Lasting Impacts from Leadership for Five Seasons Projects

Dec 14, 2019

Each year, 35 passionate community leaders participate in the Leadership for Five Seasons (LFS) Adult program and complete a project that will leave a positive impact on the community for years to come.

LFS is a premier community leadership program that focuses on developing top talent through a formal leadership curriculum. The LFS Adult programs kicks off every August and ends in May with a class-selected community service project. The class is responsible for finding a project that includes all 35 participants, can be done in a day and affects a large group of people or fulfills a significant need in the community. LFS is a program of the Economic Alliance and it was previously managed by one of the Economic Alliance’s legacy organizations, the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. A look back at the last eight years of projects shows the incredible community impact of the program.

2019 - Willis Dady Homeless Services
The Class of 2019 volunteered at the nonprofit’s shelter, serving breakfast to the shelter's clients as well as updated a house that Willis Dady had recently purchased, including landscaping, planting a garden, rehabilitating the driveway and insulating the attic.

2018 - Dolly Parton Imagination Library
With Kindergarten readiness scores hovering around 50% in Cedar Rapids, the Class of 2018 focused their project on early literacy and chose specifically to support the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation’s initiative to bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program to Cedar Rapids.

2017 - Born Learning Trails
The Class of 2017 planted fruit tree orchards and installed Born Learning Trails in partnership with the City of Cedar Rapids at Reed Park, near Taylor Elementary and Van Buren Park, near Van Buren Elementary. Born Learning Trails are a United Way initiative that encourages fun, active learning activities for young children and their families. The Class ended up with a surplus in funds, and purchased books for both schools as well.

2016 - Matthew 25
Matthew 25 is a nonprofit with a mission to empowers people to transform neighborhoods. The Class of 2016 built fencing, a welcome sign and a produce washing stand for the organization.

2015 – Revitalize Roosevelt
The Class of 2015 spent time at Roosevelt Middle School during their Education program day and learned about their student population and some of their challenges. The Class tore out the school’s auditorium seating in preparation of new seating, changed hallway light to LED lights and printed and installed inspirational quotes in multiple languages throughout the school.

2014 – Matthew 25
Matthew 25’s Urban Farm is two-acre farm is near downtown Cedar Rapids on land that had houses that were damaged during 2008 flooding. The Class of 2014 completed a few projects for the Urban Farm, including building and installing a Little Free Library, created a custom, fabricated metal silo and concrete bench, created and outdoor classroom space.

2013 - K9Acres at Squaw Creek Park
The Class of 2013 chose a project for our four-legged friends by planting trees and installing park equipment at the K9Acres dog park inside Squaw Creek Park in Marion.

2012 – Howard H. Cherry Scout Reservation (pictured right)
Located in Central City, the Howard H. Cherry Scout Reservation is a 500-acre reservation used to serve the needs of the Scouting and the greater community. The Reservation is also the location of the Leadership for Five Seasons Youth program’s annual retreat to kick off the program year. The Class of 2012 chose to improve accessibility for differently abled Boy Scouts, Scout Masters and other users of the Hawkeye Area Council camp at the Reservation.

If you’re interested in joining the LFS community, apply for the Adult Class of 2021 from April 1 - 30, 2020 at

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