Iowa-Based and National Sustainability Resources


Greenhorns is a seven-year-old grassroots organization that works to support new farmers in America. Their work is unconventional and various. They focus on event organizing, in-person networking, mixers, celebrations and workshops, as well as the production of traditional and new media: radio, documentary film, blog, a book of essays, guidebooks, and web-based tools. Their goal over the next generation is to retrofit the food system and build a thriving agricultural economy for healthy regions, healthy watersheds and a healthy farm culture. Greenhorns believes their movement can succeed with strong communication, solid business skills, sustainable farm practices and, most importantly, teamwork.

Project Owlnet

Founded in 1994, Project Owlnet facilitates communication, cooperation and innovation among a rapidly growing network of hundreds of owl-migration researchers in North America and abroad. By providing standardized methodologies, information on capture techniques, aging and sexing resources, analytical tools, data archiving and other services, Project Owlnet makes it easier for ornithologists to lift the veil on owl movements and biology. The listserve SAWWHETNET provides a forum to share questions and provide answers.

Southern Iowa Oak Savanna Alliance

Southern Iowa Oak Savanna Alliance (SIOSA) is a non-profit organization involved in the preservation and conservation of Iowa’s oak savanna, oak woodland and prairie ecosystem. SIOSA's mission is to promote community awareness and restore public and private lands to re-establish the oak savanna landscape that once dominated the countryside more than 50 years ago. Organized in 2004, SIOSA continues to work in partnership with the public, multiple federal agencies and conservation authorities to secure funds to enhance Iowa's natural landscape.

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) is helping to create a brighter future of opportunity for all by advancing sustainability in higher education. By creating a diverse community engaged in sharing ideas and promising practices, AASHE provides administrators, faculty, staff and students, as well as the businesses that serve them, with thought leadership and essential knowledge resources, outstanding opportunities for professional development, and a unique framework for demonstrating the value and competitive edge created by sustainability initiatives.

Rain Gardens

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides this fact sheet and other resources on rain gardens; how they greatly assist with water infiltration and storm water runoff in urban areas. Here you will find the Iowa Rain Garden Design and Installation Manual.

Center for a New American Dream

The Center for a New American Dream helps Americans reduce and shift their consumption to improve quality of life, protect the environment and promote social justice. Since its founding in 1997, New Dream has raised awareness of the negative impact of a hyper-consumer culture. Their focus on the connections between consumption, quality of life and the environment has made New Dream unique among environmental and progressive groups.

The mission of is to build a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis using online campaigns, grassroots organizing and mass public actions led from the bottom up, by thousands of volunteer organizers in over 188 countries. Climate safety is reached at 350. To preserve our planet, scientists tell us we must reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level of 392 parts per million (ppm) to below 350 ppm. But 350 is more than a number — it's a symbol of where we need to head as a planet. works hard to organize in a new way — everywhere at once — using online tools to facilitate strategic offline action.

Tomorrow Starts Today

Being a responsible corporate citizen is at the core of Sodexo's business, as they work in areas such as sustainability, diversity and inclusion, wellness and the fight against hunger. In order to incorporate sustainable initiatives in 80 countries, 30,600 sites and with 380,000 employees, Sodexo has created "The Better Tomorrow Plan", which details 14 commitments. Each commitment will have a measurable target for progress over the next 10 years, and the results will be publicly reported against those targets. With these commitments, they will work together with clients, suppliers and customers to protect and restore the environment, support local community development and promote health and wellness.

Decatur County Conservation Boards

Decatur County Conservation manages 9 parks and natural areas encompassing some 2,687 acres, and is home to the 2,200-acre Little River Recreation area just NW of Leon, IA. The conservation board also manages 5 access points along the Grand River Water Trail. 

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages fish and wildlife programs, ensures the health of Iowa's forests and prairies, and provides recreational opportunities in Iowa's state parks. Just as importantly, the DNR carries out state and federal laws that protect air, land and water through technical assistance, permitting and compliance programs. The DNR also encourages the enjoyment and stewardship of natural resources among Iowans through outreach and education. The DNR's mission: to conserve and enhance our natural resources in cooperation with individuals and organizations to improve the quality of life for Iowans and ensure a legacy for future generations.

Iowa Bicycle Coalition

The Iowa Bicycle Coalition is an exciting organization working to promote Iowa cycling as safe and enjoyable recreation and transportation. The 501(c)(3) non-profit group was launched by bicycling advocates from across Iowa and will unite the voices of road riders, mountain bikers, recreation riders, commuters and anyone else who prefers a bicycle for recreation and transportation.

U Car Share

U Car Share® allows you access to a vehicle by the hour without the hassle of gas, insurance, parking fees and maintenance costs. For information about GU's program, see here.

Composting 101 is a primer on the making and using of compost. Here you'll find all you need to know to start making nature's perfect soil amendment. Want to learn even more about composting? Go to for detailed information and inside tips from successful composters.

Buy Fresh Buy Local

Buy Fresh Buy Local Iowa (BFBL) is part of a nationwide network that promotes local foods with the overall goal to increase activity in local food systems at all levels: farms, markets, retail establishments and institutions. They bring together many interests: local economic development, sustainable agriculture, public health, food safety, among others, along with a great respect for delicious fresh foods. Local chapters are organized to represent small regions of the state — the area residents or visitors might travel seeking out the best apple orchard, meat locker, diner, farmers market, vineyard or restaurant. Chapters conduct annual membership drives, publish local foods directories and host events that bring food producers and consumers closer together. The purpose of BFBL Iowa is to create a statewide marketing campaign to encourage the connections among locally grown food, the farmers who raise it and the consumers who eat it.

Webpage suggestion from a young greenthumb: Composting and Landscaping at Home