The Green School House Effect
Sustainability Newsletter - November 2020
What is Green Iowa AmeriCorps?
Green Iowa AmeriCorps (GIA) is a state-wide community service program that operates out of the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE). It is made up of three branches, Energy and Community, Land and Water Stewards, and Sustainable Schools. Members of GIA are located all over the state at different “host sites.” The Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) started partnering with GIA in the fall of 2019. For information about Green Iowa AmerCorps click here.
What does Green Iowa AmeriCorps do?
This school year, two full-time GIA members, Lisa Stark and Meg SmolikHagen, will be working with the ICCSD. They are working on sustainability-related projects such as developing a model composting and recycling program, supporting school gardens, increasing prairie habitat, environmental/sustainability related education outreach, as well this monthly newsletter.
Farm to School Program
The Iowa City Community School District partners with Field To Family to offer fresh and local produce through the Farm to School program. Here are the farmers providing fresh fruits and vegetables for your school lunches this fall. Learn more about how local food gets to your lunch room here.
- Apples from Wilson’s Orchard, Iowa City
- Yogurt from Country View Dairy, Hawkeye
- Sweet Potatoes from Organic Greens, Kalona
Climate Action Plan: What is it?
In December 2016, the Iowa City Council outlined goals that aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement. The city’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan was the result of ten public meetings and significant community and stakeholder input. The plan was finalized by September of 2018. Below is an outline of the city’s action steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To learn more about the Iowa City Climate Action plan click here.
The school district soon followed suit and adopted their own climate action plan. For the school district, it is the process of measuring greenhouse gas emissions, forecasting future emissions, and modeling strategies to reduce overall emissions. Some of those reduction strategies include geothermal heating and cooling, transitioning to electric buses, and the installation of solar panels. For more information check out the district’s resolution to address climate change here.
If you'd like to get involved in the school garden at Liberty High contact Jenny Saylor at Saylor.Jennifer@iowacityschools.org
Try Composting at home!
In general, a good compost pile needs a balanced amount of these three ingredients: brown stuff, green stuff, and water. Browns or carbon would include things like fallen leaves, twigs, and used paper towels. Greens or nitrogen are all of your food scraps, grass clippings, and coffee grounds (and the filter). In order for the compost to develop correctly, your pile needs the right amount of water. Usually, water will not need to be added; the composted materials provide enough water. For a more complete list of compostable items visit your city’s website.
Iowa City Residential Curbside Composting:
Available to residents in single-family homes up to 4-unit apartment buildings
$2 per month on utility bill
Contact Resource Management at 319-356-5151
Visit their website for more information
North Liberty Curbside Compost:
$25 refundable deposit for compost bin
$1.65 for yard waste bag to line bin
Contact City Hall at 319-626-5700 or email@example.com
Visit their website for more information
Coralville Yard Waste:
Clubs and Events
City of Iowa City’s Climate Action Commission Meetings | More information can be found at their website.
City High Environmental Club | Contact Mary Lestina
South East Jr. High Recycling & Repurposing Club | Contact Heather Crandell
Liberty High Garden Club | Contact Jennifer Saylor
Northwest Jr. High Ecology Club | Contact Dan Hill
West High Environmental & Sustainability Club | Contact Brad Wymer
West High Save the Environment Club | Contact Phil Keitel
Nov. 14th Iowa Environmental Council's Wild and Scenic Film Festival
Nov. 15th America Recycles Day
If you have an event/club you would like to feature, contact us!