Green Iowa AmeriCorps - Sustainable Schools

Green Iowa AmeriCorps - Sustainable Schools


For my independent project, I have been collecting research on plate waste and its impact on our environment and culture. Please share how important it is to value food and avoid throwing it away with your friends and family!
SUMMER 2020 APPLICATIONS ARE OUT! If you are interested in serving within local school districts near you, consider applying for a Sustainable Schools Summer Steward position. Visit our site at to apply today!
Here's a great new educational website on the story of food waste! Check it out:

Sustainable Schools works to reduce district-wide energy costs and assist teachers and staff in implementing environmental project-based learning initiatives.

The Sustainable Schools branch of the Green Iowa AmeriCorps program operates out of the University of Northern Iowa's Center for Energy and Environmental Education. Our program hopes to train the next generation of ‘green-collar’ workers by giving them the hands-on education and experience needed to promote a more sustainable community. Members have the opportunity to enhance leadership abilities

Operating as usual


Green Iowa AmeriCorps is still hiring to fill our summer service positions all across the state!

Passionate about the environment? Want to make a difference in your community while developing yourself professionally? Come serve with us! ☀️

Applications close May 13th - Apply today!

Photos from Green Iowa AmeriCorps - Sustainable Schools's post 04/19/2022

Happy Earth Week 🌎 To celebrate, we organized a campus trash clean up 🚮 students at Holmes Jr. High helped the CFCSD team pick up 30 pounds of trash from around the school grounds in just 30 minutes ‼️Thanks to everyone who helped!

Photos from Green Iowa AmeriCorps - Sustainable Schools's post 03/23/2022

♻️ St. Columbkille’s elementary Green Team found out what happens to the recycling in the Dubuque area before heading out to to learn more about where trash goes. With this knowledge, they’re ready to share it with their classmates 🤝


sustainable schools assisted with a tour of DMASWA] landfill and neighboring gas facility with students. 🌎 Did you know 15% of human methane emissions in the US is from landfills?( 😳 DMASWA] captures methane from the landfill, and another facility cleans and injects it into the natural gas pipeline. ♻️


Sustainable Schools is hanging out at Loras College today recruiting for summer ☀️ Know someone looking for something fun to do this summer, while getting paid?! Send them our way! ~ ~

Photos from Green Iowa AmeriCorps - Sustainable Schools's post 02/24/2022

Interested in learning more about conservation topics?? Join us Tuesday, March 1st from 6-8:30 pm for the Cedar Valley Community Conservation Workshop! 🪴There will be presentations about soil restoration, homeowner energy efficiency, lawn management and much more ☀️ The CFCSD Sustainable Schools team will also be giving a presentation about waste reduction efforts in the district! ♻️ send us a message if you’d like the link to register 🙂

Photos from Green Iowa AmeriCorps - Sustainable Schools's post 02/16/2022

Let's take a moment to recognize Clear Creek Amana Middle School for receiving an award!

The Sylvan Runkel Environmental Education School Award for outstanding whole-school environmental education program has been granted to the school for their efforts in creating an outdoor classroom and integrating sustainability and STEM into students' daily lives.

Green Iowa AmeriCorps members were active in bringing to life the outdoor classroom, a feature that offers students the chance to be outside, physically active, and participate in social-emotional learning.

The award is given by the Iowa Association of Naturalists (IAN) and the Iowa Conservation Education Coalition (ICEC). For more information about the award, go here:


That’s a whole lotta lights! sustainable schools branch has partnered with for the last two years for holiday lights collection for recycling ♻️ with . This year we diverted 850 pounds of Christmas lights from the landfill!


In honor of the MLK Day of Service, Lauren volunteered at Table to Table, a food rescue organization in Johnson County that works to reduce food insecurity. Lauren is currently serving as the sustainability education coordinator with Clear Creek Amana Sustainable Schools.

To read more about MLK Day and its connection to AmeriCorps, head to the blog:

Photos from Green Iowa AmeriCorps - Sustainable Schools's post 01/13/2022

Have you heard? We're hiring!

