What is The Green Iowa Americorps and How Can You Be Involved During Earth Day?


As we approach Earth Day on April 22, many wonder what they should do for our Earth. One organization in particular in Iowa has taken the lead on this environmentally friendly movement and inspires youth every step of the way.

The program started out as a small organization of only two service locations helping communities in need of reconstruction after the 2008 flood disaster. It is now known for its work with schools around iowa, the sustainable schools track, Land and Water Track, as well as continuing its efforts in energy conservation and preserving communities. With nearly twenty different locations around the state as of today, the organization continues to lead Iowa to an environmentally safe futur.

The program is inspired by the ability for individuals and passionate groups of people to make a difference in their community, their environment, and their own individual impact,” Director of the Green Iowa Americorps Program, Ashley Craft shared. 

The Green Iowa Americorps has been working with our CCA Community for some time now. Known for their assistance in the Clear Creek Amana Middle School Outdoor Classroom project, they have introduced a fun way of helping out the community. The goal is to strengthen students’ knowledge of food production, food consumption, and physical education.

This establishment has offered a comforting place to others to continue their learning and to pursue interests they are excited to learn more of. Erica Dodge, a member of the Green Iowa Americorps who works with the students here at CCAHS and CCAMS, voiced, “The Green Iowa AmeriCorps program provides me with experience with sustainability initiatives at a district level, but also gives me the opportunity to get into a classroom and teach about a subject I love.”

Overall they have done a lot of work in making schools around Iowa more sustainable. One way they are making a difference is by offering environmental education, service learning, and outreach opportunities directed towards sustainability. They have also focused their efforts on making buildings and other resources more environmentally friendly, such as school gardens and developing a system determining what can be recycled and what can be decomposed. 

After almost more than 13 years of hard work, Green Iowa Americorps organization plans on continuing its growth. Developing more service locations is only one part of the bigger picture they are trying to create.

There are many ways individuals like you can get involved. For example, the program looks to engage the youth with service opportunities, more education on nature, and overall more experience. There are both short and long term benefits from joining this program. Short term wise, students can learn about what they can do to impact the earth and the community in a positive way. Long term, it teaches about sustainability career choices that may interest some students. Joining the establishment and getting experienced while still in middle or high school is a great way to enter the field. 

Anyone over the age of 17 can apply to become a member during the summer to get involved and to get experience. If you are interested in joining you are able to apply here: https://www.greeniowaamericorps.org/open-positions

Green Iowa Americorps believes that the best thing to do to become more ecologically friendly is to just spend some time outdoors and enjoy it. “We typically do the most for the things we care about. If Iowans don’t have a relationship with their environment, and don’t spend time outdoors enjoying nature, it is going to be hard for them to do things on a regular basis that improves it. I don’t think people have to try and commit to making big changes but start by doing one little thing at a time and try to make those part of your daily habits, like using a reusable water bottle, recycling, or using less power at home,” Craft stated. 

There are many ways you can get engaged this year during Earth Day. With climate change and the amount of pollution in our world today we need to do everything we can to help out our planet. It doesn’t matter how small of a project you do to help, everything is a contributing factor when it comes to saving the Earth.