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Two Mason City organizations changing

While Healthy Mason City and the Volunteer Center are no longer in operation, their work is continuing through other city departments

Posted: May 23, 2019 12:19 AM
Updated: May 23, 2019 7:42 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - Two Mason City organizations that are known for their work in the community are no more; however, the work continues.

Healthy Mason City was formed in 2012 as part of the city's Blue Zones project, with the Mason City Volunteer Center being an initiative that grew out of the project. However, afer program director Angie Determan retired this month, the city decided to not fill the position. But, their work is still continuing in a different capactiy.

Habitat for Humanity and ReStore are examples of many organizations that partnered with the Volunteer Center to find help, both for construction and for the store. Executive Director Melissa Schoneberg holds the center in high regard.

"It was a really good resource for people to go to because a lot of people who do have varied experiences, and they may not know who to contact to plug in. It was a great asset to the community."

Despite the center's closing, the need for volunteers exists.

"We have different various opportunities for people depending on what their needs are and what they like to do, but we usually plug them in to where they like to be, so it's a lot of fun."

The two community gardens and the bike share program will now be under the stewardship of the Parks & Recreation Department. Volunteers for city projects like the annual community wide clean-up will go through the city's volunteer program. 

City Administrator Aaron Burnett is taking over the Active Living and Transportation Commission, which oversees projects like expansion of the city's bike trail network and increasing the town's walkability.

"There's a lot of great work that's happened, and I think that the city is to bring that back within the organization and continue to support that mission through all the departments, myself included, and making sure we support those goals."

And he's hopeful the volunteer spirit of Mason City will continue.

"There's volunteers in pretty much every thing we do to take it to that extra step so that we could be proud of the community we're building."

For additional questions, contact the City Administrator's office at 641-421-2701.

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