Skip to content
Narrow screen resolution Wide screen resolution Auto adjust screen size Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size blue color orange color green color

1000 Friends of Iowa

Recent Developments
Farma-Save Signs: We Want YOUR Slogan Ideas!
Sunday, 06 April 2014

Our Farma-Save Signs are a popular way to raise awareness of land use issues for Iowans and visitors to the state of Iowa. Designed after the Burma Shave signs that ran from 1927 to 1963, they are a creative and catchy way to get people thinking about one or more aspects of land use.

1000 Friends has been using the same slogans on our signs since they were first created. We’ve decided it’s time to update the slogans and we want YOUR help.

Click here, or copy and paste the link below into your browser, to view each of the six sets of signs, then send your slogan ideas to: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it by June 15, 2014. The winning submissions will be announced at our Annual Meeting, tentatively planned for July, 2014.

James Howard Kunstler Talk on Urban Sprawl
Wednesday, 26 March 2014

James Howard Kunstler is an American author, social critic, public speaker, blogger, seasoned journalist and a leading supporter of the movement known as "New Urbanism." Kunstler gives lectures on topics related to suburbia, urban development, and the challenges of what he calls "the global oil predicament", and a resultant change in the “American Way of Life.” He has lectured the TED Conference, the American Institute of Architects, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the International Council of Shopping Centers, the National Association of Science and Technology, as well as at numerous colleges and universities.

The talk at the TED conference in 2004 is blunt, but the description of urban sprawl and why we need to change is excellent.

Congratulations Recipients of the 2013 Best Development Awards!
Monday, 24 March 2014

1000 Friends of Iowa is pleased to announce the following winners of the 2013 Best Development Awards:

New Commercial/Civic: Central Iowa Shelter and Services, Des Moines

Renovated Commercial/Civic: The Hotel Greenfield, Greenfield

Mixed Use: Historic Packaging and Provision Building, Iowa City

Leadership: Appanoose Rapids Microbrewery and Loft Apartments, Ottumwa

Learn more about each of the 2013 Best Development Awards recipients by clicking here!

IPTV to Feature Adair County Free Press Sunday, March 9
Thursday, 06 March 2014

Tune in to Iowa Public Television on Sunday, March 9 at 11:30 AM for "The Sidey Report: Life and Times of an Iowa Icon". The 90 minute documentary tells the story of the Sidey family, who've been delivering the news to residents of Adair County since 1889.

Letter to the editor: We shouldn't ignore importance of the soil
Monday, 28 October 2013

Des Moines Register, October 24, 2013 

Several articles in the Register recently laud biotechnology and genetically-engineered crops as tools necessary to feed the world (“Like It or Not, Biotech Is a Necessary Ag Tool” by Julie Borlaug and “The Truth About GMOs” by Iowa State University President Steven Leath and others). These essays propose that engineered solutions will solve problems in agricultural sustainability, even as we continue to ignore the fundamental component of good agriculture: soil.

But imagine a Grand Prix race if we downgraded the track to gravel. This is exactly what we are doing with agriculture — degrading the track.

We have ability to monitor changes in the landscape with an unprecedented degree of precision. The results are disturbing. We know that 6 million Iowa acres are eroding at twice the allowable rate. Thousands of Iowa farm fields lost 35 tons of soil per acre in the month of May alone. These farmlands have less potential to raise food this year than they did last year.

I find much of the biotech hoopla to be disingenuous when its proponents largely ignore the foundations of agriculture. Biotech doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It is a whole system of agriculture that must function to feed the world.

— Drake Larsen, Ames


How Urban Sprawl Effects Water Resources
Monday, 22 July 2013
A report from American Rivers discusses how urban sprawl effects the water supply, and what can be done. Visit to read the informative summary!!
Encourage Governor Branstad to sign for every conservation dollar possible!
Friday, 21 June 2013
Governor Branstad is currently evaluating SF435, HF648, and HF638. All three contain conservation significant funding. Please take a moment to send the Governor a message encouraging him to sign for every conservation dollar possible as he evaluates each bill!