Green Iowa AmeriCorps is currently recruiting for 6-month positions in each of the three branches: Sustainable Schools, Land & Water Stewards, and Energy & Community.

Interested? Do you know someone who may be? Please share this post with them!

For more information and to apply, visit

If you're interested in summer positions, keep an eye out for the application to open in February!

Photos from Green Iowa AmeriCorps - Sustainable Schools's post 01/03/2022

NICC Sustainable Schools Members Kara and Piper partnered with Winneshiek County Conservation and Winneshiek County Recycling to host a sustainable gift wrapping workshop in December, just in time for the holidays!

Participants learned about the waste associated with holiday gifting (Did you know that most wrapping paper can't be recycled?!), and were able to make their own holiday ornamentations out of natural and recyclable materials.

Check out the GIA blog for tips about 'greening' the way you gift and how you decorate for not only the holidays, but birthdays, anniversaries, and other festive occasions:

How did you make your holiday season more sustainable?


This week, GIA members with DMASWA wrapped up their final 8th grade presentations in the Dubuque Community School District at Jefferson Middle School! Students not only learned how trash is managed at the landfill, but also had open discussions on how we can rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle!

Photos from Green Iowa AmeriCorps - Sustainable Schools's post 11/24/2021

GIA members worked with high school students to complete a waste audit at the school. They were able to evaluate how many items are being sorted incorrectly! Now students will prepare a solution to get the recycling back on track.


Where is away? 🚮Students at Roosevelt Middle School in Dubuque, IA learned what happens when their trash leaves the curbside and heads to the landfill. They also learned about different methods of diversion. Following the presentations, GIA members Codi & Natalie with DMASWA led students on landfill tours to find out where "away" exactly is! 🌎

Photos from Green Iowa AmeriCorps - Sustainable Schools's post 10/27/2021

Meet the 2021-2022 SS members with Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency, Natalie and Codi!

Natalie Holl has started her first term of service with Green Iowa AmeriCorps. “I was born and raised in Dubuque, IA. I am excited to be serving within the local community I grew up with. I am enthusiastic about environmental education and love working with all ages!”

Codi Sharkey is a returning member. “I am entering my fourth and final term with Green Iowa AmeriCorps Sustainable Schools. I thoroughly enjoy working with people of all ages to get them excitedly curious about nature and ways we can preserve it! In my spare time I like to fish, bird watch, and nerd out in nature!”

Green Iowa AmeriCorps is hiring passionate, dedicated members interested in making a difference in communities, schools, and environments across Iowa! Check out for more information!

Photos from Green Iowa AmeriCorps - Sustainable Schools's post 10/20/2021

Students at the Lincoln Elementary School carnival in Dubuque, IA had a blast learning about "Magic Worms!" With the help of DMASWA Green Iowa Sustainable Schools AmeriCorps member Natalie, students learned about the basics of vermicomposting!

Photos from Green Iowa AmeriCorps - Sustainable Schools's post 08/10/2021

CFCSD members recently had the opportunity to join GIA land & water stewards in testing the water quality along Dry Run Creek and at the Prairie Lakes in Cedar Falls.

Thanks to Cedar Valley Water Watchers, you can view the data that was recorded, as well as an interactive map of the sites tested:

Several elements were tested, including temperature, phosphate, chloride, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. This type of monitoring is done regularly to ensure the health of local water bodies.

Photos from Green Iowa AmeriCorps - Sustainable Schools's post 08/03/2021

One requirement Green Iowa members must fulfill is to carry out an independent project. Members choose a topic and project based on their unique interests, with the intent that it would create a positive impact in their community.

Here are two examples of projects currently in progress:
Elena, a CFCSD summer member, is planning to construct small habitats, specifically for pollinators and insects found among the prairie plant life surrounding Holmes and Peet Junior High Schools.

These habitats, built by Elena, will be created using a mix of natural materials and upcycled objects the insects would like and use. Elena’s currently in the process of communicating with the schools and gathering supplies! Pictured are some of the materials Elena has accumulated and is hoping to work with, including natural elements and a small kitchen cabinet.

