April 2018
Fellow Applications are Now Open!
If you are interested in learning more about the program, our three tracks (Climate, Water, and Opportunity Access), and the recruitment and interview process, register today for one of our informational webinars .
Friday, May 4: 9:30 – 10:30 AM PDT
Monday, May 21: 3 – 4 PM PDT
Giving Back on César Chávez Service Day
Fellows across the state served communities for César Chávez Service Day, March 31st, from weeding and plant organization to cleaning and maintaining turtle and tortoise habitats. Our Fellows are dedicated to getting things done!
Bay Area Fellows enjoyed a beautiful day on Yerba Buena Island doing island stewardship work with San Francisco Environment . The Fellows first spent some time removing invasive plants near Clipper Cove Beach. Afterward, the Fellows took a nature walk up to the Yerba Buena Island Native Plant Nursery run by Literacy for Environmental Justice . Everyone split into groups to work on weeding, plant organization, and ivy removal. North Coast Fellows participated in helping to set up and run the annual “Get Outside” gear event to benefit the local non-profit  Friends of the Dunes .
Central Inland Fellows spent the day in the city of Stockton volunteering with Puentes at Boggs Tract Community Farm , located in the industrial port of Stockton that provides a much appreciated green space and an avenue to empower the community to grow their own food. The team assisted tasks around the farm, including mixing soil material to create a healthy environment for acorn seeds to grow as part of the urban forestry initiative, placing barriers around young trees to protect their trunks from weed wackers, and clearing weeds by hand from areas too delicate for mowers to reach.
Central Coast Fellows volunteered at Turtle and Tortoise Rescue . The center is located in Arroyo Grande and accepts animals from all over the state and entire west coast. Fellows cleaned and maintained the habitats and helped receive the rescue's newest members; Hannibal, Sherman and Nicky.
In the Greater Los Angeles Region, Fellows were able to serve communities in Ventura and Ontario. In Ventura, Fellows partnered with the Ventura Land Trust , working to restore a natural riverbed and willow grove by clearing debris from an area burned by the Thomas Fires. In Ontario, Fellows had weeded and planted at the urban farm, Huerta del Valle , serving alongside community members dedicated to local food justice. 
Regional Spotlights
Climate Action Planning in Richmond
Abigail Carlstad is working in the City of Richmond Environment and Health Initiatives Division within the City Manager’s Office. The main project she has been working on is building an online dashboard to report on the City of Richmond’s Climate Action Plan (CAP). The project has consisted of researching how other cities report on CAP progress, learning about software options, collecting data from City departments and external entities, and building the dashboard itself. Because Richmond’s CAP encompasses measures outside of strictly environmental indicators, the data collection process has brought in stakeholders from all City departments. Abigail is looking forward to the dashboard design session in early May, where City staff will begin designing and building the dashboard. She has enjoyed learning about data and performance management and hopes to continue using those skills in her next steps.
Salmon Monitoring in Sacramento
Kat's project work at the Sacramento Water Forum focuses on developing a method for digitizing Chinook salmon redd distribution data on the lower American River using aerial photography and GIS. She hopes to share this method with other managers and scientists as a best practice for monitoring spawning and evaluating the success of restoration projects through publishing a paper and presenting a poster (and a collaborative art piece!) at the Bay Delta Science conference, which takes place in Sacramento September 10-12. While she spends most of her time looking at salmon from a bird’s eye view on a computer screen, Kat’s Fellowship at the Water Forum got her into the river during the 2017 fall Chinook salmon run collecting genetics samples and otoliths with Cramer Fish Sciences and the CDFW carcass crew. Additionally, Kat is supporting the Water Forum in their role facilitating SGMA implementation in the Cosumnes subbasin through preparing a review of technical documents related to groundwater dynamics with the hope of better informing working group members as they make decisions about basin boundary modification and sustainable groundwater management. 
Coastal Adaptation in Ventura
Sea level rise poses a unique challenge for California coastal management as it adds another stressor to a complex regulatory framework that balances the multiple demands and hazards of our beloved coastline. The Ventura County Planning Division is taking on that challenge through its  VC Resilient Coastal Adaptation Project . CivicSpark Climate Fellow Angela Kim has been working alongside experienced coastal planners on this exciting planning process. With a grant from the California Coastal Commission and the State Coastal Conservancy, the County has conducted a vulnerability assessment and is starting to develop adaptation strategies for the County’s coastline. Angela has made unique contributions to the project by assessing the social vulnerability of the County’s population to sea level rise and creating a story map for public outreach. This project has allowed Angela to connect with various jurisdictions working on coastal planning and participate in the increasing network of resilience professionals. In her remaining three months, Angela will work on laying the groundwork for the adaptation strategies and coastal hazard regulations.
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 ?"
Melanie Fornes | Bay Area Region
" I'm continuing to lower my personal impact everyday by following a mostly vegan diet. Being privileged enough to choose where my food comes from and how it is produced, I feel that I am, at the very least, practicing to be a mindful consumer-- something most of us should all try too. "

After completing her Bachelor's degrees in Environmental Studies and Economics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Melanie Fornes has been pleased to join the CivicSpark Bay Area cohort as a Climate Fellow in Pinole, CA. There, she is analyzing city energy usage, facilitating energy efficiency measures, and initiating a transportation planning process. As a California native, Melanie is also excited to start a new chapter after the Fellowship--she plans to begin her Masters program in Environmental Economics at the London School of Economics this Fall.
Hayden Rudd | Central Coast Region
" During a TEDx conference I attended in college, I saw  this video  demonstrating the most effective way to dry your hands with a paper towel. While the video may seem a bit silly, it inspired me to limit my paper towel consumption by creating a personal rule to never use more than one paper towel to dry my hands and to allow my hands to air dry as much as possible. It's a small effort, but I hope that by being mindful about the impacts of routine tasks we can create meaningful changes over long periods. "

