CEDAR FALLS, Iowa- The University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Energy and Environmental Education is hosting three AmeriCorps state and national programs this year. Two programs, Land and Water Stewards AmeriCorps and Sustainable Schools AmeriCorps, are new efforts to strengthen Iowans and the environment.
Since 2009, Green Iowa AmeriCorps has been helping Iowans become more energy efficient through residential energy efficiency services, environmental education and community outreach. The program targets low-income, elderly, veteran and disabled communities who are most vulnerable to high utility bills and can benefit directly. There are seven locations in Iowa, including Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Decorah, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fairfield and Iowa City. Each location hosts five members, totaling 35 AmeriCorps members spread across the state.
The new Land and Water Stewards AmeriCorps program consists of four full-time members working closely with partners in the Cedar Valley on large-scale projects related to storm water initiatives in urban settings. Members are conducting education and outreach related to native prairie habitats, pesticide free lawns, water quality testing and rain gardens. The program will involve a large summer component engaging 24 college-age students, including many UNI students, in hands-on projects, service learning and leadership training.
Sustainable Schools AmeriCorps is placing a total of 10 members in five Iowa school districts to act as sustainability coordinators focused on reducing energy use and integrating environmental education and outreach opportunities among students. School districts include Dubuque, Dubuque Holy Family, South Tama, Waverly-Shell Rock and Davis County Community School Districts.
The Center for Energy and Environmental Education is proud to be an environmental stewardship hub for national service in the state of Iowa. The continued support from funders and partners makes this type of expansion and growth possible. To learn more about programs to partner with or become a member, contact Ashley Craft, Green Iowa AmeriCorps program director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Green Iowa AmeriCorps and their program services, visit www.greeniowaamericorps.org.