Clara von Dohlen sees many possibilities for the Bloomington community and they all come together through intersections. The Utah native came to Minnesota to attend Macalester College to study human rights and civil rights. Personally, she’s a natural connector and puts her skills to use on the job.
Last fall when Clara von Dohlen became a Minnesota GreenCorps member with the City, her work plan took a quick pandemic turn. What was slated to be a project to improve alternative transportation options changed. With COVID-19, the level of community outreach needed for the project could no longer be done.
In her revised GreenCorps role, she helps with energy sector and air quality issues in the community. Reduction of mold in homes and more use of electric vehicles are just a few ways energy burden and air quality can be improved.
The work fits in with the greater need COVID has exposed for more equitable health outcomes. Some populations have a higher rate of asthma than others. Air quality can contribute to asthma and the condition can put people at greater risk for COVID-19 complications. For von Dohlen this is where public health, environmental health and sustainability intersect.
“We’re working to help support communities and make sustainability attainable for everyone,” von Dohlen said.
The Minnesota GreenCorps program is coordinated by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Initiatives done with the City and other partners, preserve and protect the environment while training the next generation of environmental professionals.