May 2017                                                                                                
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. The next priority deadline is June 30th.
Project Partners
We are still accepting project applications for the 2017-18 service year! CivicSpark provides high-quality support services to assist local governments with their climate change and water related research, planning, and project implementation initiatives. Agencies within the North Coast, Sierra Nevada, Central Valley, and San Diego regions are strongly encouraged to apply.
Increasing Volunteerism In California
Throughout the state, Fellows have been working with their project partners and   community-based organizations to create volunteer engagement projects focused on a particular local need.  The variety of projects that Fellows organized and executed thus far have been impactful in engaging community members to take climate and water action!
Our Sierra Nevada Fellow partnered with the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) to host climate science and educational activities.

Sacramento Fellows partnered with Harvest Sacramento to lead a volunteer gleaning event and helped spread the word about the City of Chico's Million Watt Challenge.
San Francisco Bay Area Fellows organized a Cesar Chavez Day of Service for Petaluma Bounty and partnered with the City of Martinez and Alhambra High School for a community garden clean-up. 
San Francisco Bay Area Fellows also promoted a Bike to Work Day, coordinated a Bioblitz on Yerba Buena Island, and supported CalBRACE.
Central Coast Fellows organized a Creek Clean Up Day event around Cal Poly and cleaned the creeks of garbage.
Southern California Fellows assisted with the City of South Gate's Earth Day event, the City of Vista's tree planting event, and partnered with the  LA Kitchen  to tackle food waste and community empowerment.
Regional Spotlights
Energy Efficiency in El Cerrito
Justin is a proud CivicSpark Climate Action Fellow serving in the City of El Cerrito and supporting the implementation of the City's climate action plan. He finished conducting the 2015 greenhouse gas inventory and presented the findings to El Cerrito's Environmental Quality Committee. He is now using those findings to draft a climate action implementation report. Justin also works on energy efficiency initiatives for the City including LED retrofits for city streetlights and municipal energy bill monitoring.
Climate Change and Public Health in Los Angeles
Southern California Climate Fellow Kirsten Lew is assisting the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health with their Climate & Health Initiative, a climate action and adaptation plan that highlights the connections between public health outcomes and climate change. In addition to drafting and implementing the Climate & Health Initiative, Kirsten facilitates an intradepartmental group of staff members working to integrate climate change issues into their current roles. 
Fellow Spotlights
Question of the Month: In your opinion, why is volunteerism an important component of civic engagement?
Nikita Sinha | San Francisco Bay Area 
"Volunteering allows you to get involved and dedicate your time to improving some aspect of your community. My time volunteering with Petaluma Bounty has allowed me to interact with people I would not have met otherwise. It has also allowed me to learn about so many different programs and organizations that are committed to bettering the health and wellbeing of people in Sonoma County."

Nikita is a recent graduate from UC Davis where she studied Environmental Science and Management. She's originally from the Bay area and loves spending time outdoors. She's excited to contribute to solving California's water problems.
Christopher Bjornstad | Central Valley Region
"Volunteerism is an important component of civic engagement allowing you to work with a diverse pool of community members. Civic Engagement enables different and vast backgrounds to come together working to better the local community. Volunteerism gives you a sense of civic pride understanding new problems, solutions, and perspectives coming together as a whole."

Chris is originally from Okoboji, Iowa and has a B.B.A. in Management & Organizations and a M.S. in Urban & Regional Planning from the University of Iowa. He focused on transportation planning in school where he interned as a Transportation Planner for the Metropolitan Planning Organization of Johnson County. His goal in joining CivicSpark is to further learn about sustainable transportation and to discover its potential impact in the Central Valley.
CivicSpark Great Stories
Victoria Hernandez, Climate Fellow - Bay Area Region
"In the silence of the trees, a presence greeted me /  Why has it taken you so long to come and visit me? /  Come; sit on my trunk and embrace my energy,"...
Phillip Tran, Climate Fellow - Bay Area Region
"I am humbled by the power of motivated and impassioned people in the world doing work that they believe is bigger than themselves. People come into this fight because they are fighting for what they believe in, and brings me back to why I began my journey and why I joined this fight. "...
Kriselda Bautista, 2014-15 CivicSpark Alum - Sierra Nevada Region
"To the CivicSpark 2016-17 cohort, you may be faced with some tough decisions right now, marinating in uncertainty. As a Gemini, planner and analytical thinker, I know what it’s like to weigh out the extremes. To be torn between the best and the worst, two sides of the same coin. You’re not alone. "...
Upcoming Events
Introduction to CivicSpark: Fellow Recruitment 2017-18 Webinars
June 5, 2017 | 3:00 - 4:00 PM PDT
June 23, 2017 | 9:30 - 10:30 AM PDT

CivicSpark's 2017-18 Fellow application is now open! If you or someone you know is interested in the CivicSpark Fellowship, you can learn more about the program by attending one of our informational webinars. Attendees will learn about the program structure, the Climate and Water tracks, and the recruitment and interview process. We will also conduct a Q&A session to address specific questions. Register today at
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
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
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