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9 communities leading the way for health and well-being

Meet Iowa's finalists

In nearly 30 years, obesity has increased External Site from 10–14 percent among adults to nearly 40 percent. As a result, Americans are experiencing more chronic health issues and are more overweight than ever before. However, it's not just about our pant size. It's about the health conditions that stem from obesity. 

Healthy choices need to be made easier, but where do we begin? With Healthy HometownSM Powered by Wellmark Opens New Window, it can start right in your community. 

Healthy Hometown works with communities, at no cost, to identify ways to make positive, lasting changes that enhance well-being. It's already working with dozens of communities across Iowa and South Dakota. And, on Feb. 7, 2019, nine Iowa communities will be recognized for the progress they made last year during the Healthiest State Initiative's Annual Awards External Site.

Healthy Hometown 2019 Healthy Hometown Community Award Finalists

Here is just a sample of the success highlights that show how communities are helping their residents eat well, be physically active and connect socially. Look for in-depth follow-up stories from this year's winners coming soon.


Expanded the Algona Recreational Trail system with a 1,500-foot extension to connect the southeast side of the city to the trail.


Caring Hands Edible Orchard added 20 raspberry bushes to their orchard in an accessible area where visitors are regularly seen harvesting fruit.

Cass County

Offered more than 40 physical activity programs in the past year, benefiting more than 660 residents.


Through the Let’s Live Healthy Clinton Area Initiative’s donation gardening program, 11,320 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables have been donated through seven different produce distribution sites.


Installed a basketball court at their City Park to encourage residents to be physically active.

Forest City

Began implementing several recommendations from their Healthy Hometown walking audit report including: painting crosswalks and the installation of a temporary parklet, which is a small seating area or green space that provides a relaxing space to sit and talk outdoors.


500 elementary school children participated in a two-week fresh fruit and vegetable taste testing and nutrition education curriculum.

Mason City

Fifty-one individuals and 11 worksites participated in the North Iowa Fresh (NIF) Bounty Box CSA (community-supported agriculture) program that delivers local, farm-fresh produce along with recipes to participants.

Sergeant Bluff

Physical activity programming was expanded to provide additional classes for seniors and more opportunities that meet the needs and interest of all residents.

Get your community involved

Imagine the possibilities. Healthy Hometown can help make your vision for a healthier community a reality. To learn how you can get started, visit Healthy Hometown online Opens New Window or email Send Email for more information.

You can also check out these articles from last year's winners of the Healthy Hometown Community Award.