April 2016
Now Accepting Project Applications for the 2016-17 Service Year

We are now accepting project applications for the 2016-17 service year (October 2016 - September 2017)! CivicSpark provides high-quality support services to assist local governments with their climate change related research, planning, and project implementation initiatives. Learn more and apply today at  http://civicspark.lgc.org/join-civicspark/project/ .
Giving Back on Cesar Chavez Day
" César Chávez demonstrated that true courage is revealed when the outlook is darkest, the resistance is strongest, and we still find it within ourselves to stand up for what we believe in....
On his birthday, we celebrate a man who reminded us - above all else - that we all share a common humanity, each of us having our own value and contributing to the same destiny, and we carry forward his legacy by echoing his peaceful and eloquent calls for a more just and equal society."

CivicSpark fellows volunteered in the communities they serve throughout California on  César Chávez Day  as part of their AmeriCorps experience.  Thank  you to all of our fellows  for your service and commitment to California's communities and people! Learn more about their service day experience on our blog.

North Coast Team
San Joaquin Valley Team

Fellows helped mulch 20 fruit trees, planted over 75 kale and chard plants, and removed 400 lbs of invasive green waste from the Fuente Nueva School in Arcata.
Fellows volunteered with the Fresno Community Food Bank and filled 500 backpacks with food for free and reduced-lunch school children in the region to take home for the weekend.

Bay Area Team
Los Angeles Team

Fellows volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in Novato, hammering hundreds of nails (smashing a few fingers along the way) and readied the inside of one home for inspection.
Fellows volunteered with L.A. Works at the Los Angeles Leadership Academy High School in Lincoln Heights and engaged with nearly 80 students to build tables and shelves, and to work in the urban garden.

Sierra Nevada Team
Central Coast Team

Fellows assisted SOS Outreach, a non-profit inTahoe with their graduation night for the 2016 season by creating flyers, helping with setup and take down, and organizing food at the event.
Fellows volunteered with the People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) in Santa Barbara and prepared over 100 sandwiches for sack lunches, created 30 boxes of assorted foods for those in need, and served lunch to shelter residents.

Sacramento Team
Southern California Team

Fellows volunteered with the Woodland Tree Foundation and helped plant 4 shade trees and provided basic resources on tree care for homeowners.
Fellows volunteered with the Meet Each Need with Dignity (MEND) organization and helped build raised gardens for members of the San Fernando Valley community.

Regional Spotlights
Energy Action Plans in the Sierra
Fellow Jill Sanford is a proud member of the Sierra team based at Sierra Business Council, where she works on implementing the goals of seven Energy Action Plans for the following rural communities: Nevada City, Loomis, Jackson, Plymouth, Amador County, Sutter Creek and Mariposa County. Jill recently added an eighth beneficiary, the Town of Truckee, which she serves by assisting with the Sierra Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Partnership (CAMP).  Project highlights include assisting with the communication and outreach for each of these jurisdictions through a variety of ways, including email newsletters, phone meetings, social media posts, creating a web presence, public engagement, and informational brochures. 

Energy Saving in Berkeley
Fellow Caytie Campbell-Orrock has been working on the Building Energy Saving Ordinance (or BESO) in the City of Berkeley. Berkeley is one of the first cities to adopt an ordinance requiring energy assessments of all multifamily and commercial, and single family residences at time of sale. Caytie has been working on the implementation and customer service behind the ordinance, making sure residents view it as an opportunity, and has assisted in developing the ordinance longterm, from integrating it with Berkeley's new online permitting system to collaborating with other Bay Area cities considering a similar performance-based approach.

Climate Action Plans in SLO
Fellows Alex Economou, Savannah Speerstra, and Katie Webster have been working on Climate Action Plan I mplementation projects at the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control Di strict . Alongside the  SLO County Energy Watch , the fellows have been busy working on energy benchmarking for the Municipal Energy Management Program as well as developing methodology and strategic recommendations for targeted small-to-medium business energy efficiency outreach. 
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?
Jamie Zouras, North Coast Region
A:  "The most impactful way I reduce my carbon footprint is through eating a plant based diet. I've been a vegetarian for over ten years  and now (mostly) practice veganism. Need a little extra push towards eliminating meat from your life? I recommend watching Cowspiracy (available on Netflix)! I also buy local and organic as much as possible, recycle and repurpose unwanted items, and have a personal goal to never own a car." 

A Skokie, IL native, Jamie graduated from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2015 with a BS in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, and minors in Urban Planning and Leadership Studies. She is a passionate young professional seeking a career in Sustainability Planning and is thrilled to be on the West Coast to do so. Fostering bunnies, baking vegan treats, and exploring the outdoors are hobbies that put a smile on Jamie's face.

Joseph Wankmueller, San Joaquin Valley Region
A: "T he w a y I try to reduce my carbon footprint is through use of public transit and by walking whenever possible. My apartment is five bloc ks from my place of work, so not only do I save time and money by walking to work but I also reduce my impact on the environment. Riding the bus is a great way to avoid the headache of being behind the wheel in stop and go traffic, plus it gives me the opportunity to sit back and enjoy catching up on the news or finishing that book I never seem to have time to get to otherwise."

