July 2017                                                                                                          civicspark.lgc.org
Join CivicSpark's 2017-18 Cohort!
CivicSpark Fellows
We are still accepting applications for Fellows! 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. 

We are looking for applicants who are specifically interested in the Central Coast and Central Valley regions. We are accepting applications for CivicSpark Fellows on a rolling basis.
2016-17 Fellow Accomplishments
Northern California Fellows have been helping elementary and middle school students in Natomas to separate their food waste at lunch time. After interviewing dozens of school staff, they are writing a report about best practices and challenges to implementing a school food waste program. Separately, they are developing a scorecard and guide to Climate Action Plan strategies for small and rural cities to help the City of Galt develop its first CAP. Finally, they also created a map of major generators of food waste in Sacramento and are working with the County Solid Waste Authority to expand the number of businesses diverting food waste.
A San Joaquin Fellow works on the Local Government Commission's WE CAN landscape upgrade and water efficiency program in Fresno County. Their efforts caught the attention of local Fresno morning show, KSEE24 Sunrise, which featured our partnership with Habitat for Humanity and Rockpile, a landscaping company that puts formerly incarcerated individuals back to work.  
A Southern California Fellow helped with an event for  Water For People, an international nonprofit that works to provide safe and reliable water and sanitation to communities in developing nations. This spring 70+ Eastern Municipal Water District employees participated in the Water Bucket Relay Challenge. In teams of 4, employees walked 1/4 with a bucket of water balanced on their head. The event raised over $10,000 doubling EMWD employee's yearly contributions. The Water Bucket Relay Challenge brought employees together building camaraderie and teamwork in support of Water For People's mission of reaching everyone forever. 
Regional Spotlight
Climate Action in Santa Monica 
Southern California Climate Action Fellows Delia Tyrrell and Samantha Rosenbaum are working on Santa Monica’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. In the spring, they attended business and community meetings to inform and solicit questions from the community on the plan. Now they are helping draft the plan, aiming to release the first administrative draft to city employees and the community in the next couple of months. In addition to drafting, Delia and Samantha are working on engaging residents with climate change topics such as sea level rise. For their volunteer project, Delia and Samantha designed and implemented a sustainability resident engagement program in two Santa Monica affordable housing buildings, educating residents on waste management, energy and water efficiency, and active and public transportation. 
Fellow Spotlights
Question of the Month: How do you plan to continue your social and environmental impact post CivicSpark?
Lorena Palacios | Southern California Region
"The fellowship has given me the opportunity to dive deep into the field of climate resilience and adaptation. I am planning to continue my social and environmental impact by taking the experience to build the environmental realm. Taking buildings as departure points to build resilience and the many ways you can involve communities along the process appears challenging and exciting at the same time. On the other side, I plan to keep participating in AmeriCorps volunteer activities with different organizations and keep contributing to communities. It has become a lifestyle."

Lorena Palacios graduated from the UCLA Certificate Program in Global Sustainability. Before joining CivicSpark, she was working with school districts in Los Angeles County to help them develop their Sustainability Action Plan. Interested in gaining experience with local governments and organizations working towards the implementation of climate change and adaptation projects, Lorena thought a good way to do it was by diving into one of these structures and serve her country of adoption while continuing to learn and gain a different perspective. Lorena practiced Environmental Law in Mexico, her country of origin, and has a Masters in European Studies. She has lived in Italy and Belgium where she got involved in programs and projects on International Cooperation for Industrial Development and Climate Change.
Yoni Angelo Carnice | Bay Area Region
"I intend to apply my knowledge and experience in ecological restoration, climate adaptation, and community engagement to my landscape architecture studies in graduate school. I am particularly interested in exploring ecological and community-based design strategies in response to rising sea levels. "

A San Francisco Bay Area native, Yoni received a BS in Environmental Science from Loyola Marymount University. Before joining CivicSpark, he served as an Ecological Restoration Intern for the Presidio Trust where he broadened his experience in native plant re-vegetation, integrated pest management and wildlife monitoring. As a Fellow, he is interested in applying the diversity of his environmental experiences to climate action planning. He intends to pursue a master's degree in landscape architecture and environmental planning in hopes of engaging with climate adaptation design strategies for at-risk shoreline communities.
CivicSpark Great Stories
Janelle Del Campo, Climate Fellow - San Joaquin Valley Region
"I can understand the initial unattractiveness of coming to the Central Valley, it is not close to a beach, it gets hotter than other locations during the winter, it is not as exciting as some other city like Los Angeles or San Francisco. But, as I have gotten to work and live here I have begun to take offense to those opposed to the Central Valley. "...
Upcoming Event
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. The 2018 conference program will feature eight thematic tracks that will provide participants an opportunity for a deeper, more dynamic hands-on learning experience. Each track will be designed to create a peer cohort of practitioners that leave with new tools, strategies, models and templates to integrate into their work – with our signature multidisciplinary theme running throughout. 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.