You probably know by now that Maharishi University of Management is part of the Fairfield, Iowa community. You also probably know that Maharishi University of Management and Fairfield, Iowa have a strong commitment to sustainability. The City of Fairfield designed a citywide strategic Go Green Plan to help Fairfield reach greater and greater levels of sustainability, and then partnered with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to hire a Sustainability Coordinator who is charged with the implementation of that Go Green Plan.
Recently, The City of Fairfield was selected to participate in a two-year partnership with Interstate Power and Light Company, an Alliant Energy company (the local utility company), through its Hometown Rewards grant program. The Hometown Rewards Program is kicking off on Earth Day – April 22nd – with the planting of a community orchard, free BBQ, and live music. The event “Dig In, Fairfield” will take place at Chautauqua Park. Volunteers will start with a tree planting effort to create a community orchard. After the tree planting, everyone in the community is invited to a free BBQ with live music.
Dig In Fairfield • Sunday, April 22nd • Chautauqua Park
9 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Tree Planting (sign up through the Fairfield Volunteer Center)
4:15 p.m. Volunteer Appreciation Ceremony by Mayor Malloy
4:30 – 8:00 p.m. Free BBQ* for everyone in Fairfield with music by The Jefferson County Green Band
*Rain date – April 29
“An exciting aspect of this program is that we get to design it ourselves, and that’s just one more reason we are excited about building this community orchard, along with the other reductions in energy use. With the Go Green Plan behinds us and the added benefits of resources and experience provided by Alliant Energy, our expectations are high for positive results,” said Scott Timm, Sustainability Coordinator, City of Fairfield/Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
The purpose of the Hometown Rewards Program in Fairfield is to focus on energy efficiency and conservation goals outlined in the City’s strategic Go Green Plan through grass-roots community efforts. Hometown Rewards goals in Fairfield include:
- Save residents 5,059,288 kWh in electricity and natural gas equivalent (that’s $540,000 in energy costs; $57 per person; $228 for a family of four)
- Offer free educational workshops relevant to all sectors of the City
- Engage at least 50% of Fairfield residents in this program
This program rewards Fairfield for reducing citywide energy usage either by adopting energy-efficient behaviors and investing in energy-efficient upgrades such as:
- Turning off lights
- Unplugging unused electronics
- Replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs
- Installing new insulation
If Fairfield successfully meets its goals, Alliant Energy will reward Fairfield by helping to fund new solar panels for a city building – a reward chosen by the Hometown Rewards Program steering committee.
The committee members include Mayor Malloy (MUM Trustee), John Revolinski (MUM professor), Lonnie Gamble (MUM professor), Kari Bedi (MUM alumnus), Anna Bruen (yep, that’s me!), Scott Timm (aforementioned Sustainability Coordinator), Bob Ferguson, Michael Halley, Jeff Clawson, Daryn Hamilton, Joel Hirshberg, Molly Martlin, Fred McElwee, Roger Vorhies, and Alliant Energy representatives Laurie Appleget and Robin Sempf.
Mayor Malloy commented on the benefits of this partnership, “I am very pleased that Fairfield was selected to be one of the partner cities in the Hometown Rewards program with Alliant. This opportunity will allow us to make more progress on our energy efficiency goals as outlined in our Go Green Plan. The program will engage volunteers and homeowners and the money saved through reduced energy use will stay in our local economy.”
Looking for more ways to get involved in sustainability in Fairfield? Take a look at Maharishi University of Management’s Sustainable Living Department or Fairfield’s Hometown Rewards Program website.
|Anna Bruen is a MUM alumnus who graduated with a degree in Sustainable Living. Anna is the resident blogger here at MUM. To learn more about Anna take a look at her introduction post.|