Imagine Grinnell Membership Drive Underway; 2015 Projects Announced

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Imagine Grinnell Membership Drive Underway; 2015 Projects Announced

A new year means more new projects for Imagine Grinnell. The quality of life organization is kicking off its annual membership drive with an emphasis this year on “green, playing and growing” projects, says Executive Director Sarah Smith.

Imagine Grinnell, which began in 1988, initiates and supports projects that improve quality of life, promote a healthy environment and complement local economic development efforts. For example, in 2014 Imagine Grinnell’s major projects were building a natural playscape at Summer St. Park; hosting a Sustainable Living Showcase to educate about energy efficiencies and local food opportunities; creating a seed-saving library at Drake Community Library; continuing the community-wide tree inventory project; and collaborating with the City of Grinnell on the Hwy. 6 underpass to connect the bike trail from Rock Creek State Park to south Hwy. 146.

These ongoing projects will be joined in 2015 with several new initiatives: establishing a composting site for food waste from downtown restaurants; working with the school district to ensure green, sustainable practices in new construction; public awareness campaigns to reduce plastic bag usage and to improve neighborhood sidewalks for greater accessibility; creating Monarch butterfly “way stations” with plantings in public areas; planting a youth community garden at Summer St. Park with instruction from Grinnell College students; and adding signage, lighting and water fountains to the Grinnell Area Recreation Trail.

“Each of this year’s projects emphasizes Imagine Grinnell’s mission and focus on green practices, growing in the local environment, and playing for health and wellness,” Smith said. “We sincerely thank our current members for all of the accomplishments we’ve had because of their support.

“We welcome anyone interested in our projects and initiatives to join us this year, whether individuals, families or area businesses whose employees benefit from Imagine Grinnell’s community solutions.”

Board President Lauren Augustin credits current Imagine Grinnell members with “making Grinnell a great place to live.

“For example, members worked last year to install a natural playscape at Summer St. Park, creating a fun space in Grinnell to play. We could not have accomplished this without the creative ideas and feedback from our membership. We hope more community members will consider being part of this exciting group as we launch new projects this year.”

Individual memberships begin at $49, and family and business memberships start at $100. In addition to memberships, the organization’s primary fundraiser is a popular talent auction held each fall to offset operating expenses. Monthly deductions and restricted gifts can also be made to individual Imagine Grinnell projects such as the bike trail, Summer St. Park, community garden, or tree inventory projects.

The Imagine Grinnell membership drive will run through early March but prospective members can join at any time. Smith encourages interested individuals and businesses to visit the Imagine Grinnell website at imaginegrinnell.org/joindonate, or contact the organization via email at info@imaginegrinnell.org, on Facebook at Imagine Grinnell Foundation, or by calling Smith at 641-236-5518, ext. 223.

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