Johnston is a fast growing, family friendly suburb of Des Moines, anchored by a robust bio-tech economy. Located on the northwestern side of the Des Moines Metro, Johnston is a diverse community that offers residents an exceptional quality of life with multiple recreational facilities, more than a dozen parks, over 45 miles of trails, a top-notch school system, responsive government, and a focus on welcoming new business development. Some of the major employers in Johnston include Corteva International and John Deere Financial. Fort Dodge; these businesses bring people from all over the world to live and work in central Iowa.
Johnston has over 45 miles of trails for residents to enjoy for recreation, including sections of the Trestle to Trestle, Sycamore, and Neal Smith Trails, as well as many neighborhood bike lanes. The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) services two routes in Johnson. Most errands do require a car, but due to Johnston’s convenient location near the junction of Interstates 35 and 80, the average one-way commute for residents is 19 minutes, well under the 26.4 national average.
Johnston is known as a welcoming and laid-back community with lots of family entertainment options and a focus on local businesses. Residents are excited about the new town center, which is adding to the fun of the established park system and the community events held there. They also enjoy the beautiful walking and biking trails integrated into the various housing developments and connected to the greater Des Moines system of trails. Saylorville Lake provides nearby water fun and camping. Resident report that Johnston is less dense and has more of a small-town vibe than many other suburbs and is a wonderful place to call home!
Johnston was first settled in 1846 as a community grew up around the sawmill established near what is now NW 58th St. & NW Beaver Drive. Later as the railroad came to the area, the station for the route between Des Moines and Perry was named Johnston Station in 1905 for the railway’s freight supervisor, John F. Johnston. In 1908, Camp Dodge was established as a military training camp in northern Johnston and named for General Grenville Dodge, a Civil War veteran. In the 1920s, Henry A Wallace began conducting experiments with hybridizing corn, and the Pioneer Hi-Bred Corn Company was born, bringing hundreds of jobs to the Johnston area. Today the company, now known as Corteva,continues to grow and employs 2000 people in Johnston. In the 1970s, the Johnston City Council established a long-term vision for the city, which was the first master-planned community in Iowa and has guided its rapid growth into the city it is today.
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