Below is SAMPLE MESSAGE TO THE GOVERNOR provided by the Iowa Environmental Council:

Dear Governor Branstad,

During this spring's heavy rains, Iowa suffered significant soil erosion,, and record-setting levels of nitrate harmed Iowa's rivers and drinking water sources for several communities. Large portions of Iowa's landscape are not as well prepared to prevent these problems as they need to be. Under these conditions, the need for enhanced conservation action in Iowa is clear. You have before three bills, SF435, HF648, and HF638. Each contain significant funds bi-partisan majorities of legislators approved to support clean water and conservation action in Iowa. I strongly encourage you to sign for ever conservation dollar contained in these bills!


EPA Accepting Public Comments on RED Document for Glyphosate
Monday, 03 June 2013
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to hike the allowed residue limits of the herbicide glyphosate in various food and feed crops. The allowed level in animal feed will be 100 parts per million (ppm), and 40 ppm in oilseed crops. Allowed levels in some fruits and vegetables eaten by humans will also rise.

The EPA is accepting public comments on the Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) document for glyphosate until July 1, 2013. Tell the EPA you want glyphosate limits lowered, not increased! Visit!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0132-0009 to read more & to add your comments electronically! You may also submit your written comments no later than July 1, 2013 to OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001

Additional information and an online petition is available at .
2013 Annual Meeting
Friday, 28 September 2012

Every year 1000 Friends of Iowa hosts an annual meeting in a different city. These meetings are small-scale conferences for our members and others who are interested in 1000 Friends of Iowa. We always hear from local people about land use issues in their community. We host a members meeting where our members elect board members, and other business as stated in our By-Laws.

Fimmakers Offer Online Viewing of Documentary PRICELE$$
Thursday, 25 April 2013
"PRICELE$$ is a filmmaker’s personal journey across America to answer a burning question: why are some of our government’s most basic policies, like food and energy, so so out-of-date…and can anything be done about it? Sharing the suspicion of fellow-citizens, including a class of young civics students, that campaign money is involved, the filmmakers set out on a spellbinding and at times hilarious ride from rural America to the halls of Congress to find out more, because democracy is a precious resource. In fact, it's PRICELE$$."

Much of the footage in PRICELE$$ was shot in Iowa and includes many local faces 1000 Friends of Iowa members will recognize, including 1000 Friends co-founder, LaVon Griffieon.

Habitat Media has allowed Americans for Campaign Finance Reform to offer the full documentary for viewing from their website at no cost. Watch PRICELE$$ today by visiting:

Visit to learn more about the making of PRICELE$$ and Habitat Media.
Ask Members of Congress to Support the Office of Economic Resilience
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
Send your letters in the next two weeks!

The President's proposed FY14 budget came out last week.  Included in the proposed budget is moving the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities to the Community Planning and Development section of HUD and renaming it the Office of Economic Resilience (OER). The budget included $75 million in funding for OER to give out "Integrated Planning and Investment Grants."

Members of Congress have been asked to submit their programmatic requests, key programs within each department members want to get funded, to the Appropriations Committee by April 26. It is important for Members to state their preferences early so that those programs don't get axed.

Within the next two weeks, please send letters to your Representatives and Senators asking them to add the new OER office to their programmatic request list and to continue to support the Smart Growth Office at EPA.
Your Comments DO Make a Difference!
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
Metropolitan planning organizations are certified by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) every four years. The FHWA & FTA will conduct a certification review of the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (DMAMPO) from April 29 through May 1, 2013. The review evaluates the effectiveness of the DMAMPO's transportation planning process, and ensures federal guidelines are being followed. Each MPO is required to solicit and utilize citizen input in local transportation decisions. If citizen input isn't resulting in changes that reflect the unique transportation needs of the community, the public participation process must be adjusted to make certain it does.

