The beginning of a new year is a time of anticipation of what’s to come in the year ahead. We’ve put together a list of the seven things we’re looking forward to the most in 2021.
1. The Shamrock Shuffle. Council Bluffs’ most festive 5k is back once again. The Shamrock Shuffle has been slightly reformatted to give runners the option between participating in-person or virtually this year. To decrease crowd size there are also limited size starting waves. We hope to provide a safe and fun event for the community to enjoy March 13.
2. Housing Revitalization Progress. Needless to say, 2020 impacted many different organizations, but our Housing Revitalization Program is rolling along. The program is designed to improve single family housing throughout Council Bluffs with complete renovations and elevated designs. There will be multiple homes hitting the market in 2021. There’s even down payment assistance available for a few homes.
3. Healthy Hometown Initiative. Our organization has partnered with Wellmark to add Council Bluffs to the Healthy Hometown network. This is a collaborative effort between us and the City of Council Bluffs, the local YMCA, and many other businesses and community leaders throughout the city. The plan is to work to encourage eating well, moving more, and feeling better. The master plan is still being fine-tuned but there’s some exciting things in store.
4. Recognizing Home Improvement. You know the house down the block who worked all summer to revamp their yard? Well we want to help highlight projects like that happening throughout the community. Coming this spring, our organization will launch a Home Makeover of the Year program. Community members can enter throughout the summer to claim the title of this inaugural program and win a grand prize from community partners. Keep in mind that we have a free tool trailer to check out for home improvement projects. More details will come in March.
5. More Movie Nights. Last fall our organization hosted two socially distanced movie nights, one in Kirn Park and the other in Cochran Park. Due to the public response and success of these evenings, we’re planning to do more movie nights throughout the summer season. It’ll be a great way to experience parks throughout the community and spend a fun night out of the house. Late spring through summer, we will host monthly movie nights somewhere in Council Bluffs.
6. 530 W. Broadway Construction Begins. One of the larger projects we have going on in 2021 is the revitalization of the former Iowa Clothes building at 530 W. Broadway into 19 apartments and 2 commercial bays. This past December the building was officially designated a local historic landmark, helping to preserve the cultural heritage of the site. Construction will soon begin on the apartments and commercial space in the building. This is just the first of three projects taking place on that block to help revitalize downtown Council Bluffs.
7. More Activities at FMCB. Farmers Market Council Bluffs proved that it was possible to have a successful market during a pandemic. We were able to provide two take-home activities to market patrons last year and plan to do even more for the 2021 season. There will also be the return of wellness activities to the market, such as yoga and CrossFit, along with live music. The farmers market season will begin May 6.
We hope that the community will be as excited about these seven things as our nonprofit is.
Throughout the pandemic we’ve continued our mission to improve the quality of life in Council Bluffs through investments in the built environment, activating public spaces and delivering programs that increase social engagement and healthy lifestyles, and that’s not stopping anytime soon.