In 2.5 years, I’ve learned a lot about rural Pottawattamie County. As someone who grew up here, I had no idea that the biggest county in Iowa was even more expansive than I realized. There’s always another surprise around the corner like a Minion statue or a back road I haven’t taken with a marker for a homestead. As we roll into the summer after COVID, I can tell you that there’s staycation material everywhere in our county! Tube the Nishnabotna. Bike the new trail next to Underwood. Hit a game at the new Vision Treynor fields. Do the bronze eagle tour. You won’t be sorry.
In 2.5 years, I’ve collected a lot of great footage. I’ll try to be brief but I want to share a few things I’ve learned about my WIDA towns.
Avoca Main Street – wow! What a transformation the town has been through! If you haven’t experienced it, go. There’s a lot of special people working hard to make it great. They’ve got potential to go a couple of different ways right now and I can’t wait to see which way they head. I’m all for a jacked-up tour of vehicles in the air! A roadtripper’s dream! But we’ll see what materializes.
Carson – I’m so excited for Carson! They have a brand new Main Street Coordinator and a façade project about to happen! Add in the Carson Rodeo, the Dreamland Theatre, new pickleball courts, and possibly the best rallying community I’ve ever seen – I think there’s big things ahead for Carson!
Crescent – I’ll admit, I didn’t know a lot about Crescent before I took my job. Now, I’m in awe. They have yet another subdivision going in and a restaurant row that’s second to none! Add in that it is a recreational haven with Hitchcock Nature Center, Pokamoke Pool, and Mt. Crescent for skiing and ziplining in the summer and how can you not love it?
Hancock – I have big dreams for that main street in Hancock! In the meantime, I love the parks! They are rockstar and how can you not enjoy the buffalo and elk? Well, I do have a story about one of the buffalo not liking me, but that’s for another day. The railroad, the machine shop, the new county shed, and the hidden gem meat locker make it what it is. I appreciate that they always take care of their own. I think there’s big changes coming. Just wait!
Macedonia – It’s been my unicorn! The main street railings are my favorite in Pott. Co. It’s just never dull in ‘Donia. With two beautiful parks, murals on buildings, a new AirBnB, a façade project starting, and multiple committees trying to improve Donia Days and the town in general, I don’t know how you don’t love Donia! And if you haven’t experienced Donia Days, get it on your radar!
McClelland – hidden gem city! McClelland is my ace in the hole. With the Dew Drop Inn and the Ellison Park, I’m in heaven. Yes, it’s Iowa, my friends. They go big and they go home! Holidays in McClelland may be the best kept secret in Pott. Co. but I love their spunk! When there’s a town potluck, the whole town really does show up. A house sells before it can even get on the market and they really will know your name and be glad you came.
Minden – The only town in Pott. Co. to have its own town triangle – which is gorgeous I might add! Talk about a town with all the staples – grocery, meat locker, bowling, pharmacy, hair salon to name a few and of course, a winery! I look for Minden to grow sooner rather than later! Mark my words.
Oakland – As many of you may know, it’s my hometown. With so many long-time businesses thanks to some long-time family names, Oakland has the most amenities of any town. Add in recreation like the golf course and pool dreamed up by a few men with money, clout, and forethought a long time ago. The museum gardens and freedom rock sure attract attention, and I can only hope that we all put our heads together and do a little long-term planning for more greatness!
Shelby – a place you’re going to want to be this summer! It may be a year late, but they are ready to celebrate 150 years in a big way! Shelby is a town on the move with a new water tower, some new housing, some new art, and a lot of national chain businesses calling it home! Not to mention the StoneArch Trail that should be attracting the masses! They keep a low profile but it’s a town worthy of your time!
Treynor – holy cow! They are jumping in head first! A brand new subdivision, the first of the Vision Treynor fields are opening, and a new city hall group that’s ready to go big to make Treynor the place to be! Add in places like The Palace and Prairie Crossing Winery on the outskirts, and I think Treynor will continue to be the home away from the Metro.
Underwood – hold on tight! Underwood is putting up houses, adding new businesses, and plays home to the newest trail in Pott. Co. Add in organizations that are gunning to support Underwood, and it’s destined to flourish. Just like Treynor, I think you’ll see it be the answer to some remote workers’ dreams!
Finally, Walnut – Oh, Walnut! I’m so proud of you! You’ve got event dates set and you’re ready to party! Just like Shelby, they will be celebrating their 150th this summer and I promise you it will be a good time! Along with their 150th, they’ve got plans for their antique walks and some new brick street market days backed by new businesses on main street. Don’t forget their splash pad, community center, and bakery that make Walnut top notch! You’ll never be bored in Walnut!
So, there you have it – a little walk down memory lane for me and, as you may have heard, my farewell tour, so-to-speak. I have decided to go to be a part of the family business working for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and, of course, with my husband. Although it’s bittersweet, my 2.5 years at WIDA have been enlightening and a true blessing. Thank you for the blog shares, the post comments, likes on our Facebook page and Instagram, the flyers you sent my way, and your loyalty to rural Pott. Co. along the way. It was all appreciated. I have never taken the responsibility of any job lightly, this one especially. There’s no place like home. WIDA will always have a piece of my heart. It’s been an honor to serve you, rural Pott. Co.
God bless and send the best replacement candidates our way! (The position will be posted later today. Please give them lots of love, too!)