: schools, libraries, colleges, museums and other institutions. The public exhibit showing of the Bus-eum in Ida Grove will begin at 2pm on Sunday, October 2nd at the Ida Grove Public Library with the workshop to begin at 2:30pm in the Heritage Room of the Library.
Michael Luick-Thrams is a Ph.D. historian (Humboldt Universität, Berlin), educator and speaker. While the overall tour focuses on Iowa history, his forty years of family research has yielded hundreds of photos, maps or other documentation that offer a narrative look into Iowa history. Docent Irving Kellman guides visitors through the BUS.
Luick-Thrams says, “TRACES gathers, preserves and presents stories of people’s lives, past and present–many of which have lain beneath dust left by time’s passage. By learning lessons from the past, we might rise above what otherwise could demean us and keeps us from moving forward as individuals, families, communities and a nation.”
Founded in 2001, TRACES brings people of different backgrounds and perspectives together to speak with each other, openly and respectfully, in order to exchange experiences and opinions. In the process, old stereotypes and current ideological limits shift, making space for new possibilities when people humbly encounter one another. It taps the past for clues about what to avoid repeating in the future, as well as what has worked well in the past that might serve us well now as we seek a better way forward towards a more sustainable and peaceable world.
TRACES first focused on WWII history. Now that that generation mostly is gone and new crises face us, however, it is shifting its focus from preserving “traces” of WWII to issues of civic life: What have been our strengths and weaknesses over time as communities; what resources do we possess at present; what futures are open to us—solo and as a society—as we face numerous trials and grope forward? In response to current challenges, TRACES focuses on issues of family history juxtaposed over that of communities as a fulcrum for deliberate social change.
Admission is free, in part with support from: Humanities Iowa, the John K. & Luise V. Hanson and the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundations, Chester P. Luick Memorial Trust, Vander Haags Inc. and local hosts. Details about both the tour and TRACES can be found at: http://roots.traces.org/at-home-in-the-heartland or [email protected]