North Iowa Information
For more Mason City, Iowa information, visit Village Profile's community site.
- As the largest urban center between Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota and Des Moines, Iowa metro areas, Mason City serves as a social, cultural, commercial and recreational hub for a broad area of northern Iowa and southern Minnesota.
- Mason City has a current population of approximately 30,000 with 46,000 in the county. Built from long years of concern and mutual respect, the warm and friendly "at home" feeling in Mason City is something money can't buy.
- Mason City is located in Cerro Gordo County in the north central part of Iowa. It is 140 miles south of Minneapolis, MN and 130 miles north of Des Moines, IA. The road network is excellent with Interstate 35 only six miles to the west and US Highways 65 and 122 connecting in Mason City. We are now in the midst of construction on the Avenue of the Saints, an expressway that will link St. Louis, Missouri to St. Paul, Minnesota.
- Mason City operates an 800-acre municipal airport. Northwest Airlink Airlines provides daily service to Minneapolis and Great Lakes Airlines provides daily service to Chicago.
- Rail service is provided by the Chicago and Northwestern, I & M Rail and the Iowa Traction Railroads.
- Culture is also emphasized in Mason City through a variety of avenues such as the North Iowa Area Community College Auditorium, Mason City Community Theater and the Stebens Children's Theater.
- If not the theater, you may want to visit one of the local museums. Local museums include Charles H. MacNider Museum, Kinney Pioneer Museum, and Meredith Wilson's Boyhood Home.
- Or you might be more of a nature buff, if so, Lime Creek Nature Center is where you should visit. The center features both live and static displays of birds, reptiles, mammals, fish and insects. An outdoor amphitheater, hands-on nature displays and over four miles of trails through prairie, forest and wetland habitat provide remarkable experiences.
- The educational system in Mason City - public and private - is highly rated. The Mason City Community School District currently operates six elementary schools, two middle schools, a senior high school and an alternative high school (grades 9-12). Total enrollment for the district is approximately 4,700 with over 300 educators and support personnel. The parochial schools include Newman Catholic serving 700 students in K-12 with over 50 educators and support personnel and 7th Day Adventist Elementary and Secondary serving 8 students. Mason City students enjoy low student to faculty ratios. These low ratios coupled with dedicated staff, administration and school board help our students achieve an 85% graduation rate compared to the national average of just over 71%. The Mason City School District has developed a regional reputation for being a leader in the development of new education techniques at all levels.
- Last year approximately 65% of Mason City School graduates began post secondary education, further demonstrating the major role our school system plays in economic prosperity and training.
- Also located in Mason City is North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC). NIACC is recognized as a leader among Iowa's community colleges in quality of educational opportunity, innovative responses to community needs and industrial training programs.
- Additional higher education opportunities are provided by Buena Vista College and Drake University. Buena Vista College of Storm Lake offers a wide range of baccalaureate programs through their Mason City campus. Drake University also serves Mason City's educational needs by offering several programs at the Masters level.
- In Iowa, all teachers must be certified by the state of Iowa and have attained at least a bachelors degree prior to being allowed to teach in public schools.
- For the shopper, Mason City offers big city selection at small town prices, and with small town customer service and courtesy. Mason City is proud to have one of the nations finest and most successful downtown enclosed malls in a community of any size. This mall, called Southbridge, has been featured in the book "A Showcase of the Design and Architecture of the World's Finest Shopping Centers and Malls".
- In addition to the downtown mall, there are many traditional downtown retail and service establishments. Complimenting the central business district are two additional enclosed malls, as well as several other shopping centers. The offerings range from the national discount chains to the finest of locally owned specialty shops.
- Recreation in Mason City is one facet that is unequaled elsewhere in Iowa. Mason City boasts outdoor recreation in the finest American tradition. White tail deer abound, and small game is equally available. Pheasants, grouse wild turkey and quail are all popular quarry. Fishing is a natural, with many rivers, and lakes in the Mason City area. Clear Lake, Iowa's second largest natural lake offers not only fishing, but also motor boating, water skiing, sail boating, and recreational swimming at many fine beaches. The area offers two country clubs and seven public golf courses within a short drive. Tennis courts are common, as are nature trails and parks.
- Organized recreation opportunities include softball leagues, baseball, volleyball, cross-country skiing, tennis, hockey and more. The modern and well equipped YMCA and private health clubs offer basketball, indoor track, swimming, racquetball, volleyball, nautilus, and virtually every other indoor sport imaginable.
- Spectators will be delighted at the opportunities that are available. High school athletes in Mason City and nearby school systems are perennial powers in football, basketball, track, baseball, cross country, volleyball, and swimming. The North Iowa Community College offers the full compliment of college sports.
- Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa is rated as one of the outstanding medical centers in Iowa. It has the third highest number of physicians per capita in the state, trailing only Iowa City, home of the University of Iowa College of Medicine and Des Moines. Many physician specialties and sub-specialties rarely found in cities of this size are represented in the Mason City medical community. These include neurosurgery, cardiovascular surgery, neuroradiology, and many others. These are supported by a strong foundation of family physicians, internists, OB/GYN specialists and pediatricians.
- Mercy Medical Center-North-Iowa has two modern campuses serving the city and surrounding area. Services and facilities include 24-hour emergency care with physicians and full support staffs on duty; a heart center with full invasive services including open heart surgery; a cancer center with chemotherapy and radiation therapy services; a neuroscience center with neurosurgery and a Sleep Disorders Clinic; occupational medicine services for work-related injuries treatment and prevention programs; a birth center with birthing suites and neonatal intensive care unit; inpatient adult and adolescent mental health units; and the most modern diagnostic tools including nuclear medicine, CT scanning, magnetic resonance imaging, echocardiography, ultrasound, vascular imaging and others.
- The hospital offers a full range of ancillary treatment services including speech pathology, respiratory therapy, physical therapy, sports medicine, and occupational therapy. Mercy Medical Center-North-Iowa also sponsors Mercy Home Care, which provides home health care services and Hospice of North Iowa, which provides comfort care.
- In addition the hospital offers extensive educational programming, including a School of Radiologic Technology, a family practice residency program, and the Regional Health Educational Center jointly sponsored with North Iowa Area Community College. The hospital and the college also cooperate in offering an associate degree in nursing and other health career programs.
- With nearly 70% of our residents living in owner occupied housing, Mason Citians take great pride in home ownership.
- Mason City is an urban community located in a productive farming area with a blend of agricultural manufacturers, processors and service providers. The surrounding county boasts 330,000 acres of prime farm land with an average farm size of 377 acres. Corn and soybeans are the primary crops produced accounting for 84% of the rural land use. Major agricultural manufacturers and processors include Ag Processing, Inc., Armour Swift-Eckrich, CENEX/Land O'Lakes, Kraft General Foods, Marigold Foods and Mason City By-Products. Mason City is home to county offices for the Farm Service Agency, Farm Bureau, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Agriculture Department for rural Development and ISU Extension. Mason City also has a regional Iowa Department of Natural Resources office. This balance of production, manufacturing, processing and service offers a wide variety of opportunities for business growth and employment in the agricultural sector.