The concept for the Boone Forks Region was created in 2014 when representatives from Boone, Hamilton and Webster Counties came together to submit an application for a new state pilot program called “Parks to People”. The program’s vision was for self-defined regions to celebrate their “exceptional places and experiences in everyday lives”.
The five strategies of the program were Great Places – Great Experiences, Connected Parks, Healthy Parks – Healthy People, Community & Cultural Vitality, and Lasting Legacy. While the Boone Forks Region was not selected for the pilot program, the Iowa Parks Foundation granted the region a $20,000 match-grant to continue the planning process. This grant paved the way for the regional partners to continue their work of celebrating the parks, natural resources, recreation and cultural assets in the Des Moines and Boone River Valleys.
“Exceptional places and experiences in everyday lives.”
Region background and history
The Boone Forks Region has a rich history of mining, river mills, agriculture and life in the early-settlement of the Boone and Des Moines River Valley. The river valleys have always played a key role in the development and livelihood of the region and that tradition continues today in the parks, natural resources and recreational opportunities that exist today.
The Boone Forks Region is made up of 1,870 square miles in Northcentral Iowa at the confluence of the Des Moines and Boone Rivers. The region is renowned for its breathtaking river valleys, high trestle rail lines, working farms and natural lands—connected to historic communities of character and opportunity. The region’s population is just under 80,000 people, however the region has the potential to host over 9 million people within a 200 mile radius.
- Boone County Board of Supervisors
- Boone County Conservation Board
- Boone County Conservation Foundation
- Boone County Convention and Visitors Bureau
- CDS Global
- City of Boone
- City of Fort Dodge
- City of Webster City
- Fareway Stores, Inc.
- Fort Dodge Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Friends of Ledges State Park
- Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance
- Hamilton County Board of Supervisors
- Hamilton County Conservation Board
- Hamilton County Development
- Iowa Department of Natural Resources
- Iowa Parks Foundation
- Legacy Learning
- Prairie Rivers of Iowa
- Rotary Club of Boone
- Seven Oaks Recreation
- The Iowa Arboretum
- Webster County Board of Supervisors
- Webster County Conservation Board
Kerrie Kuiper – Fort Dodge Convention & Visitors Bureau
Brian Lammers – Hamilton County Conservation Board
Jennifer Hanson – Boone River Valley Festival
Jill Nelson – Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance
Larry Flaws – Webster City Parks & Recreation
Lindsay Henderson – City of Webster City
Lori Branderhorst – Fort Dodge Parks, Recreation & Forestry
Tanner Scheuermann – Boone County Conservation Board
Matt Cosgrove – Webster County Conservation Board
Cindy Imm – Hamilton County Economic Development Director