August 2018
Congrats to our 2017-18 Cohort!
On July 31st, Fellows, Regional Coordinators, program partners, friends, and family members came together to celebrate the dedication and hard work of our 2017-18 cohort throughout the past 11 months. City of Sacramento Vice Mayor and LGC Board Member Steve Hansen joined the graduation ceremony to recognize the cohort's accomplishments and share words of encouragement with key speakers, including Michael McCormick Senior Planner of the Governor's Office of Planning and Research. Angela Kim, the Fellow-elected cohort speaker, also shared words of encouragement. You can view Angela's speech here !
Join CivicSpark's 2018-19 Cohort!
We still have a few Fellow spots remaining for Central Coast, El Centro, San Joaquin Valley, and Sacramento/Sierra Regions! CivicSpark Fellows have the opportunity to implement targeted projects in support of local government agencies, and develop technical skills while creating a meaningful and lasting impact in California's communities. Applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis pending project availability.
Help Us Spread the Word!

Please share the CivicSpark opportunity with anyone potentially interested in becoming a Fellow. They can learn more via our website in the link below.
Regional Spotlights
Cordova Creek in Rancho Cordova
As her service year wraps up, 2017-2018 Water Fellow Cassie Miller has been focusing primarily on creating and implementing adaptive management strategies to ensure the success of the recently naturalized Cordova Creek . The Water Forum collaborated with multiple agencies to restore natural habitats, hydrology, and geomorphology in the American River Parkway and provide additional green space to the community of Rancho Cordova. After spending the year coordinating community service days at the creek, Cassie is spending her last month working to create a community-run Friends of Cordova Creek group. She is excited to see Cordova Creek continue to embed itself in the community as it continues to grow and flourish!
Diverse Sustainability in the East Bay
Working from the East Bay cities of Antioch and Martinez , Natalie has had the opportunity to work on a diverse array of sustainability projects on small but dedicated staff teams over the course of the service year. In the last month of her service project, the focus of Natalie’s work has broadened from an emphasis on energy efficiency projects to a foray into the world of waste. In addition to designing outreach materials for Antioch’s Coastal Cleanup Day (join us September 15th!), Natalie and Martinez’ new sustainability intern toured the local transfer station, landfill, and recycling center. Coming from her energy-focused background, the opportunity to engage more deeply with products at their end of life has been a reminder that tackling whole systems is a necessary part of achieving a sustainable world. 
Fellow Spotlights
Question of the Month : " What has been the most memorable day for you over the past eleven months with CivicSpark? "
Abigail Carlstad | Bay Area Region
" My most memorable day over the last 11 months wasn’t a single day, but about a week of busy days. We had a three-day boot camp to kick off a dashboard for our Climate Action Plan, I tabled at Richmond’s Cinco de Mayo festival, hosted a free solar sign-up workshop, and assisted with Bike to Work Day. I find that I really thrive in busy and high-pressure environments, so even though I was always busy and tired, it felt really fulfilling at the end. "

Abigail Carlstad is a recent graduate from Oberlin College with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Anthropology. At Oberlin, she worked on behavior change initiatives on campus with the psychology department and the Office of Environmental Sustainability. Abigail is looking forward to returning to her hometown and using her skills in community-based social marketing to help carry out Richmond’s sustainability goals and initiatives.
Katherine Perkins | Central Inland Region
"One of the most memorable days was a rainy Monday in January when I was out on the lower American River with the salmon carcass survey crew. This was a VERY rainy day - it set an all-time record for hourly rainfall in Sacramento. I was wearing a rain jacket, but I still ended up completely soaked head to toe... and purple in my fingers and toes from the cold. I hate being cold and wet, but what stuck with me about that day is that I was glad to be out in the elements. Like my CivicSpark experience as a whole, it was hard but I’m overwhelmingly happy to have been able to do the work."

Katherine Perkins serves as a CivicSpark Water Fellow with the Water Forum in Sacramento. She relishes the opportunity to give back to the valley that has nurtured her for the last four years. Katherine recently graduated from UC Davis. As a student of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems and a member-director of her low-income cooperative housing association, Katherine learned the value of collaborative processes, mutual aid and systems thinking in building more just and sustainable communities. Before joining CivicSpark, Katherine worked as a technician on a study investigating the relationship between climate change and grape vine phenology and as a teacher and gardener at the Edible Schoolyard Berkeley.
CivicSpark In the News
Molly Marcussen, 2017-18 Climate Fellow - Central Inland Region
" After Marcussen’s fellowship ends, a new CivicSpark fellow will continue the momentum. In fact, that’s similar to how Marcussen got the ball rolling: She built off of research from a Chico State community service geography course, taught by Stemen, which dove into the same climate projections. (See “Beyond the grade,” Greenways, Dec. 17.)... "
CivicSpark Great Stories
Savannah Rose, 2017-18 Climate Fellow - Greater Los Angeles Region
" Graduation was bittersweet, seeing the people that had garnered so much support during these last eleven months. We made so many memories in such a short time together. From kayaking and paddleboarding to hanging out around Sacramento, I cherished every moment. ... "

Sarah Huang, 2017-18 Climate Fellow - Greater Los Angeles Region
" The feeling that tend to come with the end of anything are often bittersweet. It felt strangely nostalgic being back in the same hostel in Sacramento both for orientation and graduation. The people who were all once strangers almost a month ago are now friends and family. and when I finally returned home, I read the letter I had written to myself 11 months ago, which I had completely forgotten about, and was quite surprised by the optimism and wisdom of past Sarah.... "
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 .