Iowa City Summer of Solutions is a grassroots organization that seeks to unite the local community around principles of sustainability, energy independence and ecological stewardship. Using education, public outreach and activism, we strive to be the rallying point each summer around which a more sustainable community may be built.
Projects and Summaries
The Iowa City Community School District is currently lacking in environmental education programs for K-12 students. To address this shortcoming, we plan to develop an AP Environmental Science curriculum to be used in Iowa City High schools, create ecologically-comprehensive lesson plans for young students, and organize week long Focus the Nation events for K-6 graders. Furthermore, we hope to promote equitable access to these resources so that students from various income brackets, age groups, and cultural backgrounds can have exposure to environmental education.
Renewable energy generation at the school district level is one step on the path towards a more sustainable Iowa City, but adopting programs to promote renewable energy in schools is economically and politically very difficult. Our organization plans to explore the possibility of installing solar panels on at least one high school in the Iowa City Community School District. Working closely with the Iowa City School Board, local educators and school administrators, and partnering nonprofit organizations, we plan to identify possible sources of funding for such energy installations, generate support for this issue throughout the community, and create a visible issue behind which all sustainability groups in Iowa City can rally.
Although much of the Iowa City community is familiar with the concept of sustainability, many people are unsure of specific and effective means of making their daily lives more sustainable. We plan to develop a series of primers detailing 20 simple ways in which Iowa City households, businesses, organizations and individuals can lower their carbon footprint. By tailoring these suggestions directly to citizens of Iowa City, our organization will provide unambiguous and readily available ways for locals to integrate principles of sustainability in their daily lives.