The CCA Green Iowa AmeriCorps Coordinators
Hello CCA students, parents, and faculty! My name is Emily Blenck and I am the 2022-23 Sustainability Coordinator for the CCA School District. I am set to graduate from the University of Iowa in December of 2022 with a B.A. in Political Science and a certificate in Sustainability Studies: yay Hawkeyes! In my free time I love to read, go on nature walks, grow house plants, and play Animal Crossing. I am super excited to be working with everyone this year and look forward to the different opportunities in sustainability that this term will bring. If you have any ideas, concerns, or comments about my work at CCA CSD, feel free to email me. Go Clippers!
Email: emilyblenck at ccaschools.org
What is Green Iowa AmeriCorps
Our mission is to empower Iowa's communities and school districts to make more environmental, conservation-minded decisions and improvements by engaging our AmeriCorps members in direct service work, environmental education, professional development opportunities, and volunteer engagement.
We are to be a resource and catalyst for Iowa School districts to build a more energized and sustainable future.
Green Iowa at CCA:
CCA has two full time members in addition to one summer member. Currently there is one vacant spot for the full-time member. Lauren is currently at the school and will be working in the district for 11 months. Lauren is in her junior year at the University of Iowa for Environmental Planning and Policy.
One full-time member acts as the education and outreach coordinator. Their position focuses on environmental education development and implementation within the host site and host site community.
The other full-time member is the sustainability and operations coordinator. They primarily focus on operational sustainability, as well as developing best practices on how best to save on energy costs and increase sustainability efforts.
Projects so Far!
- Outdoor Classroom- members have been influential in assisting with grants and funding for the outdoor learning space.
- Sustainability curriculum- working on lessons that incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion, social and emotional learning, and environmental sustainability. Led a sustainability class and club during the 2020-21 school year.
- Recycling- collected, painted, and distributed the new blue recycling bins in classrooms.
- Composting- drafted a composting phase-in plan for the 2021-22 school year. Created lunchroom posters and materials for cafeterias.
- Geocaching- we have placed greeniowaatcca geocaches around the district area to advocate for getting outside.
To learn more about the state program and what we do, check out our website at https://www.greeniowaamericorps.org/.
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2023 Summer Stewards
Nettie Mahrt, Summer Steward
My name is Nettie Mahrt. I just finished my third year at the University of Iowa for Environmental Science and Global Information Systems. This summer I am a Summer Steward with Green Iowa. I look forward to introducing people to creatures that I love. I volunteer with the Iowa Raptor Project. My favorite birds out there are Tigerhawk, Walter, and Little Horn! When I am not learning or educating, I am playing games with my friends or snuggling with my cat.
Tanner Sorgenfrey, Summer Steward
Growing up, Tanner developed a deep connection with nature and a profound appreciation for sustainable living. Raised on the farm, he spent his childhood tending to the family's flock of sheep, witnessing firsthand the delicate balance between human activity and the environment.
After completing his education at Durant High School in Durant, Iowa, Tanner knew he wanted to make a difference in the world. He set his sights on the University of Iowa, determined to equip himself with the knowledge and skills to effect change. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Policy and Planning and a certificate in sustainability.
Recognizing the urgent need for action, he sought additional avenues to make a tangible impact. Inspired by his experiences working with the Iowa City School District and his education from UI, he became drawn to Green Iowa AmeriCorps Sustainable Schools.
Tanner joined Green Iowa AmeriCorps at Clear Creek Amana School District. In this role, he embraces the opportunity to engage with students and the local community, fostering awareness and a sense of responsibility towards the environment. His experiences with education and academic background provide him with the tools to effectively educate and inspire others to adopt sustainable practices.