Welcome to the City of Iowa City Sustainability webpage!
Iowa City is committed to being a leader in sustainable community development. Sustainability Coordinator Brenda Nations helps ensure that Iowa City's public services and planning efforts are rooted in sustainable principles.
The City of Iowa City received a 4-STAR Community Rating for sustainability excellence by being formally certified in the STAR Community Rating System, or Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating Communities. Learn more about Iowa City's current rating, and efforts to improve to its sustainability practices by visiting, www.icgov.org/STAR.
We invite you to browse our pages and learn more about Iowa City's sustainability efforts:
Take action by participating in current sustainability programs and activities. Browse reports and become educated about Iowa City's current climate situation.
Sustainable Iowa City Newsletter
Stay up-to-date with sustainability news in Iowa City by subscribing to the Sustainable Iowa City newsletter at www.icgov.org/e-subscriptions. Enter your e-mail and check the sustainability box.
Learn more about Iowa City's sustainability superstars who are making our community a better place to live, work and play.
November Feature: Ilsa DeWald, Johnson County, Local Foods Coordinator
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability requires us to think about the future with the same regard as the present. It necessitates incorporating broader environmental and social impacts into decision making, rather than just financial outputs. Sustainability is not one person or one action, whether or not we are acting sustainably is dependent on our collective impact.
What actions have you taken to promote sustainability?
During my undergraduate days at the University of Iowa, I co-lead many projects and programs through student groups, the UI Environmental Coalition and the UI Gardeners, and as an intern at the UI Office of Sustainability. I started a composting program, advocated for environmentally beneficial policies, and encouraged people to use reusable bags and water bottles and to swap or thrift instead of filling up the landfill. I was fortunate to meet a great group of people excited about growing food together and then find similar enthusiasm about sharing food and gardening while working at the North Liberty Community Pantry. I learned how to grow vegetables by working and sharing stories with beginning and experienced gardeners and farmers. I have continued to grow food and share conversations about the things that matter over locally grown, home cooked meals. I challenge myself to continue learning and actively listening to the members of our community--building connections and maintaining relationships. I ask questions about how decisions impact our environment and our community and stay involved to work towards solutions. I advocate for community-based food systems that provide healthy foods for all people, regenerate our soil and waterways, and enhance the quality of life in our communities.
What other efforts should we consider to advance sustainability?
Building sustainable and regenerative communities requires systems change. Our ability to change systems comes from listening to one another, creating spaces for people to lead with their strengths and be honest about their weaknesses, and gathering as a collective voice about how we want our city, our community, our workplace, our neighborhood, or our block to thrive.
If you want to do something today—buy your food locally. Get to know your food and folks growing it. Check out CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares from local farms. Check out Little Village’s guide from 2018.