Within the four years I have lived in Mason City, I have witnessed numerous opportunities for residents for individual growth, community development, and social networking to a far greater extent than I have seen in the other communities that I have lived in, which are Ames and Dubuque.

This is partly due to the more transient, sprawled nature and higher cost of living of those two communities compared to Mason City. However, most of the credit should be given to the hard work, motivation, and love for the Mason City community from a diverse group of generous individuals and the following businesses/organizations: Wright on the Park, Historic Park Inn Hotel, Lorado’s, Quarry, Fat Hill Brewing, Mason City Brewing, FION, Main Street Mason City, Chamber of Commerce, United Way of North Central Iowa, Habitat for Humanity, NIACC, Wayne’s Ski and Cycle with the “Slow Roll Ride” (If you haven’t already, join them Sunday nights for this amazing community bicycling event free for all ages starting at the Bicycle Garden at 5:30 p.m.), North Iowa Farmers Market, NIP Fitness, YMCA, Mason City Jaycees, Rotary, Lions Club, Kiwanis , multiple churches of various denominations, The Music Man Square, and many others.

Mason City is a unique “island paradise” between Des Moines and the Twin Cities, where a community member has abundant opportunities to make positive changes for himself or herself and the community as a whole while not getting lost in the crowds.

The River City Renaissance Project is one of the activities that will create even more opportunities for current and future members of the community.

Matt O'Brien, Mason City

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