Waterloo’s Comprehensive Plan is a model of green and healthy community planning. It was created from the values of area residents.
Community residents respect their environment and work to take care of it. Leading edge dairy farming technology, organic farms, and prairie restoration are some of the environmentally friendly land uses practiced by rural residents.
The City of Waterloo has been a Tree City for over 13 years. Waterloo Utilities, the local utility, is a member of WPPI, a member owned non-profit utility company which uses and promotes using renewable energy resources. Waterloo Utilities has an on-site geothermal plant which generates some of its power.
Physical fitness and outdoor recreation is a core value of residents of all ages and from all walks of life. Outdoor sports, biking and fitness walks are popular within urban areas.
Bike races and marathons, hunting, fishing, canoeing, bird watching, and Nature walks are enjoyed by many residents and tourists in the countryside.
The Maunesha River, Waterloo Wildlife Area, Garman Nature Preserve, Faville Grove Sanctuary, and the Mud Lake Wildlife Area are a few of the treasured natural areas enhancing the landscape in and around Waterloo. The Glacial Drumlin trail, Trek 100, and Tyranena Bike races draw thousands of bicycling enthusiasts to the area.
Jefferson County earned the 100 Best Communities award in 2008.
The 100 Best Communities for Young People is an annual competition which recognizes outstanding community-wide efforts that improve the well-being of youth. The competition also inspires other localities to take action to ensure they’re meeting the challenges facing their young people. The 100 Best competition asks communities across the country to assess their challenges and work effectively together for young people, and share best practices.