Ilze Lipins is an AmeriCorps with the Common Ground Program, serving the southeast region of Nebraska.

When Ilze Lipins was a child, her home in the outskirts of Lincoln was still surrounded by forestry and prairie grass. A lifelong resident of the capital city, Ilze gained an appreciation for the scenic landscape around her. “I enjoy traveling and learning about the cultures of other places but seeing Nebraska’s landscape after being away always gives me the comfort of being home,” she said.

After graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2018, Ilze felt it was important to do something meaningful for the community she’s been a part of her whole life. “Doing a year of service with AmeriCorps seemed like the perfect opportunity to not only contribute to the community but also to help with environmental efforts, a topic I’m passionate about,” she said.

Through the Common Ground program, Ilze hopes to communicate that conservation efforts do not have to be an overwhelming change in one’s lifestyle. “For most of us, we weren’t taught to always consider the environmental impact of our choices, and it can be difficult to shift our perspectives to be more mindful of conservation,” she said. Ilze finds it rewarding when people learn about a conservation topic at a Common Ground event.

Ilze serves the southeast region of Nebraska, including the communities of Lincoln, Beatrice, Seward, Crete, and Nebraska City. She says the most prominent conservation issues in these communities are water pollution, recycling, and soil quality. From Ilze’s perspective, Common Ground doesn’t only focus on conservation issues for environmental reasons, but emphasizes the benefits in conservation practices for the community’s entire well-being.

Thanks for your service, Ilze!