Our mission at Golden Hills RC&D is to collaboratively develop and lead community, conservation, and cultural initiatives to improve our quality of life in rural western Iowa. Our "official" territory from our original organizational bylaws is an eight-county region in the southwestern portion of Iowa (Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie, and Shelby). In 2023, we added four more counties (Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, and Monona). Several projects extend beyond these 12 counties into more than 20 counties (learn more about where we work).
Our goals are to develop industries in local communities that utilize local resources; ensure healthy natural resources that meet the needs of agriculture, industry, private use, and recreational facilities; promote and enhance art, culture and historic resources in rural communities; collaborate with local governments and organizations on projects that benefit the environment; and work on projects that fill gaps in community services to benefit people of southwest Iowa.
We accomplish these goals by focusing our work in five program areas: outdoor recreation and tourism, land stewardship, water resources, local foods, and arts and culture. Today's Mission Monday focus is Outdoor Recreation & Tourism.
Golden Hills RC&D partnered with the Monona County Historic Preservation Commission to design four interpretive panels about historic sites in Monona County. The project was funded thanks to a grant award from the Monona County Community Partners Foundation.
The Monona County Historic Preservation Commission was established in 1988 by the Monona County Supervisors. Their mission is to promote the educational, cultural, economic, and general welfare of the public through the recognition, enhancement, and perpetuation of sites and districts of historical and cultural significance. The Commission leads the Country School Experience, historic excursions for the Loess Hills Prairie Seminar, historic tours of the Mann School and South Jordan Township Cemetery by appointment, and have completed a brochure about the Turin Man. Their volunteers also assist with services for Memorial Day at the Ingemann Danish Lutheran Church and services for Memorial Day and the month of June at the Soldier Lutheran South Church. The group is all-volunteer and has a very modest annual budget of only $500. They work to keep history alive by collaborating with other groups on projects like this to educate residents and visitors about the rich history of Monona County.
The panels will be installed at each of the four locations once the weather warms. All four sites are located near each other and would make an excellent weekend excursion to learn about the cultural history of Monona County.