George, Iowa — The city of George has received a grant to help fix up an old train depot.
From the 1880’s until the 1970’s, Sheldon, Matlock, George, Edna, Rock Rapids, Archer, Primghar, Gaza, Calumet and other northwest Iowa communities were served by the Cherokee to Sioux Falls subdivision of the Illinois Central Railroad. Depots were built by the railroad to serve the community passenger and freight traffic. When the railroad ceased operations, the depots were sold, usually to adjoining property owners.
According to the George Chamber, in January of this year the United Farmer’s Coop Lumberyard, who had acquired the George depot announced they would be selling the depot and that if it was not sold, it was to be torn down. Since that announcement, volunteers have been trying to save the depot.
The city of George and the George Community Foundation recently received word that they had been selected to receive a $5000 grant from Keep Iowa Beautiful, to help fix up the old depot.
The Chamber says that United Farmers’ Coop donated the building for its preservation and have played an important role in the project through the preservation of the building until now and have shown the vision to allow it to become a main attraction in George.
A committee with representation from five George organizations has begun the process to preserve this building. Plans are to move 50 feet of the depot to the Locker Park pond area to be used as a shelter area, in trying to keep as much of the original appearance as possible and yet meeting all the requirements necessary. The east room will be made into a public restroom. The middle room will have counter tops added and electrical outlets for picnic items. The west room will house picnic tables. Access to the shelter area will be through the original sliding doors.
Donations for the “Train Depot Project” may be directed to the George Community Foundation – Train Project.
Along with the George Depot grant, Keep Iowa Beautiful announced $75,000 more in grants for the 2012 Community Beautification program. This is the third year of the grant program that provides a major boost for community beautification and enhancement in communities of 5,000 and under.
“A total of 21 beautification projects were awarded for a total of $80,000,” said Gerry Schnepf, Executive Director of KIB. “The interest and need for these type of grant dollars in our smaller Iowa communities is apparent by the 65 applications requesting nearly one quarter of a million dollars,” he added.
Funding and reimbursement is available for expenses incurred only after July 1, 2012 and the project must be completed by June 30, 2013. Funding is authorized by the Iowa Legislature from the Solid Waste Alternative Program (SWAP).
2012 BEAUTIFICATION PROJECTS
Organization; Project; Grant Amount
Bristow/Bristow Betterment; Rolling Prairie bike trail enhancements; $4,000
Clermont/Elgin Turkey River Recreation; Beautification of land and water trails.; $5,000
Eldora/City of; Pine Lake Park tree reforestation project.; $5,000
Elkader/City of; Downtown butterfly garden.; $2,670
Elkport/Immanuel Preservation Society; Handicapped parking and church landscaping; $2,230
Fontenelle/Adair County 4H; Restore and landscape recreation slab.; $5,000
George/George Community Foundation; Preserve the old train depot.; $5,000
Griswold/City of; Cocklin Fish Farm rehabilitation.; $2,500
Lansing/Main Street Matters; Black Hawk Bridge park beautification.; $5,000
Lisbon/City of; Signs and landscaping to parks and main street.; $4,765
McGregor/City of; Riverfront park shelter improvement & landscaping. $5,000
Mechanicsville/North Cedar Elementary; School nature playscape and learning lab.; $1,633
Missouri Valley/City of; City park and caboose beautification project.; $2,630
Montezuma/Montezuma Community Development; Clean-up, landscaping & beautification of town.; $5,000
Neola/Hoo Doo Days Celebration; Downtown revitalization and beautification project.; $5,000
Persia/City of; Landscaping around flag poles.; $4,314
Shell Rock/Shell Rock in Bloom; Holley Park beautification.; $5,000
Sidney/Fremont County Historical Society; Beautification of museum, school and park.; $2,421
Stratford/Stratford Tree Board; Community residential tree planting.; $1,000
Woodbine/City and Main Street; Main street improvement and landscaping.; $5,000
Woodward/Envision Woodward; High Trestle Trailhead litter/recycling containers.; $5,000
About Keep Iowa Beautiful
Keep Iowa Beautiful was established in 2000 becoming the 23rd State Affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. It is a 501c3 charitable organization working with Iowa citizens, neighborhoods, communities and regions in improving the quality, beauty and cleanliness of our State. KIB empowers Iowan’s to have a greater commitment in building pride and respect in the places we live. For additional information, visit www.keepiowabeautiful.com.