The DMAMPO will host a Public Input Meeting to accept comments from residents about the DMAMPO's transportation planning process as part of its 2013 certification review. The meeting will begin at 6:00 pm on April 29, 2013 at the DMAMPO Office, 420 Watson Powell, Jr. Way, Suite 200, in Des Moines, to gather comments from citizens regarding the DMAMPO transportation planning process.

This is an excellent opportunity to share your thoughts about the effectiveness of the DMAMPO public input meetings and transportation planning process.

The experience of 1000 Friends of Iowa is that the FHWA & FTA not only pay attention to the comments of citizens - they use the comments  and feedback - YOUR concerns become part of the final transportation planning certification review report and help shape recommendations.

You CAN make a difference by attending this meeting and making your concerns known!
A Big Picture Workshop: Integrating Watershed Management Into Land Use Planning & Redevelopment
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
Plan for growth and development. Minimize effects of flooding. Protect drinking water resources. Each of these goals has something in common – they all occur within a watershed. Yet traditional urban and community-based planning does not always take a ‘watershed approach’. The Iowa Stormwater Education Program and Iowa DNR have partnered to bring the “Watershed Planning for communities” workshops to the Iowa Cedar River Watershed. ALL with an interest in how a community grows are invited to attend. The workshops will be held May 1st, 7th and 8th. For those who register by May 1, 2013, registration is $30 for an individual, or $25 for two or more. After May 1, 2013, registration is $35 for an individual, $30 for two or more. Registration includes refreshments, lunch and all materials. Visit for complete details and to download the registration form.
Windsor Heights Offers Sustainable Living Spring Educational Series
Wednesday, 20 February 2013
Press Release from the City of Windsor Heights

Contact: Sheena Danzer, City Inspector
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last year the City of Windsor Heights hosted the first ever Sustainable Living Spring educational series at the Community and Events Center in Windsor Heights’ Colby Park. Due to its success we have put together a 2013 Program with the help of a Metro Waste Authority Grant. These educational presentations will be free of charge to attend and will cover a wide variety of topics.

Starting on Thursday, February 21st and continuing on the third Thursday of each month through May, we hope the information provided will assist home owners in our efforts to become a greener community.
EPA Invites Communities to Apply for Smart Growth Assistance
Friday, 15 February 2013

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today is inviting applications from communities interested in exploring barriers to smart growth and testing innovative strategies that can create healthier, more sustainable places to live, work, and play.

EPA’s Smart Growth Implementation Assistance (SGIA) program provides technical assistance to help communities grow in ways that improve the local economy, the environment, and people’s health. The program aims to help applicants develop solutions to local challenges, such as managing stormwater, increasing transit-oriented development, and adapting to climate change, and to share those solutions with other communities.

Join Us for An Evening of Soil and Socializing Featuring "Symphony of the Soil" Documentary
Thursday, 14 February 2013

Iowa is .098% of the worlds land mass, yet according to the NRCS Iowa has between 10 and 25 percent of the world's finest soils. Join us for a viewing of the, as yet, unreleased documentary Symphony of the Soil on Friday, March 1, 2013, 7:00 p.m. at Drake University's Bulldog Theater in Aliber Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. Seats are limited to 125 and are on a first come first serve basis, so please arrive early.

Filmed on four continents, Symphony of the Soil explores the miraculous living organism that sustains life on Earth. With a skillful mix of art and science, Deborah Koons Garcia's film describes how soil forms, its life cycle, and its role in global issues like climate change, dead zones and the future of our food supply.

This event is sponsored by 1000 Friends of Iowa, Raccoon River Watershed Association, Sierra Club, Transition Des Moines, and Women's International League of Peace and Freedom.

A block of rooms is being held at the Drake Holiday Inn the evening of March 1 for anyone traveling and wanting to stay the night. The number is 515-255-4000. The cost for one night stay is $94.

The movie will also be offered on Saturday, March 2 as the culmination of a day of learning about Iowa soils. (see below) Understanding and respect for our soils are the very base for responsible land use. "Symphony of the Soil will awaken a public that now largely sees soil as dirt rather than our lifeline to the future", says Fred Kirschenmann, an expert, living in Iowa, who is featured in the film and presenting at Saturday's RRWA meeting. See you at the movies!


