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The Week in Social 3/8-3/12

The Week in Social rounds up the best of Iowa’s uplifting stories, exciting initiatives and fun events from all 99 counties discovered through social media. In a time where every bit of good news is cherished, this series is devoted to being a fun, lighthearted way to stay informed about Iowa’s good news.

In Iowa, opportunity abounds — and U.S. News agrees. Iowa received the No. 1 state ranking for opportunity!

“Iowa ranks No. 1 in the opportunity category largely on the strength of its performance in two of the opportunity subcategories — affordability (at No. 4) and economic opportunity (at No. 12),” said Sara Clark, U.S. News managing editor, in an email to The Gazette. “The state’s housing affordability is No. 1 in the country, and the state has the third-lowest level of food insecurity, according to our rankings data.”

Calling all Iowa art lovers! The Hearst Center for the Arts and the Waterloo Center for Arts are partnering for an outdoor, community-wide art quest. The centers are posting clues on their respective Facebook pages to one-of-a-kind, original artwork from local artists.

From March 13–19 two tiny artworks will be hidden, one in Cedar Falls and one in Waterloo. Each day, the clues to the artworks’ hiding spots will be posted by 9 a.m. Those who find the artwork are encouraged to call 319-273-8641 to report the finding and to post/tag their respective Art Center on Facebook.

Graphic courtesy of Caylin Jayde.

If losing an hour to daylight saving makes you a little grouchier, well, who could blame you? The good news is that spring is nearly here, meaning warmer temps, new flowers and more chances to enjoy the outdoors. Our friends at Iowa PBS have put together a list of resources to experience the best outdoor excursions Iowa offers this time of year.

Searching for ways to get the whole family involved? Geocaching is a digital scavenger hunt that makes it easy to explore your surrounding area. Starting a garden is a perfect springtime activity, and it’s a great way to encourage a healthy and balanced diet. If adventure is what you seek, Iowa’s state parks are free to roam with the Iowa State Parks Passport. Also available from Iowa PBS’ list are stargazing sites, Iowa’s Scenic Byway Passport, hiking trail suggestions and more.

Last week was AmeriCorps Week, and Volunteer Iowa shared the agency’s impact on the state through an infographic. In Iowa, there are 800 local service sites and 6,200 AmeriCorps members and volunteers who help accomplish the agency’s mission. AmeriCorps has also raised $36 million in local funding and $43.8 million in scholarships since 1994.

AmeriCorps is a federal agency dedicated to improving lives, strengthening communities, and fostering civic engagement through service and volunteering. AmeriCorps engages 270,000 volunteers across the country through its programs. These dedicated citizens help communities impacted by COVID-19, ensure students stay on track to graduate, combat hunger and homelessness, respond to natural disasters, fight the opioid epidemic, help seniors live independently, support veterans and military families, and much more.

The Quad-Cities Times Bix 7 Race is an event that normally draws thousands of runners and walkers to Davenport. Last year, the event was held virtually due to the pandemic, but the plan is for a full go in July.

The Bix planning staff will invite at least 10,000 runners to participate, provided COVID infection rates decrease and vaccinations increase. As of last week, the plan is for runners to be spaced 6 feet apart, with staggered start times and masks required at the beginning and end of the race.

“The Bix is back on the streets of Davenport; I am so excited — so happy,” said Race Director Michelle Juehring. “Other race directors started coming together last February. Even though we compete with each other, we came together.”

Published March 16, 2021

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