Joyce and Ed Epperly. (Submitted photo)
Joyce and Ed Epperly. (Submitted photo)
Anyone who knows Ed and Joyce Epperly know that they are always looking for ways to make Decorah a better place to both live and visit. The Epperlys regularly volunteer at the Chamber of Commerce office welcoming out-of-town visitors to Decorah, finding out what their interests are and helping them find activities that they can enjoy during their visit. From this work with visitors, they recognized that despite the many things available to do in the area, there was a need for even more options. The idea for the historic sign trails was born from that observation. Ed worked with Elizabeth Lorentzen to bring the project to the city council, raise money for the signage by writing grants and speaking with local groups, individuals and businesses, and working out the details to make it a reality. After raising more than $35,000, 29 signs detailing Decorah’s past make the history of Decorah more accessible to both the visiting public and our local residents. Epperlys have been part of the team that waters the flower baskets throughout the business district and the west side. For the Fest, Ed has given numerous Troll Tours and Ed and Joyce regularly work at their church’s Nordic Fest food booth. They are both active in their church and its outreach projects to the community. Joyce has been an active member of Northern Lights and the Decorah Chorale, and has volunteered at Vesterheim Museum. ln a new proiect, Ed is currently working to get the Dry Run area through the city cleaned up and planting accomplished to beautify it. Ed and Joyce can be found volunteering at the lowa State Fair each year in the booth promoting Winneshiek County as a tourist destination. They are enthusiastic promoters of Decorah and Winneshiek County in all that they do and are just the kind of ambassadors we love, who welcome people to Decorah and make them feel at home.