Social + Cultural Vibrancy includes 22 recommendations across 7 sub-categories: Food, Empowerment, Arts and Culture, Preservation, Safety, Health, and Recreation. The bar chart below highlights the status of the 22 recommendations. Scroll down to the Recommendation Tracker for details. Status information reflects the community's work toward each recommendation.

Recommendation Highlight - Partner to encourage new forms of culture and art - C3d

- Data will be updated bi-annually to align with Council Reports -

Recommendation tracker

Social + Cultural Vibrancy: 31 recommendations


Needs Resources  Getting Started  Underway  Complete/Ongoing



Increase institutional use of local foods - C1a
Support food production spaces, Community-Supported Agriculture - C1b
Network with other “food cities” - C1c
Integrate healthy food and education in recreational programming - C1d
Consider food access as an element of City transit systems - C1e
Harvest local solid waste for compost - C1f
Support front yard food gardening - C1g


Colleges, institutions - consider purchasing from more than one contracted vendor to increase local purchasing. C1a - Coordinator: Brittany Demezier,

► Status: Needs Resources

  • K-12 Schools: Large, centralized kitchens pose challenges to procuring enough food from a local source, while smaller kitchens are more nimble and able to experiment more with local procurement.
  • Colleges: For the most part, Colleges are utilizing mostly sole-source purchasing. Some have attempted to source locally, but unpredictability with availability can make institutions more leery of depending on local sourcing. Sourcing for special events, like cultural celebrations, remains the currently preferred way to achieve this goal.
  • Hospitals: The desire for "track and trace" transparency makes sole-sourcing, which takes on that responsibility, more appealing for these institutions.


Support food production spaces & establishment of Community Supported Agriculture; make City land available for food production. C1b - Coordinator: Cori Burbach,

► Status: Project Underway

  • Community Development Block Grant funds are being used to support the construction of aquaponic systems to act as community gardens in low-moderate income neighborhoods on vacant lots, helping to bring fresh, healthy foods  to food deserts. (June 2021)
  • Valentine Park's Community Garden will provide vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers to area residents. (February 2021)
  • City of Dubuque continues to allow Dubuque Rescue Mission use of City-owned land for greenhouse, gardens and education. (June 2021)
  • St. Luke's Methodists mini-community gardens at their parking lot encourages passerbys to sample new and interesting healthy foods.
  • Convivium Urban Farmstead's pivot during the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure good use of garden produce. Partnering with Project Rooted after schools shut down helped feed school children at a time in need.  Their  Community Casserole program, produces and distributes free, healthy vegetable, grain and protein-based casseroles to local residents in need. (June 2021)


Communicate with other “food cities” to share ideas as this (C1b) develops in Dubuque. C1c - Coordinator: Gina Bell,

► Status: Project Underway

  • The Growing Sustainable Communities Conference continues to be an ideal venue for both sharing and learning from other communities with best practices. Cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is back in-person in 2021. (June 2021)


Recreation programming can have cooking classes addressing social (food insecurity/cost), educational (enhanced learning) and cultural (inclusion, communication) needs. C1d - Coordinator: Dan Kroger,

► Status: Getting Started

  • Multicultural Family Center cooking classes and educational events use food as a way to engage and educate.
  • The Pacific Islander Health Project continues a variety of educational programs to bring healthy foods to our Marshallese population in Dubuque. Partnership with Convivium Urban Farmstead helps educate participants about and use of fresh herbs and vegetables. (June 2021)


Consider food access as an objective of the City's transit systems. C1e - Coordinator: Russ Stecklein,

► Status: Needs Resources

  • The City's Transit system makes access to fresh, healthy and affordable foods a priority, with access points at or with a block of:
    • major and specialty food stores such as three HyVees, Fareway, Aldi and Natural Grocers, and
    • the summer and winter Farmers Market downtown at the the Kennedy Mall.


Evaluate whether local solid waste can begin to incorporate a compost component, similar to Des Moines, that would provide a source of compost for local gardens & production. C1f - Coordinator: Ken Miller,

► Status: Project Underway

  • Dubuque Metropolitan Solid Waste Agency (DMSWA) is re-opening compost use to citizen at-large, awaiting a green light following quality testing in Summer 2021. (June 2021)


Consider an active policy supporting front yard food gardening. C1g - Coordinator: Mary Rose Corrigan,

► Status: Project Underway

  • Food gardens in front yards are allowed per city code.
  • The City of Dubuque expanded the Unified Development Code to define community gardens and list them as a permitted use in all Residential districts, including Office Residential (OR).  (June 2021)
  • Demonstration of free public gardens at St. Luke's Methodist Church and Convivium Urban Farmstead help educate the public with active engagement of utilizing new spaces for food production. (June 2021)
Arts + Culture


Please contact Jason Duba with the City of Dubuque
(563) 589-4223