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,

We invite you to browse our pages and learn more about Iowa City's sustainability efforts:

Sustainability Initiatives and Reports  

Take action by participating in current sustainability programs and activities. Browse reports and become educated about Iowa City's current climate situation. 

Featured projects: 

Sustainable Iowa City Newsletter 

Stay up-to-date with sustainability news in Iowa City by subscribing to the Sustainable Iowa City newsletter at Enter your e-mail and check the sustainability box. 

Stay Connected 

Follow the City of Iowa City on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram using #SustainableIC
Contact the Sustainability Coordinator at or 319-887-6161

Sustainability Spotlight 

Learn more about Iowa City's sustainability superstars who are making our community a better place to live, work and play. 

February Feature: Scott Koepke, Co-founder & Education Director, Grow: Johnson County ​

Scott Koepke, Co-founder & Education Director at Grow Johnson County.

What sustainability means to me:

When I define sustainability with children, I sum it up with the simple phrase: “You gotta give more than you take.” If all we do is extract from ecosystems, we aren’t honoring the ancient wisdom of regeneration, not to mention the moral responsibility we have to leave the planet better than how we found it for our children, a planet with finite resources that, too often, are polluted. “Just because we can doesn’t mean we should,” is another mantra I encourage. And, for a system to be sustainable, ecologically or economically, we need to create level playing fields.

My actions to improve sustainability:

I characterize my outreach as the Garden Bridge of Healing, connecting food insecurity and incarceration with a belief that nurturing plants nurtures people, both nutritionally and socially.  I am so blessed to be able to get up every day and help feed people who simply cannot afford to purchase fresh produce, grow growers, and build soil health (the foundation of it all!). Our mission is driven by the belief that nutrition is a human right, and research affirms that when we’re healthier physiologically, we’re healthier psychologically.

Other efforts we can consider to advance sustainability:

We all eat. Advancing food security can build common ground in a political climate where we often struggle to agree on what a fact is. If we diversify botanical systems, we can create more agricultural markets. But we must first, at both the public and private levels, prioritize food production in budgets. If we’re really committed to this value, show me the money. Municipally, we can consider codifying Urban Agriculture in our zoning language and ordinances, as many other communities have done, which can attract more food processing infrastructures as well. This needn’t be controversial. Finally, I would urge all of us, in whatever small way we can find, to model peaceful conflict resolution. The garden is my sacred ground of hope.



Sustainability Services