Stewardson Illinois


Population 734
Completed MAPPING program in 2011

“The IIRA MAPPING program was key in helping Stewardson recognize and enhance our current resources, identify and develop a plan toward new goals to improve our community, and unifying us around a common vision and purpose. We are forever grateful to the MAPPING program, what they have done for us, the resources they have provided and continue to provide, and the relationships we have formed through the program. Well worth the investment and then some!” – Jim Carroll, Community Champion, Stewardson

  • Held impromptu bake sale as their first MAPPING fundraiser (complete with ape mascot) – raised $400 in 2 days.
  • 2011 Governor’s Hometown Award winner for yearly haunted barn event attracting ~ 900 visitors and raising ~$4,000.
  • Formation of community organization—COWS (Community Organization Working for Stewardson).
  • Created community development fund with Shelby County Community Foundation; received a donation of a downtown building – twice!
  • Hold annual “Hoofin’ it to the Cow” 5K – over 200 runners participating each year.
  • The local hardware store donated the materials and labor to create a “Santa House” where the community hosts pictures with Santa each holiday season. The small “house” is repurposed seasonally for Easter, 4th of July and Christmas.
  • Host an annual Trail of Lights, featuring homes decorated for the holidays.
  • Created and distributed business survey to 1400 residents in greater area.
  • Hosted a Peace Corps Fellow Intern.
  • Received a $2,500 America’s Farmers Grow Communities Grant from the Monsanto Fund.
  • Installed new welcome signs at entrances.
  • Held numerous community events and fundraisers, including:
    • “Meet the Beatles” concert, brining over 400 people to the park
    • The Stewardson Snowflake Social to raise funds for local food pantry
    • Victorian tea party for mothers and daughters
    • Little Miss and Mr. Stewardson contests
    • Periodic scrap metal drives
  • Stewardson gives monthly beautiful yard awards and established a garden club that plants flowers and trees in town and maintains them.
  • Stewardson created professional marketing materials for the village, including; a website, video, and brochure.
  • Created a welcome program and welcome baskets for new community members.
  • Maintains a web-based community calendar, an electronic newsletter called the “Stewardson Moos Letter”, and implemented text marketing so community members can be updated on community events via text.
  • Have built 10 Little Free Libraries for their community and hold an annual tour. (
  • Hold an annual  Jeep Poker Run event.
  • Featured on WCIA News in the “Our Town” segment.