Resilient Iowa Communities

Helping Iowa cities and counties achieve their sustainability, resiliency, and quality-of-life goals.

The Resilient Iowa Communities (RIC) program is a voluntary assistance and recognition program to help Iowan communities of all sizes achieve their sustainability and quality of life goals. 

This free, continuous program is run through UNI's Center for Energy & Environmental Education and was created in collaboration with various other cities, counties, non-profits and local groups to help create a program that simultaneously provides structure and flexibility, honoring each community’s diverse circumstances while standardizing different goals.

Joining RIC

Joining Resilient Iowa Communities is completely free and can be done by completing our Membership Application. Joining RIC gives you the designation as a Resilient Iowa Community member with access to our best practices resources, working groups, discounts on our Center services, and opportunities to be recognized for your resiliency efforts. Membership is available to county and city governments, K-12 school districts, higher education institutions, and nonprofit organizations.

RIC Membership Application

RIC Best Practices

Resilient Iowa Communities (RIC) provides guidance based upon a menu of optional best practices in a few categories and a variety of services available to meet the needs of your unique community. Each best practice can be implemented, as decided by city elected officials, staff, and community members, and receive recognition based on completing one or more actions at a bronze, silver or gold levels. These voluntary actions are tailored to all Iowa communities. There are multiple options for actions in each category, providing communities with flexibility to choose practices that are in line with their values, within their capacity, and relevant to the community’s overall needs and goals.


  •  Buildings and Energy
  • Land Use
  • Transportation
  • Environmental Management
  • Economics and Community Development
  • Environmental Equity & Inclusion

Examples of best practices include methods to reduce flooding and costs, developing an extreme weather/community resilience plan, and using free tools to compare the energy use and financial performance of peer facilities. RIC is continuing to develop the best practices structure and generate examples of effective best practices from other communities. Check out the Best Practices Outline below. 

Ways to Engage

How we can help you reach your goals

Services & Resources

RIC offers a number of services and resources to help cities, counties, and school districts identify and implement projects to help build a more resilient community. These include...

  • Greenhouse Gas Inventory & Energy Benchmarking Support
  • Neighborhood Resiliency Services - Tree planting, Energy & Healthy Home audits, backyard gardening services, and more
  • Examples of best practice case studies and self assessment tools
  • Our RIC working group to connect with other cities and counties engaged in this work

Visit our Best Practices Support page to learn more!

Recognizing your efforts


We believe a big part of making progress is celebrating it along the way! The Resilient Iowa Communities program wants to highlight your efforts towards a more sustainable, resilient tomorrow. If you have completed best practices in the past or have recently made progress we want to hear about it.

Recognition Levels

  • BRONZE - Complete one action from the six categories 
  • SILVER - Complete at least two actions from the six categories
  • GOLD - Complete three or more actions from the six categories

*Reminder you have to be a member of RIC to qualify - Join today!

Connect with other RIC Members

Join our Working Group

The RIC working group is an opportunity for organizations to connect to share best practices, challenges, and resources with other RIC members. The program will host quarterly meetings that include outside speakers to discuss best practices implementation, funding opportunities, and other resources that can help support and advance resiliency goals and projects. Participation is voluntary and is intended for participants to make connections and learn from one another. Interested in being part of our working group? Complete our Member Application to gain access.