116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY - Kids in Iowa City have the opportunity to make a difference in their community through mini climate action grants available through the city.
This is the fourth year Iowa City has offered residents grants to inspire and promote involvement in Iowa City's Climate Action and Adaptation Plan.
To qualify, projects should aim to increase energy efficiency, encourage low or no-emissions transportation, minimize waste and consumption of valuable resources, protect and promote natural environments and support sustainable lifestyle choices.
While the public application period is over, the city still would consider applications from students, said Ashley Monroe, Iowa City assistant city manager.
Grant recipients will be announced later this month, with funds available beginning July 1.
The student climate action grants are $500, but Monroe said this amount could be flexible and the city is open to considering projects that cost more.
'We're trying to open the doors to anything people can imagine and engage people at all levels,” Monroe said. 'If we could have the members of our community getting excited and share it with people, that message gets spread.”
Some ideas Monroe could see coming from students include promoting a 'walking school bus.” Instead of parents driving their kids to and from school, students walk together, with supervision, to get everyone to school or home safely while lowering the carbon footprint.
Another idea could be creating a neighborhood compost site or holding a picnic to educate residents about how to live a more sustainable lifestyle, Monroe said.
Projects should be ready to be implemented and can be completed within a year and be sustainable beyond the project period, or replicable in the future.
The budget this year for climate action grants is $60,000, and the maximum amount of funding that can be requested for each project is $10,000 for a climate action grant. The student mini-grants are $500. but are flexible.
The funding for the climate action grants comes from the Iowa City Emergency Levy, which is part of city property tax bills, Monroe said.
Last year, the city awarded eight climate action grants. Previous grant recipients include:
' Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development and Grow: Johnson County, which partnered to purchase potato digger equipment to enhance availability of culturally familiar and versatile foods found in local food parties and farmers markets.
' Field to Family, a nonprofit that provides food system education to Iowa City and Cedar Rapids residents, increased access to local foods through a no-contact farmers market last year. It distributed free boxes of produce to neighborhoods with limited transportation and access to market produce last summer.
' Beadology, a local bead, supply and repair store, made eco-friendly improvements to its historic building including lighting and heating efficiency.
' Bicycle Happiness is a locally organized group that presented bicycle education seminars for children and adults to encourage safe, confident bike riding coordinated with Iowa City Parks and Recreation.
' The Highlander Hotel in Iowa City received assistance with installation of electric vehicle charging stations.
' Iowa Interfaith Power and Light and area churches partnered to conduct workshops to help people learn how to lower their carbon footprints and focus on the relationship between food and climate.
City staff check in with grant recipients throughout the year to monitor progress. For more information, visit icgov.org or contact Ashley Monroe at Ashley-Monroe@Iowa-City.org or call 319-356-5012.
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