Representatives from around 40 Iowa communities will be at the Keep Iowa Beautiful Conference opening today in Boone. Gerry Schnepf, the group’s executive director, says the conference is being held for one important purpose.

“We’re bringing together people to share ideas about how you can enhance and improve your communities,” Schnepf says. “A lot of communities are doing the right kinds of things. This is an opportunity to share information about beautification efforts, planting efforts. It’s a good opportunity to find out how you can make your community shine a little better.” Schnepf says the various workshops at the conference will cover a wide host of areas.

“We have educational programs about service learning, working with youngsters and how to get them involved in your community,” he says, in addition to programs on recycling, illegal dumping surveillance and on turning various products into art. This is the eighth year for the conference. Schnepf commends the work of Iowa’s citizens and communities for their efforts in keeping the state attractive.

“I see a lot of improvements in communities across the state,” he says. “They recognize the importance of image, not only for building a sense of pride but for encouraging economic development and encouraging people to return and build.” The conference is being held at the Seven Oaks Recreation Center in Boone. Learn more at the website:

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City