The Green Iowa volunteers: Alexandra Crow, Taylor Kneisley, Dustin Scott, Prana Miller, and Doug Tuers
Zach Wright teaching a soil alchemy workshop at MUM’s Living Soil Lab sponsored by Green Iowa
Students up-cycling bags out of T-shirts during the MUM Sustainability Series
The Green Iowa team advertising their energy audits and weatherization services at 1st Fridays Art Walk
MUM Alumni Join Team of AmeriCorp Volunteers
Four MUM alumni joined AmeriCorps in September as volunteers to help the University and Jefferson County improve energy efficiency and sustainability. The volunteers are part of Green Iowa, a state and National AmeriCorps program that has existed since 2009. MUM is one of six Green Iowa host sites in the state. AmeriCorp volunteers serve for 11 months and receive a stipend during that time.
The team offers sustainability education events, community outreach, free residential energy audits, and low-cost or free home weatherization to the community. The volunteers are also working with MUM’s sustainability committee in order to document the University’s sustainability practices and increase its rating by the American Association of Sustainability in Higher Education.
Since education is of the main goals of the Green Iowa program, the volunteers are hosting a sustainability event series on the MUM campus to teach students about energy conservation, weatherization, and other topics and skills students find useful.
“I see that so many parts of our university are really interested in sustainability,” said Alexandra Crow, logistics coordinator and Sustainable Living graduate. “My personal goal is to spread sustainability to all the students because it’s so integral to the whole campus.” Other team members include Sustainable Living alumni Taylor Kneisley, audit coordinator and Prana Miller, marketing coordinator; Media and Communications graduate Dustin Scott, outreach coordinator; and Doug Tuers, education coordinator.
The team also plans to reach out to the public school system to introduce children to basic concepts of sustainability and conservation. Another aspect of their services includes volunteer generation to engage the community in larger events such as tree planting and environmental beautification.
Team members are excited to use the various skills acquired during their MUM education and give back to the community. They also approach their educational mission with creativity and an open mind. “If there is an event people want to attend, we can create it,” said Prana Miller.
To find out more about the program, go towww.greeniowaamericorps.org