ISU Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development
By Sandra Oberbroeckling, Community Relations Specialist
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Manning Manning is a 2012 visioning community. Many focus group participants expressed concern about the ability of children to safely access the recreation center, Great Western Park, Manning City Park, Heritage Park, the cemetery, and the schools, all of which are located on the south side of Highway 141. The TAB workshop revealed that residents value opportunities for physical activity and recreation and want to connect destinations in town with a trail system.
The Manning visioning committee established four overarching goals: trail enhancements and amenities, community signage, Main Street improvements, and Highway 141 enhancements.
Since completing community visioning, Main Street Manning, the City of Manning, and countless volunteers have collaborated to implement the design concepts proposed through the process. In 2013, the city received a $75,000 REAP grant to create a trail that connects the football and soccer fields, the baseball/softball field, City Park, and the recreation center. The town also received a $245,584 Safe Routes to School grant and a $57,000 Regional Transportation grant for other trail segments.
According to Geri Spies, chair of the Manning steering committee, information collected as part of the visioning process has played an important role in securing funds. “The community visioning study has been invaluable in all of our grant applications,” Spies said. “Every inch of ideas and plans has been used,” she added.
Implemented projects to date include:
•Highway 141 landscaping was completed. In 2014, seven planting beds spanning from east to west through Manning were planted with help from more than 100 volunteers.
•New Manning signs are being erected on the east and west entrances along Highway 141. The materials and construction of the signs were donated and city employees are installing the signs.
•In 2013, the Garden Club unveiled a bronze statue of children playing in the city park, which is located along the Highway 141 corridor at the south end of Main Street. Donations have been made toward a second bronze statue. The center garden of the city park is under construction. Garden Club members continue to seek donations to complete their bronze statue projects.
•In April 2014, more than 160 volunteers took part in a clean-up day for the parks, river, and roadside.
•In 2013 the city began writing grant proposals for trails and two trail segments are moving forward.
The visioning committee is pursuing a second landscaping project for Highway 141 that will feature artwork of Manning’s four landmarks—the water tower, the Hausbarn, Trinity Lutheran Church, and the old train trestle. Another ongoing plan is to create a new city park in the green space around the train trestle that will include access to the Nishnabotna River.
“There are several more projects in the works,” said Spies. “The best part is the different groups and committees all working together. The feasibility study has helped immensely in obtaining grants.”