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A Sense of Community: Davis County

Two years ago, Kevin Gough got an unexpected phone call from a recruiter asking him to consider a job in Davis County, Iowa.

Kevin, 36, was intrigued, but first had to consider the needs of his wife and three children. Iowa would be a big change for the Goughs, then living in Southern California.

But when Kevin and his wife, Sarah, visited Davis County for the first time to explore the region, they were hooked almost instantly.

Kevin moved to Bloomfield and accepted a position at Hill Phoenix, a company that specializes in commercial refrigerators and display cases. His family followed a few months later.

One of the biggest selling points for Davis County? The affordability. The Goughs bought a house that was three times bigger than the one they owned in California — and a third of the price.

Davis County also offered a relaxed pace, which was a welcome change from the terrible traffic and constant hustle and bustle of Southern California. The Goughs were also excited for their children to experience all four seasons and spend more time connecting with nature.

“We have wildlife in our backyard,” says Sarah, 39. “Our boys are getting exposed to a lot more diversity as far as weather and animals and just being able to have different experiences they haven’t had before.”

“This is just home.”

The Goughs are getting a taste of what Davis County residents have long treasured about their community: A top-notch school district with caring teachers and staffers, friendly neighbors who will help out in a pinch, wide open spaces, a slower pace of life, an affordable cost of living and a true sense of camaraderie.

“We’re a welcoming community and we like to be involved in activities and events,” says Ron Bride, a member of the Davis County Board of Supervisors. “Our residents are good, hardworking people who enjoy each other’s company.”

Davis County has a thriving arts scene, with robust live theater and music offerings, movies, children’s plays and beyond.

The region also offers different recreational opportunities. For example, Bloomfield’s 83-acre Lake Fisher provides fishing, camping and boating.

A new 5-kilometer wheelchair-accessible trail connects Bloomfield City Park and walk-in swimming pool to the Mutchler Community Center with its indoor track, gymnasium and weight training and cardio fitness areas.

The trail continues to the McGowen Recreation and Wildlife area with more than 300 acres of hunting, fishing and hiking.

The city of Bloomfield, the county seat, is also undertaking a pioneering initiative to be energy independent by 2030.

Bloomfield is home to the largest tracking solar array in Iowa, which includes 5,400 solar panels that produce 10 percent of the city’s energy.

“This is just home,” says Julie Hill, who recently returned to Davis County after spending 30 years living in the Chicago suburbs. “Everybody’s just friendly. You meet people on the road and they wave at you.”

It’s all here in Davis County, where families can grow and thrive, neighbors feel more like family and opportunities abound.

Courtesy of Livability

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