All Star Community Awards

The All-Star Community Awards program seeks to acknowledge and encourage excellence in local government and provides an opportunity for officials and staff of member cities to receive recognition for their superior and innovative efforts. In addition, the program provides a means for sharing Iowa’s best public service ideas and demonstrates that those involved with local government are progressive, caring and committed to their communities. Applications must be submitted using the online entry form and are due April 2, 2021. Applications may be submitted throughout the year.

2021 Award Timeline

  • April 2 – All-Star Applications due. 
  • May/June – League staff visit winners in population categories.
  • August – Population winners announced on League’s social media outlets & in Cityscape magazine.
  • August – People’s All-Star voting begins. (Specific date will depend on the number of applications received.)
  • September 16– Award Banquet, at League’s Annual Conference & Exhibit.
    The winner of the People’s All-Star will be announced at this event; voting for the winner will end at noon. The population winners will also be recognized at this event.
The Purpose
With the All-Star Community Awards program, the Iowa League of Cities seeks to acknowledge and encourage excellence in local government. The program provides an opportunity for officials and staff of member cities to receive recognition for their superior and innovative efforts. In addition, the program provides a means for sharing Iowa’s best public service ideas and demonstrates that those involved with local government are progressive, caring and committed to their communities.
Eligible Projects
Each member city of the League may submit only one entry to the All-Star Community awards per year. Entries must describe programs or projects successfully operating or completed between January 1 and December 31, 2020. Programs or projects eligible for an All-Star Community Award include, but aren’t limited to, city service improvements, quality of life enrichment and local government partnerships. Potential entries could include diversity appreciation, urban renewal, neighborhood or business development, historic preservation, sharing of services or facilities, or improving the quality, quantity or efficiency of city services. The League encourages communities of all sizes to apply.
Preparation of Entries
Please submit only the entry form and one (1) high-resolution photo, completed as clearly and completely as possible. Entries will only be eligible if the entry form is completed and submitted by the due date and the box verifying information about the award was shared with the mayor, council and other interested and affected parties is checked.
Entries will be judged solely on the content submitted on the entry form, not on the photo. In addition to the entry form, cities may participate in the “People’s All-Star” competition by submitting one, high-resolution photo that best represents their project. Photos may not include additional logos or text. More information on the “People’s All-Star” competition is available below.
The Judging
Entries are divided into three population categories; less than 3,000, 3,000-9,999 and more than 10,000. Independent judges knowledgeable in local government will evaluate each project. One winner will be chosen from each population category.
The judges will look for each project’s impact on the community, including how it met the community’s needs, its value to the community, how many people it affected and its longevity. Projects will also be judged on originality, cost-effectiveness, use of inter-government collaboration and innovation.
People’s All-Star Community - Facebook "Like" Competition
After the panel of judges chooses winners from each population category, the remaining applications will be entered into a bracket-style tournament for public "Liking" (voting). Photos and captions submitted with their entry form will be posted on the League’s Facebook page, and photos/captions with the most Likes will move to the next round. The one winner of the People’s All-Star tournament will be announced at the League’s Annual Conference & Exhibit and will be recognized along-side the winners from the population categories.
The Prize
All applicants will be alerted by postal mail of their application’s status by the end of May 2021.
The All-Star Community Award winners and the People’s All-Star winner will receive an attractive, stand-alone, star-shaped award suitable for display in city hall. Each winning project will be recognized at the League’s 2021 Annual Conference & Exhibit, featured in the League magazine, Cityscape, and brought to the attention of local media. All entries will be featured on the League’s Web site.
Entry Deadline
Entries are due in the League office by Friday, April 2, 2021. Late entries will not be accepted. Applications must be submitted using the online form​​ and may be submitted throughout the year. Photos must be uploaded by the April 2, 2021 deadline as well.
