After gaining support from various local businesses in Northeast Detroit to provide trash pick-up, our team organized another community clean-up event on E. 7 mile. After 4 hours of hard labor, our team filled up about 30 biodegradable plastic bags of wood, paper, and other trash in the community. Continue reading →
This post is by Eli Shepherd, a program leader with the Iowa City, Iowa program.
This summer, the Iowa City Summer of Solutions (ICSoS) Our Power project hosted two public forums on rental energy efficiency issues. With all stakeholders working collaboratively- tenants, landlords, utilities, city officials, and community members- we developed a comprehensive list of barriers to energy efficiency for both tenants and landlords, as well as possible solutions. We then, with the help of a local energy efficiency consultant, developed a comprehensive recommendation to Iowa City City Council based on the most feasible solutions. Kira Stoller of the ICSoS Our Power team then prepared and presented our recommendation to council during the community comment period at the most recent council meeting and we will continue to communicate with the city in order to, with any luck, implement much if not all of our recommendations. Without further ado, here is what we came to council with, hope you like it!
Part of the Iowa City Our Power team following the first public forum.
I was extremely lucky to be able to visit the Summer of Solutions Oakland for their closing ceremony last night. Before I get into the bulk of my blog post and the fantastic work that the program leaders and participants have done with and for the Fruitvale community, I want to start out by asking you, the person reading this blog, to send $10, $20, $50, or $100 to their crowdfunding campaign. I just donated and I invite you to join me in supporting the locally driven efforts of Summer of Solutions Oakland. Here’s why.
SoS Oakland campers await their turn to graduate from camp.
Around this time two years ago, my sister Natalie and I hatched the idea for Growing Food and Sustainability. It’s amazing to see how far our program has come since then, when it was just words and a vague vision in our minds.
Our first year taught us so much: we kept a garden alive in a record drought, learned that 9 weeks of continuous summer camp is too much, discovered how to form a close-knit team in three months, and found out that working 55+ hours per week all summer ends up burning you out before the fall harvest. We met amazing kids, ate delicious produce, got a darker tan than ever before, and tried so many new things. It was exhausting, exciting, hard, inspiring, and we knew we wanted to give it a go for a second season.
This summer must have big plans for something fun in the fall, because it sure is in a hurry to get there! It has been a whirlwind of a few months here at Summer of Solutions in Iowa City, and we’ve been making the most of it in the ‘Sustainable Art’ group under the direction of Nick Gerken. Though we have been sparsely populated, we’ve had some great assistance from our friends in ‘Our Power’ and ‘Iowa City Roots’. With whoever we could grab, we have traveled to camps all summer, working on crafts with kids and talking to them about the environment.
These camps include Taproot, Pheasant Ridge, and two Wildlife camps (Hawk and Fox). At Pheasant Ridge, we had the same group of kids that all live in the same neighborhood every Wednesday. We did many projects with them and got to spend a lot of time with them. Some of our crafts included weaving mats, pinwheels, and birdhouses. We really enjoyed our time there, which we wrapped up July 31 by going to a nearby park after making parachute toys with plastic bags. It brings a smile to my face when I think of some of the things our Pheasant Ridge kids talked to us about, even though we sometimes struggled to keep them on task. Continue reading →
Hi my name is Chanel and I work for the Chicago Summer of Solutions. I began working with them through YEP (Youth Employment Program). I really enjoy working with Summer of Solutions because it’s showed me a lot of things I didn’t know. I’m still open minded to know more but from what I have done so far it has been the best experience. I signed up to work with Children’s Garden at The United Church of Rogers Park. However, we recently began new garden classes at the Westwood Manor nursing home where we run a greenhouse. We teach the kids from the YMCA Summer Camp next door about gardening so they will start their own garden with their families.
There are countless and valuable things I have learned as an intern of Growing Food and Sustainability. In this entry, I want to talk briefly about my feelings over using young people as productive power across cultures. I was born and raised in Taiwan, a country where Chinese is the dominant culture. After coming to the US to study as an undergraduate student, I observed difference in people’s attitude and faith in what children and young people could achieve between the two continents.
Nothing has moved me more than seeing our members cooperate and accomplish so many things with our bare hands and sweat. Within a couple months, we restarted compost, weeded and seeded the Youth Farm, ran a stand at the Farmers’ Market, set up a drip irrigation system, and built a fence around the farm to protect vegetables from hungry wild animals. The children at the summer camp also eagerly participated in our farm works. They proved to me that young people, even teenagers, are just as capable at many tasks as older adults are.
The team joined the farmer’s market at kaiser today where there was a great turnout. I can say that it was a great success and a wonderful opportunity. We will have the chance to vend next week as well. It was a great feeling to be able to speak with members of the community about our projects. It was also really refreshing to see familiar and interested faces who believe in the things that we want to keep pushing for, more community involvement.
Below are photos from the past couple of weeks. Enjoy!
During these past four weeks at Raleigh Strong Camp, we have learned many lessons and played many games. Although they were all enjoyable and fun, my favorite lesson so far has been Sisterhood. With camp in general it is a struggle to make sure everyone gets along, and to keep the drama to a minimum. By with this being an all-girls camp, I thought it would be even more of challenge. So I was excited to hear about the Sisterhood lesson that was going to be taught on the first day.
Walking into camp, I was nervous, because like many people, I don’t like to share my feelings openly. Continue reading →
The Our Power project has had a lot going on recently. Throughout our canvassing most people have been more than willing to listen to us talk about our project and some have even invited us into their homes to escape the heat. We have come across a number of residents- both renters and homeowners- who have expressed an interest in making their homes more energy efficient. Thanks to a donation from the University of Iowa we have been able to offer these individuals free low flow shower heads. Thus far, two homes in the Northside neighborhood have signed up for our weatherization and a few others indicated that they want MidAmerican to conduct a free energy audit of their property. Continue reading →