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Wellmark Foundation awards $250,000 to Mason City for Willow Creek Riverwalk project

MASON CITY — The City of Mason City is among 29 organizations statewide to receive a $25,000 grant from the Wellmark Foundation as part of their Matching Assets to Community Health grants. The grant is earmarked for the Willow Creek Riverwalk project, with the city creating functional, inviting spaces along Willow Creek that incorporate and highlight the natural environment.

Mayor Bill Schickel says the grant will be a big boost for the project as it moves forward.  “People are really stepping up to support it, both within the community, and that’s in addition to a $150,000 grant we received from the state of Iowa. We’re in some of the early design phases on that. We hope to have some public input sessions here really soon, because this Riverwalk, just south of the Southbridge Center, really ties east and west Mason City together, through the downtown area, with a beautiful walk through that area.”

Schickel says they continue to work with other community partners in making the project happen, including Alliant Energy. “We had a good meeting with them the other day, because the old coal gasification plant is right along the route of the Riverwalk. Alliant Energy provides electricity and utilities, and we’ve asked for them for assistance with some beautification and other things along the route of the walk.”

Funding from the Wellmark Foundation is contingent on organizations securing 50% of the grant award.

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