All-Star Community Awards

Wednesday, October 20, 2021


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 1, 2022. Applications may be submitted throughout the year.

2022 Award Timeline
  • April 1 – 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 29– 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, 2021. 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 email of their application’s status by the end of May 2022. 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 2022 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 1, 2022. 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, 2022 deadline as well. Questions? Please call the League at (515) 244-7282 or email mbrsvcs@iowaleague.org.

All-Star Community Award Winners

Congratulations to all of our award winners.

YearCityProjectPopulationVideoArticle
2021MarionMarion YMCA & Community Rec Center39,400VideoArticle
2021Mount VernonLester Buresh Family Community Wellness Center4,451VideoArticle
2021WoodbineCREW Center1,488VideoArticle
2020HarlanPlaza Development4,950VideoArticle
2020MarionProspect Meadows Sports Complex39,400VideoArticle
2020Mason CityRiver City Renaissance- The Mason City Arena28,079
2020SibleyOutdoor Aquatic Center2,796VideoArticle
2019Cedar FallsTransforming University Avenue41,570Article
2019KalonaCommunity Center Project2,573Article
2019Orange City and Sioux CenterSioux County Regional Airport7,579Article
2018BondurantPorch Swings and Fireflies5,493VideoArticle
2018LisbonSolar Project2,166VideoArticle
2018MarionUptown Artway38,480VideoArticle
2018SeymourTornado Recovery710Video
2017Center PointLibrary Expansion/
Community Center
2,421VideoArticle
2017MarionKlopfenstein Amphitheater for the Performing Arts38,023VideoArticle
2017NevadaCity Hall Campus Project6,798Article
2017WashingtonWashington Area Performing Arts and Events Center7,216VideoArticle
2016AsburyCommunity Services Campus4,357VideoArticle
2016ClintonMain Avenue Green Infrastructure26,885VideoArticle
2016DysartCommunity Building Renovation1,379
2016MalvernDowntown Facade Reconstruction1,142VideoArticle
2015ElkaderFounders’ Park and Riverfront Development1,273
2015NewtonGet to Know Newton Community Outreach15,254
2015SheldonJoint Community Sports Complex5,188
2015WaterlooCedar Valley SportsPlex68,366
2014CorrectionvilleThe Mercantile821Video
2014DecorahDecorah MetroNet-Fiber Optic8,127Video
2014Orange CityPhoenix Project6,004Video
2014SpencerSpencer Quality Housing Initiative Grant Program11,233Video
2014Storm LakeEast Central Storm Water Project10,600
Video