Green Iowa AmeriCorps Host Site
Linn County has served as a host site of the Green Iowa AmeriCorps (GIA) program since fall 2020. To date, 11 GIA members have worked in the Linn County Sustainability Department. GIA members predominantly have been the public engagement and outreach branch of the department and have been instrumental in supporting the work of the department’s two FTE.
GIA members have received awards such as the Governor’s Volunteer Award and the 1000 Friends of Iowa Best Development Award. Through the GIA program, Linn County’s Sustainability Department has helped prepare young environmental leaders. Many members have been hired into full-time positions in the field of sustainability following their term.
Green Iowa Americorps Mission
Empowering Iowa for a greener future through service, education, and engagement.
Visit the Green Iowa AmeriCorps website to learn more.
Free Energy Saver Kits
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Green Iowa AmeriCorps suspended its free home energy audits. In its place, they created Free Energy Saver Kits to help Iowa residents save energy with easy-to-install, energy-efficient products. Each one of these kits is personalized to your needs and is available to all homeowners and renters. Items include LED light bulbs and low-flow faucet aerators, along with other energy-efficient items. Learn more about these products and their installation by downloading the Green Iowa Americorps installation guide (PDF). Visit the Free Energy Saver Kit website and sign up to get your free kit today!
- Greenhouse Gas Inventory
- Linn County completed its first greenhouse gas inventory in 2021. The purpose of completing a County-operations greenhouse gas inventory is to assess emissions stemming from County-owned operations such as buildings, etc. The inventory will be updated annually with support from the Linn County Sustainability Department and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives to help review and monitor progress toward the goals and objectives of Linn County’s climate resolutions.
- This inventory will help create collaborations among Linn County departments through the Sustainability Council and spread awareness of implementing more sustainable initiatives.
- View the Greenhouse Gas Inventory (PDF)
- Pumpkin Smash & Compost at the Ely Public Library
- Tabling about Good Neighbor Iowa at Raygun
- Environmental Justice Workshops
- Women in Sustainability Three-Part Education Series
- Compost Stew
- How to Make Your Own Compost Bin
- Presenting to an AP Environmental Science & Ijag classes at Washington High School
- Upcycled Sustainable Ornament Workshop
- Martin Luther King Day Book Drive
- Presentation at BlendEd/Washington High School about Leaders in Sustainability
- Four R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse)
- Water Quality Scavenger Hunt at Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department
- Sustainable Periods Product Drive
In response to the derecho storm in August 2020, Linn County created and continues to build and improve the first-ever Linn County Resiliency Hub. The hub is focused on providing access to three initial critical resources: electricity, actionable information, and local and nutritious food. Linn County seeks to provide a model for other municipalities to create hubs of their own.
The resiliency hub, located at the County-owned Fillmore building at 520 11th St. NW in Cedar Rapids, will focus on providing access to essential resources, which are especially critical in times of crisis. The resiliency hub aims to provide a space where the local community can access critical resources on a regular basis. Through trusted community partnerships, invested and caring donors, and County leadership, the resiliency hub has proven to be an innovative space that fosters community and strength.
Linn County Workplace Community Supported Agriculture Program
Increasing access to healthy, locally grown foods is critically important to our health and well-being. Community supported agriculture (CSA) increases access to healthy, locally grown foods, which is critically important to our health and well-being. CSA programs are an agreement between community members and local farmers.
Worksite CSA programs work well because they provide a convenient location for farmers to easily deliver shares to a large group of shareholders. CSA programs offered through worksites help support the local environment and economy, which ultimately benefit the farm and its employees.
Local Farm Tour
The goal of the farm tour is to educate consumers and customers on the importance of buying and eating locally. A farm tour connects local consumers and customers to farmers and growers. This opportunity creates a space where farmers/growers can show their work to consumers and consumers are able to see where and how their food is grown.
Food Systems Symposium
The goal of the food systems symposium is to facilitate networking and creating connections among food system stakeholders such as farmers/growers and institutions.
Sydney Evans is a Green Iowa AmeriCorps (GIA) member in the Linn County Sustainability Department. During her term, she is focusing on strengthening local food systems by creating and facilitating educational opportunities. In addition to her role as a GIA member, Sydney is also completing her master’s in public health at the University of Iowa, College of Public Health in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health.
Lizzie Weems is originally from Kansas and graduated last spring from George Mason University with a bachelor’s degree in Government and International Relations and a minor in sustainability. This past summer, she acted as her hometown’s first-ever sustainability intern and helped address the impacts of climate change for the senior population. Her passions lie in energy equity and understanding the local government’s role in combating the climate crisis while balancing economic interests. The Green Iowa AmeriCorps Program with the Linn County Sustainability Department is allowing her to gain hands-on experience of the inner workings of the political process.