Fellow summer member Emma is creating a Composting 101 guide in the form of a website. It will help homeowners start their own composting bin with easy step-by-step instructions. She chose this project to give families a simple way to become more sustainable!

Now, tell us: what would your independent project be if you got to choose one? Or, if you're a previous member, what was your project?


Green Iowa AmeriCorps is now hiring passionate, dedicated members interested in making a difference in communities, schools, and environments across Iowa!

We're looking to fill 60+ positions in the following cities: Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Des Moines, Dubuque, Ames, Decorah, Oskaloosa, C**n Rapids, Tiffin, Calmar, Burlington, and Okoboji!

If you or someone you know is interested in one of our full-time, 11-month, national service positions you can learn more and apply online at


Congratulations to Codi Sharkey who received the Governor's Volunteer Award for Outstanding Commitment and Service today. Codi serves with the DMASWA Education Office and assists with environmental education efforts in the Dubuque community.


Self-seeded sunflowers at one of the school gardens in Cedar Falls are host to pollinators like these bees.

According to the Iowa DNR, between 300-400 native bee species likely exist in the state. In addition, more than 2000 species of moths and about 110 butterfly species have been recorded throughout Iowa.

Let’s hear it for the numerous pollinators doing critical work!

Photos from Green Iowa AmeriCorps - Sustainable Schools's post 07/08/2021

Last Friday, our team at BHCSWMC toured the water treatment facility and got to see the water-waste side of things that they don’t normally work with! It was a great learning experience and they are now able to translate that into their future lessons.


One of the highlights this summer has been the educational visits our teams are able to take part in. Recently, the Cedar Falls Community School District team went to the UNI Botanical Center for a guided tour, in which we learned much about the sights and smells of the plants growing there.

Thanks for the wonderful tour, University of Northern Iowa Botanical Center!


Take 3 For the Mississippi


Chances are that if you're into nature, you've heard about the swarms of cicadas that covered the east coast back in May. While Iowa is not home to any of this year's periodical cicadas, it's now the perfect time of year to spot some annual cicadas, like this shiny new dog day cicada spotted in Waterloo by one of our members. We're hoping they are living their best loud life!

Videos (show all)

Time to wake up, Iowa! And check out this study conducted by the University of Northern Iowa:
‪Van Meter SS got the goats🐐🐐‼️Our new friends will help clear out the invasive species around Bulldog Basin✨🌿‬
Van Meter School Controlled Burn a Success
Celebrating the first 5 months of AmeriCorps at Van Meter School





University Of Northern Iowa CEEE Room 111
Cedar Falls, IA

General information

Our main office is located in Cedar Falls, but our members work in school districts throughout Iowa to improve the environmental literacy of students and to reduce energy usage and waste in schools.

Our participating school districts for the 2019-2020 program year include:
- Bondurant-Farrar CSD
- Cedar Falls CSD
- Clear Creek Amana CSD
- Dubuque Community SD
- Holy Family Catholic Schools
- Iowa City CSD
- Van Meter CSD
- Vinton-Shellsburg CSD
- Waverly-Shell Rock CSD

Opening Hours

Monday 8am - 4pm
Tuesday 8am - 4pm
Wednesday 8am - 4pm
Thursday 8am - 4pm
Friday 8am - 4pm
Saturday 1pm - 2pm
Sunday 1pm - 4pm

Other High Schools in Cedar Falls (show all)
CFHS Softball Tigers CFHS Softball Tigers
1015 S Division St
Cedar Falls, 50613

Cedar Falls High School Symphonic Orchestra Cedar Falls High School Symphonic Orchestra
1015 Division St
Cedar Falls, 50613

Division I - High School Symphonic Orchestra

Valley Lutheran School Fine Arts Valley Lutheran School Fine Arts
4520 Rownd St
Cedar Falls, 50613

Valley Lutheran School Chorus, Drama and Speech. To glorify God with the gifts he gave us! Singing, concerts, speech, service... Valley Lutheran Sings!