AmeriCorps Week 2018
Ashley Lookenhouse, Green Iowa Education Coordinator 2017-18
The week of March 11th to 17th is AmeriCorps Week. Launched in May 2007, AmeriCorps week is dedicated to giving recognition to the nearly 80,000 members that complete yearly National Service terms. There are many different positions that AmeriCorps members serve in from working in school systems to working in National Parks and everything in between.
One way that AmeriCorps members serve communities is in partnerships with local nonprofit organizations to help make their missions more successful. Now in its 8th year in Decorah, Green Iowa AmeriCorps partners with the Winneshiek Energy District. This partnership has allowed for more than 500 home energy assessments, more than 3,000 hours of community outreach and volunteering, encouraged more than 815 community members to volunteer, and engaged more than 5,000 community members in more than 200 educational events in and around the Decorah Community, just in the last three years!
As the Energy District movement has grown so has Green Iowa AmeriCorps’ impacts on Northeastern Iowa. Partnerships with the Clayton County Energy District and the Howard County Energy District have allowed the Green Iowa AmeriCorps team to not only spread a message of energy efficiency and sustainability to Winneshiek County, but also to Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, and Howard counties through educational events, community outreach and home energy assessments.
Some of the programs that the Green Iowa team has put together over the years include: Bike to Work Week, Decorah Open Streets, a screening of Ken Burns’ National Parks, and Green Home Tours. You will often see Green Iowa members working with after school programs and day camps too!
This AmeriCorps week the Green Iowa AmeriCorps team partnered with other local AmeriCorps members, from FoodCorps (Postville, IA) and 4H Outreach AmeriCorps (Waukon, IA) to talk about the History of National Service. They hosted Terry Buenzow from the Winneshiek County Recycling Center to talk about waste reduction and the best practices of recycling. Lastly, they tabled at Luther College to talk to students about opportunities to serve with Green Iowa AmeriCorps and focused on promoting AmeriCorps programs through social media posts. In all the ways Green Iowa Americorps serves the community, they represent the Americorps Program dedication to “get things done.”