You might have driven by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Dubuque’s church at 17th and Iowa streets without really taking note of the unassuming building. But this unique structure — and the neighborhood movement it has created — is worth a look, a tip of the cap and maybe your donation.
This 55-person congregation and a generous benefactor offering to match $2 to one for every dollar raised, have already raised more than $215,000 this fall to restore the historic church to its original glory. Built in 1885 as a German Methodist church, local restoration experts have taken note of the structure and rallied behind the project. By reviewing historic photos of the carpenter gothic-style building, a conceptual rendering of what the restored church could look like emerged. Further, congregants are determined to make the effort a neighborhood project, adopting the motto: “Let’s make this Jackson Park gem shine.”
Contractor for the restoration work will be Gronen, and the company plans to collaborate with Four Mounds and local high schools on vocational training opportunities on the project. That brings a real community vibe to this restorative effort in one of Dubuque’s most historic neighborhoods.
Restoration efforts can be contagious, often elevating the efforts toward improvements to buildings throughout the neighborhood.
Godspeed to the UU congregation and this engaging project.
For a lot of area residents, Finley’s Landing is known as a local beach and a great place to access the Mississippi River. But there’s more to Finley’s than the beach, and 2021 is the year to explore.
Dubuque County Conservation staff and board members have been working on making improvements for hikers and recreationalists with new amenities to be open this winter and spring.
That’s right, there’s hiking at Finley’s Landing.
If you didn’t know that, it’s understandable. The area didn’t see a lot of activity for some years. The old suspension bridge was washed out and trails were overgrown for a time. But now the bridge has been replaced and volunteers are laying out woodchips and prepping the winding trails for local visitors.
Conservation staff also are planning an “Illuminate the Night” hike at Finley’s Landing from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. tonight, Jan. 8, starting in the campground and continuing through the area with lights set up along the trail. Registration is required at https://www.facebook.com/events/219922323042389.
With its distance from Dubuque, Finley’s has long been known for its starry night skies, away from light pollution. As Conservation Executive Director Brian Preston noted, Finley’s is a remote area — perfect for hiking. “You feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere out there,” he said. Sounds kind of perfect, doesn’t it?
Additionally, a new Finley’s Landing pavilion will be ready for use by the spring, and the campground recently received an electrical update, including WiFi access at the campsites.
It’s exciting to see this remote hiking gem, tucked in the corner of the county, getting new attention. Just as more people are enjoying the outdoors, this effort adds one more terrific hiking locale for tri-staters.
It wouldn’t seem like there would be bad actors who would sink so low as to scam people out of their economic stimulus checks or convince them that they need to provide personal identification information to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
But there are. People can be the worst. As Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller noted this week, “Scammers follow the headlines, and they’ll take advantage of our excitement, confusion and other emotions.”
Don’t let anyone you know get ripped off. Pass the word to anyone you think might be vulnerable. Let them know that no government agency will ask for payment upfront to receive a stimulus check. That kind of request is a scam. The government also won’t call, text, email or contact people on social media to ask for personal information, including Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers.
You also will not need to buy a ticket to guarantee a place on the vaccination waiting list. That’s not how it works.