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February 11, 2019

DES MOINES, IA – Three Iowa communities, Algona, Knoxville and Mason City, were each presented with a 2019 Healthy Hometown Community Award during the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative awards ceremony held on Feb. 7, 2019. The award is in recognition for their accomplishments in health improvement initiatives within their respective communities.

These cities have earned the title of 2019 Healthy Algona, 2019 Healthy Knoxville and 2019 Healthy Mason City. Each will receive $5,000 to continue the important work of improving the physical, social and emotional well-being of their communities.

Some noteworthy achievements in these communities include:


  • Expanded the Algona Recreational Trail system with a 1,500 foot extension to connect the southeast side of the city to the trail.
  • Algona Leadership Class worked with community members to create a beautiful mural on the back of several downtown business buildings.
  • The Dodge Street Reconstruction project included traffic calming measures, streetscaping, additional parking and enhanced pedestrian use which benefited 36 businesses.


  • 500 elementary school children participated in a two-week fresh fruit and vegetable taste testing and nutrition education curriculum.
  • Knoxville Community Food Coalition was established to help address food insecurity within the community. In addition, the Knoxville Panther Food Pantry is available to any family in need, across all the Knoxville Community School District schools.
  • Recently completed the Miracle Playground that is accessible for people with disabilities, established the Paws & Pals dog park, built outdoor basketball and tennis courts, a state-of-the-art skate park, and installed a youth splash pad.

Mason City

  • Fifty-one individuals and 11 worksites participated in the North Iowa Fresh (NIF) Bounty Basket program that delivers local farm fresh produce along with recipes to participants.
  • Water bottle filling stations were installed at all K-12 schools. Each student also received a reusable water bottle.
  • A new community garden location was started and improvements have been made to an existing community garden. The improvements include re-roofing a garden shed, installing galvanized signage and water enhancements.

The Healthy Hometown community award celebrates the successes achieved by Algona, Knoxville and Mason City. The work these three communities have done is making Iowa a healthier, more active place to live. To find out more information about the program, visit