As always, SICOG provides an un-exhaustive list of grants to generate ideas about possible projects and provide funding guidance. Grant funding sources are increasingly interested in creative solutions to problems and many are willing to support not just construction but also operations. If your community has a problem that outside funding might address, then please contact your SICOG office. We would be glad to help and can attend a local meeting at no cost to discuss the project or idea. There are many other sources, so if you have project, please contact us.

View a List of Grant Opportunities Here!

Do you know what your business is worth today and how to increase that value for the future? Does your business have a long-term vision? Register today to develop the strategies you need to future-proof your business and increase value in this FREE workshop led by experts that will be held on August 24, 2023 from 1 - 4 PM in the SWCC Performing Arts Center - Multipurpose Room in Creston.

Registration link can be found by scanning the QR code or visiting this website:

Up Coming Conferences and Summits

  1. Housing Iowa Conference, September 6-8, at the Cedar Rapids DoubleTree in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This event welcomes housing developers, property managers, financiers, lenders, Realtors, homeless and supportive services professionals, housing advocates, policy makers, community development professionals, community leaders and anyone interested in learning more about housing in Iowa. Click here to register!

  1. Des Moines Cybersecurity Conference, September 21, at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown in Des Moines, Iowa. Discover cutting edge security approaches, and how to manage risk in the workforce. Click here to register!

  2. Iowa Ideas 2023, October 12-13, and is a Virtual Conference. Iowa Ideas is an annual virtual conference designed to gather Iowans from all perspectives to explore, discuss and offer solutions on issues impacting the state. Click here to register!

  3. 2023 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! Summit, at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny, Iowa. Learn from experts from across the state implementing 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! in schools, early care, out-of-school programs, health care clinics and communities. Sessions focus on how to adopt strategies that support the healthy choice as the easy choice and create policy, system and environmental changes within all sectors. Click here to register!

Iowa Communities Can Apply to Host Smithsonian Exhibit in 2024

Beginning next year, six Iowa communities will host a traveling exhibit from the world-renowned Smithsonian Institution next year. “Spark! Places of Innovation” will come to Iowa in 2024 through a partnership among the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street program, the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Humanities Council.

Filled with photographs, engaging interactives, videos and augmented reality, the exhibit explores the unique combination of places, people, and circumstances that sparks innovation and reveals why it flourishes in some rural places but not others.

The exhibit is designed for small cultural organizations with limited access to traveling exhibitions due to space and cost limitations. Eligible host sites include small museums, libraries, historical societies, cultural centers and other community venues in towns of fewer than 20,000 residents.

The exhibition will also serve as a springboard for local programming in the humanities, sciences and arts that inspire people to learn how innovation has impacted their communities and how they may become innovators themselves.

Before applying, it is suggested that you contact Special Projects and Outreach Coordinator Jessica Rundlett at or 515-281-7471.

Apply Here
State Historical Society of Iowa Website

Iowa Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Community Fund

Iowa EECBG Community Fund will competitively fund selected local government energy efficiency projects in cities and counties not eligible for Formula EECBG allocations. Energy efficiency projects could include building energy assessment and energy efficiency upgrades, replacement of stoplights and streetlights with high-efficiency bulbs, and more activities outlined in Projects benefiting “disadvantaged cities” (about a quarter of our region) will be prioritized. There will be no required local cost share although cost share will be a consideration in application scoring. Award sizes are currently planned to be between $50,000 and $300,000. Local governments are encouraged to begin identifying and planning projects.  

Please reach out to or at the Iowa Economic Development Authority for additional information.  As you contemplate projects, communicate with SICOG about how we can help with the application when it opens.

Master Gardeners “Taste Testing at Story Time”

In January 2023, SICOG helped the Master Gardeners organization put forth a project to Iowa Department of Public Health’s Healthy Eating and Active Living program for funding. The Master Gardeners program hosted their “Taste Testing at Story Time” on June 14 and July 12.  The Master Gardeners partnered with the Winterset Public Library, utilizing the book “Up, Down, and Around” by Katherine Ayers during story time. Children who participated got to learn about gardening, learned how to plant fresh vegetables, and got to taste the vegetables they planted.

In June, 32 children and 10 adults attended “Taste Testing at Story Time”, and the children were read “Up, Down, and Around” and “I Love Bugs” by Emma Dodd. In addition to planting in the garden and tasting the vegetables, children also got to search for bugs that were made from recycled materials that were in the garden and learned about pollination and how bugs affect gardens. Of all the vegetables planted 10 radishes and 6 cucumbers have been produced so far.

In July, 12 children and 6 adults attended Taste Testing at Story Time, and the children were read “Up, Down, and Around” and “Good Night, Veggies” by Diana Murray and Zachariah Ohora. Children had fun tasting different vegetables, but due to rainy weather, they were kept inside and made veggie and bug stickers, did veggie coloring sheets, made bug finger puppets, and other crafts relating to the stories.

Going forward, a new book about vegetables will be introduced every year at story time and the Master Gardeners will grow vegetables pertaining to the book that is chosen.

SICOG Partnerships 2023

Interested in becoming a partner?! Call us today at (641) 782-8491 or go to the Partnership page on the SICOG website and fill out the form at the bottom of the page!

Partnership Page

SICOG Executive Board Minutes- July 5, 2023