Fellow Applications Now Open!
We are now accepting fellow appliations for the 2017-18 service year! Fellows will be placed in local communities throughout California to support local government climate and water projects while gaining technical skills and creating a lasting impact.
Giving Back on César Chávez Day
"...As a leader of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW), [César] Chávez organized agricultural laborers to protest and demand improvements in their working and living conditions. The UFW motto of 'Sí se puede!' or 'Yes, we can!' continues to resound as a timeless rallying cry to workers for social justice... On this anniversary of his birth, I ask all Californians to join me in continuing to build on his dream of a world where all workers are treated with dignity and respect...."  - Governor Brown, Proclamation Declaring César Chávez Day
CivicSpark Fellows Provide Service Throughout California!

During their 11-month service term, CivicSpark Fellows partake in a variety of activities to give back to their local communities. Throughout the state, CivicSpark Fellows volunteered in honor of César Chávez Day. Join us in reflecting on their service and commitment to California communities!

North Coast  Fellows  assisted  SCRAP Humboldt  in preparing for their "Rebel Craft Rumble 2017" craft competition to encourage creative reuse.

Sierra Nevada Fellows volunteered at the North Lake Tahoe Science Expo to foster student excitement and interest in science, and assisted in trail maintenance activities within South Yuba River State Park.  

Sacramento and San Francisco Bay Area 
Fellows volunteered at Bayer Farm, an urban farm in Santa Rosa, by planting and building garden paths.
San Francisco Bay Area Fellows also assisted with food preparation, service, and packaging for delivery with Loaves and Fishes.
Central Valley Fellows assisted in trail maintenance and clean-up around a wetland near the San Joaquin River.
Central Coast Fellows volunteered with ALBA Organics to assist with the clean-up of old barn debris.
Southern California Fellows assembled food kits for seniors in Los Angeles, creating enough kits to feed roughly 2,650 seniors for a month, with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
Regional Spotlights
Benchmarking in Humboldt
Climate Fellow Patrick Cody-Carrese is assisting the City of Arcata and the City of Eureka on their energy benchmarking to help the cities understand where the bulk of their energy is being consumed. Patrick has been reviewing utility meter data and will be sharing this data with City officials who can use it to direct energy saving efforts.
Fresno Water-Energy Community Action Network
Climate Fellow Logan Corbett is serving Fresno County by supporting the Water-Energy Community Action Network (WE CAN) program. By offering landscape and irrigation rebates, providing professional training, and educating the public about water rights and usage, the WE CAN program aims to improve the quality of life of Fresno residents. WE CAN works closely with regional partners such as GRID Alternatives and Habitat for Humanity in order to provide the widest array of options at the lowest cost possible. These partnerships have even drawn media attention from local stations! Logan is working to support and empower the Fresno community from within.
Landscape Efficiency in the Inland Empire
The Inland Empire Water Fellows - Paul, Amanda, Steven, Anna, Ana, and Abbey - are working with the California Data Collaborative (CaDC) to survey thousands of residents about their landscape preferences and outdoor water efficiency. This data will be used to understand what attracts, impedes, or discourages participation in water agencies' rebate programs and to suggest improvements that could save California millions of gallons of potable water each year.
Fellow Spotlights
Question of the Month: In the Spirit of Earth Day, how do you aim to reduce your carbon footprint in your daily life?
Maddie Duda | San Francisco Bay Area 
"I try to plan ahead and be very mindful of how my daily actions impact the environment and those around me. Coming from a social science and philosophy background, I am an enormous proponent of the power of the cumulative impact of small, every day changes in behavior. I've been eating mostly vegetarian for the past two years, and when possible, I walk or take public transportation rather than driving, and make sure to recycle and compost what I can - though I'm actively working on these daily. It can be easy to get into an all or nothing mindset, but every little bit counts and helps!"

