Linn County’s Office of Sustainability has teamed up with Green Iowa AmeriCorps. The partnership was a natural fit as both organizations strive to make Iowa a more environmentally-friendly state. This Linn County Connection blog post shares background on the program and highlights the work Green Iowa AmeriCorps members Emma Castiblanco and Michael Garner are doing to make our community more environmentally sustainable.
Green Iowa AmeriCorps
Green Iowa AmeriCorps is part of the larger AmeriCorps program, a federal program connecting individuals with community projects and service work. Specifically, Green Iowa AmeriCorps collaborates with nonprofits and organizations that work to make communities greener, a mission that aligns with many of the overall goals of Linn County Sustainability.
Two members from Green Iowa AmeriCorps joined Linn County Sustainability this past fall: Emma Castiblanco and Michael Garner. Linn County Sustainability is Emma’s first service term with Green Iowa AmeriCorps, and she recently graduated from Haverford College as a Biology Major and Environmental Studies Minor this past spring.
“For the past four years, I have studied the environment from a distance, through coursework, books and classes. Being able to take all the environmental theory I have learned and turn it into action has been an incredible feeling. I am so impressed by all the work being done by Linn County Sustainability, and I am proud to be helping in any way I can,” said Emma about her service term with Linn County.
Michael is a returning Green Iowa AmeriCorps member, having completed his first service term with Matthew 25 on the Energy & Community branch of Green Iowa AmeriCorps. Before starting his first service term, Michael graduated from Furman University with a degree in Sustainability Science.
“Being a Green Iowa AmeriCorps member, I have been able to utilize the knowledge I have gained through my coursework about Urban Sustainability into making real differences and impact. It is awesome to see all the amazing environmental work being done in Iowa and to be a part of it is inspiring to see. My first service term was an amazing experience and I am excited to assist Linn County Sustainability with their efforts during my second term,” Michael reflected, on his previous and current service term.
The two members serve for an 11-month term, working to fulfill their roles as Land & Water Stewards, the branch of Green Iowa AmeriCorps that addresses issues concerning water quality and land management. Their projects include educating the public on composting, recycling, and other sustainable topics, as well as creating a program to clean up the Cedar River and its tributaries, and developing a community garden.
This Linn County Connection blog post was written by Green Iowa AmeriCorps Member Emma Castiblanco.