AMES, Iowa —Iowa State University’s Life in Iowa program and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture have awarded two more of 12 statewide educational grants to the Polk County Conservation Board in Granger and Full Circle Farm in Madrid. The grants fund student interns working in sustainable marketing and local food systems and environmental and community development.
Life in Iowa student, Melissa Hackley, a junior at Iowa State in forestry, will be a conservation intern for the Polk County Conservation Board in Granger. She will work in the forestry division planting and caring for county-owned trees and shrubs, assisting with county-owned nurseries, and working on trail maintenance projects.
Bruce Quint, a junior at Iowa State in horticulture, will work for Full Circle Farm in Madrid. Quint will assist with animal care, composting, planting, harvesting, and selling organic vegetables, and completing various other duties on the certified organic farm.
Each Life in Iowa intern also donates 10 hours per week to a community volunteer project. Quint will volunteer at the Iowa Arboretum. He will work on a variety of tasks including weeding, pruning and general plant care and maintenance. He will also work with the volunteer staff to help set up events and assist visitors. Quint hopes to take on a self project, perhaps building a patio or a retaining wall.
Hackley will volunteer at Jester Park, working on an invasive species removal project. She will concentrate on three species of plants that are problems in the area. She will learn identification, control methods and options, and evaluate the efficacy of each option.
The internships supported by the Leopold Center help students learn and understand local and regional cultures and ecosystems, and further efforts to create a sustainable quality of life in Iowa. The education grants provide up to $1,500 for each Life in Iowa internship. Employers match the funds to provide the intern salary and associated project costs. The students spend 10 weeks in the community during the summer.
The first education grant announced this year in the Life in Iowa program went to Jones Soil and Water Conservation District and Jones County Conservation who are sharing an Iowa State intern.
Life in Iowa is a program of Iowa State University Extension. It introduces undergraduate Iowa State students to community-based learning to develop leadership and service skills for the future. The Leopold Center, created by the 1987 Iowa Groundwater Protection Act, supports the development of profitable farming systems that conserve natural resources and strengthen Iowa communities. For more information on the Life in Iowa program, visit www.lifeiniowa.org.
Lynette Spicer, Continuing Education and Communication Services, (515) 294-1327, firstname.lastname@example.org