Joseph is a lifelong California resident who recently graduated from Humboldt State University with a B.A. in Political Science with a focus in Environmental Policy and International Relations. A firm believer in social, economic, and environmental justice Joseph hopes to use his skills to further those ideals through his work.

Michael Kloha, Southern California Region
A: "In t he spirit of Earth Day, I plan to reduce my carbon footprint by eating less meat and buying more locally-produced food! Current meat production practices not only use large amounts of land and water resources, but also contribute majorly to rising methane emissions. Buying locally-produced food reduces the demand for transporting non-local food over long distances, which means less carbon emissions."

Mike is originally from San Diego, where he recently graduated from UCSD with a major in Environmental Policy and a minor in Urban Studies & Planning. He developed a great interest for sustainable urban planning, and has also worked in local government for over a year. He hopes to learn more about the sustainability needs of Los Angeles and to actively be a part of addressing those needs throughout the region.

Teresa Perez, Los Angeles Region
A: " To reduce my carbon footprint, I pledge to ride bike as much as possibl e! Whether it's going to run an errand or just to cruise, I will choose my bike as an alternative mode of transit."

Teresa is from Whittier, CA and recently graduated from California State University Long Beach with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science and Policy. She is passionate about educating the community in what it means to be sustainable and why it is important to live with an environmentally conscious mind. She is eager to learn about the dynamics in the public sector and how to work with a large number of people to create positive and effective change.

CivicSpark Great Stories
Kriselda Bautista, 2014-15 Sierra Nevada Region Alumna
I'm Kriselda Bautista and I served last year in the Sierra Nevada region with the Sierra Business Council. I am still with the SBC, and the work my partner Evan Pierce and I started last year with writing and developing Energy Action Plans for 7 different jurisdictions in the Sierra Nevada has continued this year with implementing the EAPs...

Claire Curley, Sacramento Region
...His reaction has provided me with an important realization - I don't want to derive my self-worth from my career. In fact, I don't want to derive my self-worth from anything external to my own being...

Margot Stert, Bay Area Region
...For the first couple of months, my daily commute was over 100 miles round trip, which wasn't great for my car, my sanity, or my personal carbon footprint!...

Alex Economou, Central Coast Region
Ever since I was little I've been a runner.  I don't know why it started, but I like running.  I remember being the kid growing up that would wake up before school in 5th grade and go for morning jogs...
Read these Great Stories and more at:  http://civicspark.lgc.org/blog/
Upcoming Events
CivicSpark 2016-17 Project Partner Informational Webinars

Wednesday 4/27 at 10am

Join us for our last webinar on becoming a project partner with CivicSpark for the 2016-17 service year and having a CivicSpark AmeriCorps member work on climate action projects in your community! This 1-hour webinar will cover the program  structure, application process, and local match costs.

CivicSpark 2016-17 Fellow Recruitment Webinars

- Thursday, May 19 at 9am
- Tuesday, June 21 at 1pm
- Monday, July 25 at 3:30pm
- Wednesday, August 24 at 12:30pm

Join us for one of four informational webinars on the CivicSpark Fellowship and learn more about the program, the recruitment process, and the new CivicSpark: WaterCorps program!
The  Local Government Commission is offering a series of in-depth trainings in the coming months that aim to address some of the most pressing water issues in the San Joaquin Valley, including water conservation and groundwater management. Join us at these trainings and learn how to make your community water strong!

  • Comprehensive base QWEL: April 26-28th in Fresno, CA
  • Graywater QWEL: May 24-26th in Fresno, CA
For more info, visit:  www.lgc.org/water-training/.

Register today for the   7th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum, taking place  from June 15 th- 16 th  in Riverside, CA, with pre-forum events taking place on June 14thThis year's forum, which is offered at no-cost to California local governments, will feature 16 interactive breakout sessions that highlight innovative and practical frameworks, projects, and tools to help you advance your community's energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives, as well as updates from key state agencies and plenty of networking opportunities.
The California Adaptation Forum will take place on September 7th-8th in Long Beach, CA, and will be the premier convening for a multi-disciplinary group of decision makers, leaders and advocates to discuss, debate and consider how we can most effectively respond to the impacts of climate change. Save the date - registration will open in June!
The 2017 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference is coming to St. Louis, Missouri! The conference will take place  February 2-4, 2017  at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel.  The official call for Session Proposals process will launch on  May 16th . Save the date and visit the conference website for more details!
About CivicSpark
CivicSpark is a statewide Governor's initiative AmeriCorps program implemented by the Local Government Commission in partnership with the Governor's Office of Planning and Research. Eight regional hubs host 48 Fellows across California, building capacity for local government agencies to address climate change. The 2015-16 service year started on Oct. 19 th , 2015 and will go through Sept. 2016.