Fremont County's Hometown Pride groups have outlined their goals for 2018.
In a report presented to the Fremont County Board of Supervisors late last year, Hometown Pride Coach Doug Friedli also presented the groups' long- and short-term achievements.
The groups have made progress on six of their seven long-term goals, which were established in November 2013. They have been able to improve first impressions of the 10 Hometown Pride communities through town cleanups and the addition of welcome signs, trees and artwork, said Friedli, as well as improving the quality of life in the communities with the addition of social events and recreational and educational opportunities.
Hometown Pride groups have also been able to reuse or demolish nuisance and derelict properties around the county, said Friedli, and they have engaged county youth in hands-on improvement projects, such as painting or planting.
The groups have also developed leadership capacity and have begun building community endowments, said Friedli. The seventh goal, growing the population base, continues to challenge the groups.
Since the groups began meeting in 2013, Friedli said there have been 357 Hometown Pride community meetings and 96 meetings of support organizations, including Trees Forever, the Iowa Architects Foundation, the Fremont County Community Foundation, the Southwest Iowas Transit Agency, and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
So far, 266 Fremont County residents have provided 8,478 volunteer hours to Hometown Pride activities, said Friedli. The group has received $405,847 from 80 grants, and it has three community endowments in place and one in progress.
During 2017, the county's Hometown Pride groups created a calendar of community events, hosted an Iowa Tourism bus tour and branding logo, hosted Trees Forever workshops and demonstrations, hosted show-and-tell displays at the Fremont County Fair, hosted the Trail of Treasures and a shoe drive, and undertook a variety of initiatives designed to attract people to the area.

The 2017 achievements and 2018 goals for each Hometown Pride group are listed below:

2017: Cleaned up nuisance and derelict properties; planted trees; installed a new welcome sign.
2018: Developing lots for new houses and advertising on a billboard along Interstate 29.

See PRIDE, page 3