1000 Friends of Iowa Announces 2012 Best Development Award Winners
Tuesday, 06 November 2012
November 6, 2012

1000 Friends of Iowa Announces 2012 Best Development Award Winners

Doug Adamson, Board Member            
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  
(515) 473-6373

DES MOINES, IA – 1000 Friends of Iowa is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 Best Development Awards. 1000 Friends of Iowa established the Best Development Awards in 2001 to recognize development projects and programs across the state of Iowa that best reflect the principles of smart growth and sustainable development and the cities, companies, non-profit organizations and individuals that made these projects or programs possible.  The winners of the Best Development Awards are models of how responsible development practices provide benefits to the community, the environment, and quality of life for future generations.

Please join 1000 Friends of Iowa in congratulating the following winners: 
  • Leadership: Czech Village New Bohemia Main Street District, Cedar Rapids
  • Mixed Use: Riverworks Development, Dubuque
  • New Civic: Historic Millwork District Complete Streets, Dubuque
  • New Residential: Flood Recovery Infill, Cedar Rapids
  • Renovated Commercial/Civic: The IVCCD OrpheumTheater Center, Marshalltown
  • Renovated Residential: Riverpoint Lofts, Des Moines
1000 Friends of Iowa is a statewide, non-profit organization, which advocates for responsible development that conserves and protects our agricultural and natural resources, revitalizes our neighborhoods, towns and cities, and improves the quality of life for future generations.

The award presentation honoring the winners will be held at The Historic Park Inn Hotel in Mason City, IA during the 1000 Friends of Iowa Annual Meeting, November 10, 2012. All who are interested are welcome to attend the Best Development Awards Ceremony beginning at 1:00 p.m. in the ballroom of The Historic Park Inn Hotel. For details about the Best Development Awards, visit

For additional information please contact Doug Adamson by email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (515) 473-6373.

Watershed awareness speakers to discuss Iowa river water quality
Monday, 05 November 2012
Three experts will discuss efforts to improve river water quality in Iowa at the "Have You Known Rivers?" event at Drake University. Lynette Seigley of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and artist David Williamson will discuss their work to clean up Iowa rivers, and Linda Kinman of Des Moines Water Works will talk about watershed awareness. The event will take place Nov. 5 at 3:30 p.m. in Meredith Hall, Room 101, and is free and open to the public.

Representatives from Missouri River Relief, Center on Sustainable Communities, and other environmental organizations will also be on hand. A reception will follow the presentation.

Seigley and Williamson are part of Project A.W.A.R.E., an annual watershed awareness river expedition, which involves hundreds of volunteers who learn about and help clean up Iowa's rivers. Williamson uses the collected trash to create collaborative art. A majority of the garbage consists of recyclable materials and is properly recycled after the expedition.

The Drake University Department of History and Urban Environmental History students are sponsoring the discussion. For more information, contact Amahia Mallea at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or 515-271-4585.

Filed Under:
EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities Free Webinar: Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities
Thursday, 06 September 2012
The EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities will offer an overview of free technical assistance available to communities through EPA's Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program on Friday, September 21, 2012 from 12-1:30 p.m. Central time. Webinar Details are avaliable at
National Complete Streets Coalition Releases 2011 Report and Workbook
Friday, 17 August 2012
The National Complete Streets Coalition has released the 2011 Report and Companion Workbook. The report and handbook highlight successful Complete Streets policies of communities across the United States. Communities adopted 146 Complete Streets policies in 2011, and over 350 policies are now in place across the country. The new National Complete Streets Coalition's report looks at some of the best of these policies, and serves as a resource to help community leaders bring these practices to their town or city.


"It's great to see such a surge in Complete Streets policy adoption over the past year," said National Complete Streets Coalition Director Roger Millar. "But this growth is also reflective of changing times and attitudes about transportation."


The policies are working to make streets safer, more livable and more welcoming for everyone.  


Visit to download the 2011 report and companion workbook!