Robert D. Ray Award

Front: Robert D. Ray. Back (left to right): Gerald Schnepf, Donald F. Lamberti, William F. Fultz, Miriam Erickson Brown, Mike Richardson

This award is given annually to a town or city for enhancing the beauty, cleanliness and attractiveness of the community.

The award is designed to recognize a town/city that has gone the extra mile to build a stronger more vital Iowa community both culturally and environmentally.
Community beautification projects that are supported or expanded may include, but not limited to, entryway improvement, housing, streetscaping, litter prevention,  park/trail development, recycling, lighting, roadway improvement, incorporation of art landscaping and public nuisance abatement.
Former Governor Robert D. Ray believed that clean and attractive communities improve the economic vitality and cultural climate of where we live, work and raise a family.

Nominations are accepted from organizations, community officials and/or volunteers by the end of January every year – with the award submitted in March. To submit your nomination, please send a letter detailing:

  1. Which town or city is being nominated
  2. Why you are nominating this community
  3. Detail in what ways this nominated community contributes to enhancing the beauty, cleanliness and attractiveness of our state. (Please provide specific examples of projects or initiatives that were deployed and the impact(s) of those efforts)
  4. All contact information of the nominated community (along with city officials and city managers)
  5. Your full contact information and affiliation with the nominated community
Nomination letters must be submitted via email to Bill Jackson at [email protected] no later than 5 p.m. on January 29th.

2020 Recipient: Community of Maquoketa

Community of Maquoketa is receiving the Keep Iowa Beautiful Robert D. Ray Award of Excellence for the revitalization efforts through the Maquoketa CAN campaign.


2019 Robert D. Ray Community Award for Excellence

The Keep Iowa Beautiful Board of Directors selected the Community of Percival to receive this year’s award. Following the devastation of a 500-year flood, the local citizens created a vision, and with hard work and dedication developed grant writing and fundraising skills to complete dozens of projects with the help of many volunteers making this community of 87 a stronger and better place to live and work. In addition, they are the first unincorporated community to receive this honor. The award was presented on March 28, 2019. 

2018 Robert D. Ray Community Award for Excellence

The 2018 award was presented to The City of Varina on March 20, 2018, at the Iowa State Capitol by Governor Kim Reynolds. Varina is a Keep Iowa Beautiful Hometown Pride community that embodies a visionary spirit. 

2017 Robert D. Ray Community Award for Excellence

The 2017 award was presented to The City of Woodbine by Governor Terry Branstad for investing in downtown rehabilitation by saving 45 building and adding 37 upper story housing units.


 Robert D. Ray Community Award for Excellence

2016 Robert D. Ray Community Award for Excellence

2016 Recipient: The City of Lake City

Lake City is recognized for their enhancement efforts and beautification programs that make the community a more attractive place to live and work.

 Robert D. Ray Community Award for Excellence

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