A Des Moines booster group is celebrating 20 years of operation and listing a number of accomplishments it says have made Iowa’s largest city and capital a fantastic place to live.
In the year 2017 alone, Operation Downtown officials said they removed 657,976 pounds of trash from Des Moines’ streets, parks, lots and byways. They also scrubbed away 1,843 tags of graffiti.
Other good deeds claimed by Operation Downtown include power washing 481 block faces and giving personal assistance to 9,199 people in Des Moines and its suburbs.
When it was established two decades ago, Operation Downtown set a mission dedicated to making Des Moines a “safer, cleaner place to work, live and visit.”
Members of the group say that striving to make this Midwest city of 203,000 “welcoming and beautiful” enhances the quality of life for residents and visitors.
Operation Downtown works under a kind of umbrella organization called The Greater Des Moines Partnership. This is a consortium of civic groups, including 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce. It also enjoys the support of some 6,100 regional private business entities and 320 individual investors.
Volunteers who work for Operation Downtown are called “ambassadors.” They are proud of the fact that they work “behind the scenes” on projects that constantly maintain and improve the Des Moines metropolitan environment.
Their efforts are paying off, say Operation Downtown organizers. Des Moines is frequently listed near the top of America’s most livable cities. On March 12, 2018, it was named “America’s Happiest City” by Wallethub.com. Expedia called Des Moines a “Top “Artistic Town” in the U.S.
Operation Downtown is organized as a Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District which encourages Iowans to sign a petition in support of the work it does. The petition is crucial for Operation Downtown to gain funding for their work, group officials said.