DES MOINES, Iowa -- If you've been to downtown, you've likely seen an Operation Downtown street ambassador in their neon green and blue jackets.
For 20 years the program has worked to keep downtown city streets and sky walks clean and it's ambassadors have served as a welcome and help committee of sorts to out of town visitors.
"When people feel safe and they feel like they are in a clean space they are more likely to stay and come back. I think that’s part of what’s helping Des Moines grow. People visit us once and they always want to come back," says Operation Downtown chair, Ryan Squier.
The program is funded by downtown businesses and property owners. After five years , the program is up for a renewal this year. Squier says the program is critical to Des Moines growth as it continues to attract major events.
"This is a big year for us to not only celebrate 20 years but hopefully to be able to continue to expand into the future," he says.
A petition to renew the program can be found here.