April 17, 2024

Have we found the replacements?

The timing could not have been any better.

Last week we learned of the population decline in Creston, and, unfortunately, much of rural Iowa. But maybe a possible solution could be on the way. But we probably are not fully prepared for it, yet.

Ed Fallon, who has spent time in Iowa legislation, wondered if the severe, lengthy drought and annual wildfires in western states has been enough to force longtime residents to leave and live someplace else. No, not in the next county, but maybe in another part of the country.

Could Iowa be possible destination?

“Is the Midwest ready to receive a vast wave of parched climate refugees? Not even close. All of us should be talking with local, state, and federal officials about how we’ll manage an influx of millions of displaced fellow Americans. Food, water, energy, housing, health care, transportation, employment. All these and more need to be considered as the population of Midwestern communities braces for an increase like never before,” he wrote.

This could be a opportune time for Creston officials and others to start promoting our fair town in those Western states and areas. Heck, if existing Creston residents know of family or friends who live in those dried up and or burnt areas, they too could recruit people to come to Creston. We have all the essentials and then some more; health care, basic retail, new cars, outdoor recreation. And if we have to, we can always say big-city needs are 90 minutes or so away in Des Moines.

There are many proverbial dominoes that have to fall if Fallon’s concept comes to fruition. It’s easy to think people wanting to move to Creston or Union County may first need a job around here so they can afford a house. But can they find a house? Houses are not a one-size-fits-all families. Some of those people may get quite a shock living through their first Midwest winter.

Fallon also wondered if this is a time for Iowa’s agriculture industry to expand knowing what the threats in those Western states have done to their agriculture. How possible is it to grow in Iowa the produce in California. For generations, we have seen corn and soybeans create the state’s skyline, and doubtful that will drastically change for the worse. Could Iowa grow more of the same vegetables at an industrial rate?

Iowa is just one possible location for those people to consider.

But maybe this is our time to convince others Iowa, and Creston, are the better choices.

Creston News Advertiser editorial by Managing Editor John Van Nostrand

John Van Nostrand


An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.