Augustana College and Clinton, Iowa, to partner on community projects

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Rock Island, Ill.­—Augustana College has selected the City of Clinton, Iowa, as its partner in the inaugural Sustainable Working Landscapes Initiative (SWLI). During the yearlong partnership, students and faculty will work with officials to complete community-identified projects related to regional transportation and transit routes, urban forest management and a senior citizen fire prevention campaign, among others,

“Students and faculty from a variety of disciplines will be involved in these projects,” said Dr. Michael Reisner, director of the Upper Mississippi Center (UMC) at Augustana. The proposed projects will involve students and faculty from accounting, communication studies, geography, history and other areas of study.

The goal of the program is to focus Augustana students and experienced faculty on real-world problems facing communities. SWLI is modeled after the University of Oregon’s Sustainable City Year and Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities’ CityLabs programs, which have had great success at bringing students and communities together.

“All communities have projects on their lists that they wish they could get to. This partnership will allow the city of Clinton to cross some of those projects off our list,” said Jessica Kinser, Clinton city administrator.

Augustana’s UMC launched two pilot projects with the cities of Moline and Rock Island during the past year. Students and faculty assessed the health of urban streams and sought to better understand and address current stormwater management challenges, and assessed the risk posed by the emerald ash borer to urban forests.

Because these projects are community-driven priorities, the ideas, designs and products students generate have real-world impact. They can provide the community with fresh ideas to address critical but unmet community needs.

For additional information, please contact Tara Cullison, SWLI program coordinator, at (309) 794-7453.

About Augustana:

Founded in 1860, Augustana College is a selective four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences. Augustana is recognized for the innovative program Augie Choice, which provides each student up to $2,000 to pursue a high-impact learning experience such as study abroad, an internship or research with a professor. Current students and alumni include 155 Academic All-Americans, a Nobel laureate, 13 college presidents and other distinguished leaders. The college enrolls 2,500 students and is located along one of the world’s most important waterways, the Mississippi River, in a community that reflects the diversity of the United States.