When a citizen group in Iola, Kansas wanted to find a way to create a healthier community, they looked to Landworks Studio for help. The Studio staff helped develop a comprehensive planning process that harnessed the vision of the community’s citizens into an actionable plan. Partially funded by The Kansas Health Foundation, the goal was straightforward but significant: to improve the community’s downtown, parks, trails and civic brand. Through this effort, they sought to achieve their overall mission to “improve Iola’s health—both residents’ physical health and Iola’s economic health—while rebuilding a strong sense of confidence about the community’s future.”  

Landworks Studio worked closely with Thrive Allen County and Iola city staff and developed a six-month process that included public workshops and meetings, a website and online surveying to involve as many citizens as possible in the visioning process. 

The citizen group is using the plan to leverage support for capital improvement funds over the next 10 years from the Kansas Health Foundation, which agreed to fund two-thirds of the final project cost. 

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