slide image of claude and dolly ahrens
slide image of ahrens park
Image of staff at daycare during the Founder's 100th birthday open house.
slide image of statue in front of ahrens family center
slide image of ahrens/paschall memorial park plaque.
Lend A Hand community meal participants
slide image of ahrens foundation offices
slide image of kids playing on playground at ahrens park
slide image of ahrens park soccer field
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Leaving It Better:

That’s the legacy that motivates us. That’s the mission that guides us.

The Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation was established as a family foundation in 1993 by the late Claude W. Ahrens. Mr. Ahrens enjoyed a long, successful business career in the playground and agricultural manufacturing fields and desired to return some of the fruits of his labor, particularly to his native Grinnell, Iowa area, with specific support to his special interest in parks and recreation. Claude W. Ahrens has truly set a philanthropic example to all.

The Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation continues its active commitment to improving the quality of life for our Grinnell community. We are dedicated to providing innovative charitable programs and support to local community projects and needs.

We are a unique and innovative family foundation striving to help meet the needs of the Greater Grinnell community through ongoing support services and resources by maintaining and perpetuating an endowment. Our purpose is to provide improved and enhanced quality of life for present and future generations with interest in the areas of parks & recreation, education, and health with our collaborative partners.

To enhance the quality of life for future generations in the Grinnell community and its neighboring communities.
Collaboration, Compassion, Innovation, Integrity, Respect, and Wellness.

Latest News


April 16, 2018 We are excited to share a sneak peek of what the two new playground areas will resemble at Ahrens Park! As long as mother nature cooperates we will start the build later [...]


February 21, 2018 Last year, Imagine Grinnell and the Poweshiek County Master Gardeners partnered to launch Marvin Gardens, a garden and orchard on Grinnell's South side where anyone can pick fresh fruits and vegetables. This [...]


October 5, 2017 The Ahrens Park Foundation is embarking on a $1 million multi-phased project to upgrade Ahrens Park. The foundation is seeking contributions from the community in order to qualify for grant funding. The [...]


October 2, 2017 For the second year in a row, kites embellished the blue skies of Grinnell with the help of Rotarians, professional kite flyers, ambitious youngsters, patient parents and grandparents. Some 500 Grinnell residents [...]

Celebrating 20 Years

CDAF Strategic Plan 2017-2019

Click to download the CDAF Strategic Plan 2017-2019