Hayden Rudd is a recent graduate from Furman University where she studied Chemistry and Environmental Studies. Her passion for environmental justice and interest in local government drove her to the CivicSpark fellowship. While working on water sustainability planning in San Luis Obispo, she looks forward to learning firsthand about the relationship between science and policy. This experience will hopefully serve as the beginning of a career in environmental policy that builds off her scientific background.
Lorianne Esturas | Greater Los Angeles Region
" Over the past 7+ months, I've put a lot more emphasis on cooking and making healthy food choices, and without really noticing it, I've reduced the waste from my weekly, meal-prep shopping! To take a more active role in reducing my carbon footprint, I plan to make more conscious, zero-waste decisions in the spirit of Earth Day. On a related, packaging note, I think I'll also mark Earth Day as the day I finally get around to sewing a few drawstring bags for the loose mushrooms I buy every weekend that always end up a little more squishy and bruised by the time I get home. "

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Lorianne Esturas graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Geophysics and Space Physics. Her interest in the climate field began with her serendipitously attending an introductory class on climate change and policy. Looking to further her involvement within the field, Lorianne interned with Los Angeles-based sustainability non-profits and the City’s Office of Sustainability. As a Fellow, she looks forward to continuing her efforts in addressing climate change and being involved with its mitigation and adaptation.
CivicSpark Great Stories
Marina Deligiannis, 2017-18 Water Fellow - Central Inland Region
" Although the panels often ended with more questions than when they began, and many issues discussed ended with the solution of not quite having a solution at all, I think I can speak for everyone in attendance in saying that this conference was just another step in the right direction. " ...

Gillian Greenberg, 2017-18 Climate Fellow - Central Inland Region
" The service day itself continued to delve deeper into the labor and cultural history of California agriculture with a focus on the inequities in Central Valley communities. Our service at Boggs Tract Community Farm provided an opportunity to examine the unequal access to opportunity in present day Stockton as the farm aims to foster local food production in a neighborhood surrounded by industrial land uses and plagued with contaminated soil. "...
Upcoming Event
CivicSpark is Recruiting Project Partners!
CivicSpark , a Governor's Initiative AmeriCorps program, is now accepting project applications for the 2018-19 Service Year! The program is offering three thematic tracks: Climate (50 openings), Water (20 openings), and a new Opportunity Access track (20 openings) that will focus on affordable housing, alternative transportation, and rural broadband. 

May 1 st  -  Second priority deadline

Fellows will begin serving on projects mid-September 2018
If you are a local or state public agency, school or university, or a nonprofit and are interested in learning more about the program and having a Fellow support your agency’s work visit our website to find more program details, including pricing and timing.  
Innovation & Impact Symposium 2018
Thursday, May 31st, 2018 | 8:00 am - 7:00 pm | San Jose, CA

Join the Innovation & Impact Symposium! Located at City Hall in San Jose, CA, the event will feature the latest developments in Advanced Mobility, Energy, and the Built Environment. The region's leaders from the startup, corporate, public and research communities will discuss what it takes to implement these ideas for maximum impact. Featuring a Keynote Presentation by the Mayor of San Jose, Sam Liccardo!

Presented by ProspectSV , Silicon Valley's leading non-profit innovation hub.
Visit the website at: www.innovationandimpact.com
Purchase your tickets by clicking here .
Save 30% off the ticket price by using the event code: lgc_comp
*Special rates available for government, nonprofit and education organizations.
Community Choice: Power with Purpose
June 4-5, 2018 | Sacramento, CA

The Business of Local Energy Symposium  will be the premier convening of innovative leaders and experts to discuss, debate, and consider how we can most effectively contribute to Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) adoption. This is the place for local government policy makers, program leaders, and community advocates to inspire others and be inspired. 

On June 5th, CCA experts and leaders will come together for a day-long event. On June 4th, there will be a pre-symposium workshop in the afternoon on distributed energy resource projects that build local resiliency, provide unique customer services and contribute to local economic development. More information about the Pre-Symposium workshop and the Symposium is available here: https://climateprotection.org/business-local-energy-symposium-2018/

Early bird discount extended to April 27th! Register here .
9th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum
June 20-21, 2018 | Sacramento, CA

The Local Government Commission, in partnership with the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative, is hosting the 9th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum (SEEC Forum). The SEEC Forum aims to provide learning, sharing, and networking opportunities to help local governments save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their communities, and catalyze climate action. The forum will feature engaging sessions, expert plenaries and keynotes, and new innovative activities to help energy leaders and practitioners connect to learn about innovative projects and strategies, share best practices, and troubleshoot challenges.

The SEEC Forum is offered at no-cost to California local government staff and officials. Click here to learn more.
3rd California Adaptation Forum
August 27-29, 2018 | Sacramento, CA

Save the dates! The Local Government Commission invites you to join us for the 3rd California Adaptation Forum!

The biennial California Adaptation Forum gathers the adaptation community to foster knowledge exchange, innovation, and mutual support to create resilient communities throughout the state. The Forum offers a series of engaging plenaries, sessions, networking opportunities, workshops, and tours to support our transition from adaptation awareness and planning to action.

Click here for more information.
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, 90 Fellows are placed across California in regional hubs to implement targeted projects that build capacity for local government agencies to better address community resilience issues such as climate change, water resource management, and access to opportunities.

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