By Kate Johnson of the Iowa City, Iowa program.
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
By William Perry of the Iowa City, Iowa program
After a week long orientation with our group leaders Nick Gerken, Eli Shepherd, and Kate Anstreicher, we split up into subgroups run by each leader geared toward specific causes. Eli is in charge of ‘Our Power,’ which is an energy sustainability initiative with an end goal of addressing the split incentive issue for city counsel in regards to rental properties in Iowa City. Kate leads ‘Iowa City Roots,’ which is a community gardening force working with the Iowa City landfill to implement a composting collection service for downtown businesses. Then there is ‘Sustainable Art,’ the program that I am in. Nick heads this subgroup and our weekly activities for a range of summer camps with the goal of educating about waste and waste management through hands on activities and recycled artwork. Our group of about four people just recently came up with an idea we are very excited about: downtown window painting.
- Children painting windows as part of the Iowa City Downtown District’s ‘Kidows’ initiative. Continue reading