Please call the League at (515) 244-7282 or email
2021MarionMarion YMCA & Community Rec Center39400VideoArticle
2021Mount VernonLester Buresh Family Community Wellness Center4451VideoArticle
2021WoodbineCREW Center1488VideoArticle
2020HarlanPlaza Development4950VideoArticle
2020MarionProspect Meadows Sports Complex39400VideoArticle
2020Mason CityRiver City Renaissance- The Mason City Arena28079
2020SibleyOutdoor Aquatic Center2796VideoArticle
2019Cedar FallsTransforming University Avenue41570Article
2019KalonaCommunity Center Project2573Article
2019Orange City and Sioux CenterSioux County Regional Airport7579Article
2018BondurantPorch Swings and Fireflies5493VideoArticle
2018LisbonSolar Project2166VideoArticle
2018MarionUptown Artway38480VideoArticle
2018Seymour Tornado Recovery710Video
2017Center PointLibrary Expansion/Community Center 2421VideoArticle
2017MarionKlopfenstein Amphitheater for the Performing Arts38023VideoArticle
2017NevadaCity Hall Campus Project6798Article
2017WashingtonWashington Area Performing Arts and Events Center7216VideoArticle
2016AsburyCommunity Services Campus4357VideoArticle
2016ClintonMain Avenue Green Infrastructure26885VideoArticle
2016DysartCommunity Building Renovation1379Article
2016MalvernDowntown Facade Reconstruction1142VideoArticle
2015ElkaderFounders' Park and Riverfront Development1273Article
2015NewtonGet to Know Newton Community Outreach15254Article
2015SheldonJoint Community Sports Complex5188Article
2015WaterlooCedar Valley SportsPlex68366Article
2014CorrectionvilleThe Mercantile821VideoArticle
2014DecorahDecorah MetroNet-Fiber Optic8127VideoArticle
2014Orange CityPhoenix Project6004VideoArticle
2014SpencerSpencer Quality Housing Initiative Grant Program11233VideoArticle
2014Storm LakeEast Central Storm Water Project10600VideoArticle
(pop. 64000)
Water Treatment PlantMore Info.
(pop. 10103)
Merchants Park RestorationMore Info.
(pop. 1108)
Conrad Fire and Rescue StationMore Info.
(pop. 1832)
Permeable Pavers, Bioswale and Agricultural Land ConversionMore Info.
2018Elk Horn
(pop. 662)
Fitness Center Renovation & RelocationMore Info.
2018Forest City
(pop. 4100)
Forest City Workforce Housing More Info.
(pop. 1146)
Albert Kruger Sr ShelterMore Info.
(pop. 5966)
"Building Community" through "Community Engagement"More Info.
(pop. 609)
Ballfield ProjectMore Info.
(pop. 21500)
Terra ParkMore Info.
2018Le Mars
(pop. 9826)
Downtown 2nd Level Housing More Info.
(pop. 27552)
West End Futsal Court ProjectMore Info.
(pop. 291)
Lois Claussen Muhs Memorial PavilionMore Info.
(pop. 23909)
Community Connections: Kent Stein Park to Deep Lakes Park TrailMore Info.
(pop. 476)
Buffalo Creek Activity Center & Titonka Fitness CenterMore Info.
(pop. 779)
Downtown Revitalization ProjectMore Info.
(pop. 71120)
The Grand Crossing More Info.
2018West Des Moines
(pop. 64560)
Softball Complex Irrigation ModificationsMore Info.
(pop. 3876)
Nature TrailMore Info.
(pop. 57637)
Intermodal Transportation CenterMore Info.
(pop. 9447)
Cambridge SportsplexMore Info.
2017Grand Junction
(pop. 824)
Community CenterMore Info.
(pop. 1672)
Historical Preservation ProjectMore Info.
(pop. 1006)
Van Buren Community PoolMore Info.
(pop. 2166)
Rehabilitation Center of LisbonMore Info.
(pop. 3796)
Pocket ParkMore Info.
(pop. 1989)
Worth Brewing CompanyMore Info.
(pop. 4929)
Historic Depot RestorationMore Info.
(pop. 130)
New Community BuildingMore Info.
2017Story City
(pop. 3431)
South Park ProjectMore Info.
2017Wall Lake
(pop. 819)
Electric Distribution RebuildMore Info.
2017West Des Moines
(pop. 64113)
Historic Master PlanMore Info.
(pop. 2190)
Rivervue TrailMore Info.
(pop. 58253)
Inclusive DubuqueMore Info.
(pop. 5106)
Pioneer Park TrailMore Info.
(pop. 20500)
Greenwood Hills Watershed ImprovementsMore Info.
(pop. 866)
Broadway Streetscape ProjectMore Info.
(pop. 2166)
Splashpad and Wading PoolMore Info.
(pop. 1500)
Safe Route to SchoolMore Info.
(pop. 1989)
Housing Buyout ProgramMore Info.
2016Sioux Center
(pop. 7048)
Field Turf at Open Space Recreation ComplexMore Info.
(pop. 2376)
Backflow Preventer and Pump StationMore Info.
(pop. 1108)
Downtown RevitalizationMore Info.
2015Forest City
(pop. 4153)
Shared Services Athletic FieldMore Info.
(pop. 1082)
Fire Station and Community CenterMore Info.
(pop. 1146)
Wellness CenterMore Info.
(pop. 20000)
Stormwater Improvement ProjectsMore Info.
2015Lake View
(pop. 1142)
Aquatic Vegetation HarvesterMore Info.
(pop. 8945)
The Fruits (and vegetables) of a New Industrial ParkMore Info.
(pop. 362)
Templeton CenterMore Info.
(pop. 2123)
Fairfax Regional Sports and Park ComplexMore Info.
(pop. 9450)
Energy ConservationMore Info.
(pop. 1036)
Source Water ProtectionMore Info.
(pop. 14782)
Indianola YMCAMore Info.
(pop. 7313)
Knoxville Downtown StreetscapeMore Info.
(pop. 1258)
Saving the Care CenterMore Info.
(pop. 6141)
Little Bear Park ProjectMore Info.
(pop. 6798)
Nevada Public Library Building ProjectMore Info.
(pop. 993)
Community BeautificationMore Info.
2014Spirit Lake
(pop. 4840)
Memorial Park Renovation & Lake Street ReconstructionMore Info.
(pop. 1700)
Traer Community Solar ProjectMore Info.