Jefferson Earth Corps

The Jefferson Earth Corps held a sustainable gift-basket making event in 2019.

Earth action hero

Jefferson Earth Corps making sustainable footprints

A shared vision of sustainability shapes the lives of two Bloomington Jefferson High School students. Lilly Marohn, pictured above in the second row second from the left, and Yanyan Zeng, pictured above in the center of the front row, strive for a society that functions in harmony with nature and the environment. From how they eat, to what they do with their time, to future career plans, these two seniors are committed to the success of sustainability.

Why are these two students so focused on sustainability? “Everyone has an impact in this world, and that footprint can either be positive or negative,” Marohn said.  

Every day Marohn and Zeng take steps to leave positive tracks.

On a personal level, both are vegans, a practice which supports their views on sustainability and the long-term health of the environment. “I encourage Bloomington residents to look into the environmental and ethical impacts of animal agricultural activities,” Zeng said.

At school, they run Jefferson Earth Corps and work hard to raise awareness about environmental issues while providing information about composting and recycling. Activities include buckthorn removal, posting signage about how to properly sort trash, eliminating plastic utensils from school lunches and more. The group plans to install a rain garden at the high school.

The Bloomington Sustainability Commission supports Jefferson Earth Corps projects. Marohn and Zeng are youth members of the Sustainability Commission. As a youth member project, Zeng is looking into how communities of color are impacted by climate. 

See Earth Corps in action at For more information, visit or call 952-563-4862.