Update: Community Use Bill Continues to Move Through the Iowa House

Late March 4, HSB 35 was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on a 21-0 vote.  It will now be redrafted as a committee bill and given a new House File number. Stay tuned for more information!

By |March 5th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized||0 Comments

Support of SSB 1247 Heard in Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Meeting

Today, SSB 1247, our bill for Community Use was discussed in an Iowa Senate Judiciary Subcommittee meeting. We had several supporters who spoke in favor of shared use:

They included:

  • American Heart Association volunteers Butch Gibbs and Tera Hamann
  • Iowa Association of School Boards, Emily Piper
  • YMCAs, Kent Hartwig
  • United Way of Central Iowa
  • Metro Planning Organizations, David Adelman
  • American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Jenny Stiletto

In addition, a representative from the Department of Public Health spoke and said both her department and the Governor support the bill.

Ultimately, Senator Sodders and Senator Schneider signed off on the subcommittee report.  Senator Hogg wants time to “take it under advisement.” The bill is on the agenda for the full Judiciary Committee meeting tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m.

By |March 4th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized||0 Comments

American Diabetes Association Supports Community Use

The American Diabetes Association believes that schools should serve as models of healthy behavior encouraging both physical activity and proper nutrition.  The Association believes that increasing access to safe facilities, such as our schools, for community recreation and exercise is a positive step toward improving the health of students and communities.
Gary Dougherty
Associate Director-State Government Affairs
By |February 27th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized||0 Comments

We Encourage Community Use of Our Facilities

A show of support from the Des Moines Public Schools:

“Our schools are public, and we encourage community use of our facilities. PreK-12 education is our number one priority, but we can’t successfully fulfill this mission without partnering with a wide range of community partners. Working together in our schools helps us develop shared understanding and makes better use of the huge investment our communities have made in our facilities.”


Dr. Thomas M. Ahart,
Superintendent of Schools, Des Moines Public Schools

By |February 20th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized||0 Comments

Shared Community Use of School Facilities Makes Sense

Thanks to the Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging for their continued support of Shared Use and HSB 22.


“Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging provides supports and services to seniors in 18 counties in Iowa, many of them so rural that they have no hospitals and only limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Small communities with up 28% of their population over the age of 60 simply don’t have access to adequate facilities for physical activity. Schools and public spaces are safe, appealing and accessible for seniors to increase their physical activity. Shared community use of school facilities makes sense and should be supported and encouraged.”




By |February 19th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized||0 Comments

Community Use Bill Moves On to Full House Judiciary Committee

Please take a moment and read through the Action Alert below.  If you are a constituent of the committee listed below you can support this bill by clicking here.  If not, feel free to contact your legislator using the attached letter of support template
Community Use Bill Moves On to Full House Judiciary Committee! 

In order for adults and children to get the physical activity they need to be healthy, they need places to be active. Research shows that people who have parks or recreational facilities nearby exercise 38 percent more than those who do not have easy access. Unfortunately safe places to get physical activity aren’t always available, especially in rural parts of our state–but they could be!
We need your help. The Community Use Bill (HSB 22) has moved out of the subcommittee and on to the full House Judiciary Committee. 
TAKE ACTION – Please email the attached sample letter to members of the House Judiciary Committee to urge them to support HSB 22 – helping us create a heart-healthy Iowa and ensuring that schools who want to open their facilities to the community are comfortable doing so!
You will find a list of the House Judiciary Committee Members HERE.
Schools are overwhelmingly willing to open their doors but don’t because of unclear liability laws. They are often the only space available for physical activity in rural areas and can offer a variety of safe, clean facilities, including running tracks, pools, gymnasiums, fitness rooms, and playgrounds. In fact, a recent survey showed that 64.2% of superintendents would be more inclined to open their facilities with liability protection.

Shared use legislation won’t force schools to open their doors and playgrounds to the community, but provides protection for those that want to make these opportunities available. 
Please urge your Representative to support HSB 22 today!
By |February 17th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized||0 Comments

Your help is needed: Let your legislator know you want to see HSB 22 move out of subcommittee

We have not yet been able to move our Shared Use Bill HSB 22, out of subcommittee.

We need your help to get this moved out of subcommittee and onto the full House Judiciary Committee within the next few days.

The subcommittee is comprised of the following members:

Rep. Deborah Berry – House District 62

Rep. Chris Hagenow – House District 43

Rep. Bobby Kaufmann – House District 73


Please let us know if you have had any success in having your members/network reach out (i.e. emails/phone calls) in support of this initiative. For more information or to contact us directly, email Christy Dreiling.


If you’d like to see a sample Letter of Support, you may download it here.  Feel free to use all or part of it.

By |February 4th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized||0 Comments

Support the Community Use (HRS 22) Bill with a Letter of Support

Although the first sub-committee date has passed we are continuing our effort to build support for this initiative and need your help.  If possible, we are encouraging you to take action.  You may use the Letter of support template made available by the American Heart Association. Volunteers and supporters can find their legislators contact information at https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/find.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions and thanks for the continued support.
By |January 28th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized||0 Comments

Shared Use and Safe Routes to Schools Bill Numbers Released

Below are the links for the two bills discussed at last week’s coalition meeting; those being Share Use Agreements and Safe Routes to Schools.   Be sure to have your lobbyist register in support of these bills if you intend to help us move this initiative forward.  If you have any questions or need clarification, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  We look forward to your support!
Shared Use Agreements (House Study Bill 22):
Safe Routes to Schools (Senate File 32):
By |January 23rd, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized||0 Comments

And the survey says

Staying active isn’t easy, and without access to playgrounds, tracks, and gyms in neighborhoods across the state, many children aren’t getting enough physical activity each day. To make up for this, some areas across the country have found a solution that works: Shared use of school recreational facilities after hours.

This past fall, the Iowa American Heart Association and the Bridging Solutions for a Healthier Iowa Coalition commissioned a survey to measure the need for shared use agreements between communities and school districts in Iowa.

Here’s what we learned:

  • Shared-use has a strong base of support among Iowa’s superintendents with 72.8% interviewed indicating they either currently have agreements or believe them to be beneficial for their school.
  • There is a strong interest and desire for partnerships from the local communities these districts represent as only 2.6% of respondents cited a lack of community interest as a barrier.
  • A majority of respondents, 64.2% indicated they would be more inclined to open their facilities through shared-use if there were additional protections for schools and districts concerning liability for injuries.

Finding answers to overcome cost, security issues and protection of the facilities while providing districts added protection against lawsuits will lead to more opportunities for shared-use.  Ultimately shared use agreements will provide schools and their communities with an additional set of tools critical in the fight against obesity.

We look forward to continuing to provide updates in the coming weeks about our Shared Use initiative!


By |December 30th, 2014|Categories: Uncategorized||0 Comments