Ankeny

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Summary

The city of Ankeny has become a magnet for residents looking for a modern community with all the amenities, good schools, and great neighborhoods. Ankeny lies at the northern end of the greater Des Moines metropolitan area between I-35 and Saylorville Lake. When you get off the freeway, at first glance, Ankeny may look like any other suburb—but look closer. See the consistent sidewalks and bike lanes, find the parks, and talk to some locals. Residents will tell you that Ankeny feels like a community, that people come out and enjoy life together, that they can walk and bike to many places in town and that they have everything they need right there in Ankeny!

Transportation

Ankeny is a newer city in the more suburban style and has earned one of the highest ‘walkability’ ratings in Iowa. The city boasts 100 miles of bike and walking trails including 4 major bike trails and a network of community trails. For commuters, the DART (Des Moines Area Rapid Transit) buses offer limited service to Ankeny, and drivers can expect an average one-way commute of just over 22 minutes, as compared to the national average of 26.4.

Activity & Entertainment

Ankeny hums with activity all year round. From the live music at Summerfest, to parades and more over the 4th of July weekend, to the year-round Farmer’s Market, Ankeny is a fast growing, but intimate and self-contained community. The District at Prairie Trails is a unique living/business district with a town center and a walkable residential sector connected by miles of trails within Ankeny and nearby communities. Residents also enjoy three golf courses, two aquatic centers, a community chorus and theater groups, a historical society, and much more. There is always something to do in Ankeny!

History

Ankeny started out as a farming community founded in 1875 on former Meskwaki and Sauk tribal lands by Fletcher Ankeny and his wife Sara. Ankeny was a Des Moines businessman and was also a promoter of the Minnesota Narrow Gauge Railroad that was later built through the town, furthering its growth as a small center of commerce for the surrounding farmers. In 1903, Ankeny was incorporated as a town with one square mile and a population of 445 people. The town grew quickly and attracted industries such as an ordnance plant and later the John Deere Plant. By 1961, Ankeny had grown enough to be declared a city, and they didn’t stop there! The city continues to attract new residents for its housing options and quality of life.


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