Maddie graduated from the University of Virginia in May 2013 with a BA in Political Philosophy, Policy and Law, and recently earned an MS in Parks and Conservation Areas Management from Clemson University. Her Master's work primarily focused on social science research methods and the intersection of conservation and social justice. She is thrilled to work with the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water this year as part of the Bay Area Integrated Regional Water Management Plan's Disadvantaged Community Involvement Program, and intends to pursue a PhD related to natural resource management and including underrepresented populations in decision-making.
Austin Fontanilla | Central Coast Region
"In the spirit of Earth Day, I've implemented a number of BMPs (best management practices) to reduce my carbon footprint.  Apart from my average daily computer use and energy used to make hot meals, my primary locomotion is the bike/bus combo or ridesharing."

Austin Fontanilla, a Fellow hailing from the hot urban landscapes of Southern California, finds himself working in stormwater quality and quantity management in the Salinas Valley.  He attained a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Cal State University, Monterey Bay with a concentration in Science for Sustainable Communities. He has done some traveling in the U.S. as well as jumped beyond the bubble of first-world living. He now lives a primarily English life with random Spanish conversations sprinkled throughout the days that he learned while exploring Chile. His interest in environmental work and education comes from meeting people of foreign places and seeing the vast environment that humans inhabit. He enjoys cooking, cleaning, urban/mountain biking, making electronic music, and taking care of the garden, among other things. "It's all an experiment."
Noe Martinez | Southern California Region
"I aim to reduce my carbon footprint by been conscious of ways I can improve my daily habits in three main areas: travel, food, and goods consumption. This includes embarking in several ambitious goals such as scheduling my week to accommodate for at least one day of riding my bike to work, obtaining most of my food from the local farmer's market and my community garden, and meal prepping for my week's breakfast and lunch. I have slowly incorporated each of these actions, but have come across some challenges. I plan to learn from these challenges with the hopes to further reduce my carbon footprint in my daily life."

Noe Martinez Diaz graduated from Humboldt State University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Resources Engineering. During his academic career, he was involved in various competitions, clubs, and programs focusing on climate change issues and community development. Originally from South L.A., he witnessed firsthand the lack of resources and health issues in his community. Noe strives to use his knowledge and efforts to have a positive impact in the community and grow as a professional in the environmental field. He really enjoys the outdoors, camping, and taking things apart.
CivicSpark Great Stories
Liya Klingenberg, Water Fellow - Central Coast Region
"Caring for the waterways in San Luis Obispo has been a rewarding part of my CivicSpark service year. Over the past five months, I’ve had the opportunity to survey many of the tributaries in the SLO watershed, giving me a broad picture of one problem that is very prevalent."...
Upcoming Events
Community Choice Energy: It's All About Impact
Friday, May 5, 2017 | Long Beach, CA

Register today for the Business of Local Energy Symposium at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach on May 5th, 2017! Don't miss this opportunity to network, exchange ideas about Community Choice Energy programs and learn about current energy policy, regulations, markets, and technology. Use our organization's discount code BLE17CVSP, and receive a 10% discount off registration! Register for this event at: https://blesymposium2017.eventbrite.com.
8th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum
June 14-15, 2017 | Fresno, CA
No cost for local government staff and officials!

Join energy leaders and your local government peers from around the state at the 8th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum! This year's forum will highlight the theme of Briding the Gap to share replicable strategies and tools to catalyze local government efforts to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This forum is available at no cost for local government staff and officials! Learn more and register at lgc.org/2017-seec-forum.
17th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
February 1-3, 2018 | San Francisco, CA

Save the dates! The 17th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference is being held February 1-3, 2018 in San Francisco, CA. To learn more, please visit newpartners.org.
CivicSpark is a Governor's Initiative AmeriCorps program implemented by the Local Government Commission in partnership with the Governor's Office of Planning and Research. Each year, 70 Fellows are placed across California in regional hubs to implement targeted projects that build capacity for local government agencies to better address climate change and water resource management issues.

Learn more about CivicSpark at www.civicspark.lgc.org.